Opportunity Youth Research Report Released

Posted by Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities on November 19, 2019

In the United States, nearly five million, or one in nine, young people between the ages of 16 and 24 are classified as “opportunity youth.” That is, they are neither in school nor in the workforce. This presents broad economic and social challenges for entire communities. CUMU member institutions can play a key role in addressing the barriers leading to these high levels of disconnection from education and employment.

Unequal access to opportunity appears in many forms, but ultimately it severely constrains the future possibilities for millions of young Americans. In years past, the mantra “a rising tide lifts all boats” was generally accepted as truth. Today, policymakers, elected officials and community and civic organizations recognize that the economy is growing, but not everyone is benefiting. And those that do see benefits, are not benefiting equally. If the urban communities where CUMU member institutions are to succeed, all of our communities and the residents in them must also have equal opportunity for success.

In 2019, CUMU partnered with Cleveland State University’s Center for Community Planning & Development to undertake a four-month long research project to identify and inventory opportunity youth programs across the CUMU membership and develop recommendations for institutions who are starting and/or engaging in programs to support opportunity youth. This opportunity youth research project was supported by a grant from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Click here for more information and to view the complete report.

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