Obama Administration Names 9 Communities Chosen As Finalists for Pilot to Improve the Outcomes of Disconnected Youth

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Obama Administration Names 9 Communities Chosen As Finalists for Pilot to Improve the Outcomes of Disconnected Youth

October 29, 2015

The Obama Administration announced today that nine communities will receive flexibility and start-up grants of up to $700,000 to implement innovative programs to improve outcomes for disconnected youth.

The Performance Partnership Pilots for Disconnected Youth (P3) is a collaboration of six federal agencies—the U.S. Departments of Education, Labor, Health and Human Services and Justice, along with the Corporation for National and Community Service and the Institute of Museum and Library Services—to respond jointly to common challenges that communities face.

"The great thing about the performance partnership pilots is that they give states, cities, towns and native communities the flexibility to pool funding for programs and services that can improve outcomes for youth who aren't in school, working, or in education and training," said Shaun Donovan, Director of the Office of Management and Budget. "This will help change lives for 10,000 young people, particularly boys and girls of color who can succeed if given the opportunity."

"With this pilot program, these nine communities have a real shot at changing the prospects for many of our disconnected youth, particularly for young men of color," said Education Secretary Arne Duncan. "If we care about our country's future, we must work together—at the local, state and federal levels—to reconnect all young people with the education and career pathways that lead away from poverty, desperation and violence and toward a renewed sense of community, stability and success."

The finalist communities are Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Broward County, Florida; Chicago, Illinois; Southeastern Kentucky (including Bell, Clay, Harlan, Knox, Leslie, Letcher and Perry counties); Ysleta del Sur Pueblo Indian Tribe (El Paso, Texas); Indianapolis, Indiana; Los Angeles, California; the state of Oklahoma; and Seattle, Washington.

"These partnerships are breaking down unproductive stovepipes to better connect young people with training, education and work experience," said Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. "This holistic approach will help young people who have already faced significant barriers access new opportunities and find their path to good jobs that pay family sustaining wages."

The idea is simple: agencies give communities greater flexibility to use federal funding more effectively, and communities agree to be more accountable for concrete outcomes for youth, further delivering on the President's My Brother's Keeper initiative. Government and community partners have invested considerable attention and resources to meet the needs of disconnected youth. However, there are significant programmatic and administrative obstacles to achieving meaningful improvements in education, employment, health and well-being for these young people. Many of these challenges can be addressed by improving coordination among programs and targeting resources to those approaches that achieve the best results for youth.