This infographic explores the impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on programs that support young people, ages 16-24, who experience disconnection from school and work, often referred to as "opportunity youth." It provides an overview of which education, job training, and supportive services, in addition to enrollment and implementation practices were added or ended during the first year (spring 2020-spring 2021) of the pandemic by programs that help youth reconnect to education, obtain employment, and advance in the labor market.
This was a part of a larger project focused on Reconnecting Youth: A Compendium of Programs and Evidence Gap Map Exploring Programs and Practices Serving Opportunity Youth and the Evidence Behind Them. In Spring 2021, information was gathered through a qualitative questionnaire fielded to programs that serve a "significant share" (approx. 25 percent) of Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Out-of-School Youth (WIOA OSY) eligible participants. WIOA OSY are defined as between the ages of 16 and 24, not in school (secondary or postsecondary), and experiencing one or more risk factors*. In total, 109 programs were identified that met scope and 78 of those completed the questionnaire.