2017 marks critical political transitions at the local, state, and federal levels. It has never been more critical to propose investments and initiatives that will increase opportunity for young New Yorkers. In our city, more than 180,000 young adults between 16- to 24-years-old are neither working nor in school. In some neighborhoods, graduation rates are as low as 54 percent – and even among young New Yorkers who do finish school and find work, most tend to hold low-wage jobs and make up a significant portion of the city’s working poor.
Addressing this crisis requires policy interventions that expand opportunity for young adults; encourage innovation and collaboration in education and young adult workforce development; and break down systemic barriers to young adults’ long-term economic success.
Building on our work over the years, JobsFirstNYC’s 2017 Working Policy Strategy recommends three approaches to reduce the number of out-of-school, out-of-work (OSOW) young New Yorkers and increase the economic prosperity of every young person in our city.