Employment Pathways for Boys and Young Men of Color: Solutions and Strategies That Can Make a Difference

This report was published by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.



Employment is an important part of youth development and the successful progression into young adulthood. Young people learn important communication and social skills, and are also exposed to careers, workplace culture, and opportunities to hone problem-solving and interpersonal skills. Research reinforces the importance of early work experience, especially for poor and low-income youth. Youth employment strategies, including summer jobs, paid internships, and year-round subsidized work experiences, can be linked to a broader approach to address poverty (Schwartz & Leos-Urbel, 2014). Children who are born poor—and are persistently poor—are significantly more likely than those not poor at birth to experience poverty in adulthood, unemployment, and underemployment (Ratcliffe & McKernan, 2012). Persistent childhood poverty (living below the federal poverty level for at least half of one’s childhood) is prevalent among Black children (Ratcliffe, 2015). To lift children—particularly children and youth of color—out of poverty, they must have access to work and a career path leading into adulthood.

Bird, K., & Okoh, C. Employment Pathways for Boys and Young Men of Color http://www.rwjf.org/content/dam/farm/reports/issue_briefs/2016/rwjf43130...

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