Approach

Our youth are tomorrow’s talent

Today there are close to 9,000 youth aged 16 to 24 who are disconnected from school or work, yet are talented and motivated to find their path. With historically low unemployment rates, there are jobs available and some are going unfilled. We help remove barriers and connect employers to these eager youth.

The Denver Opportunity Youth Initiative, supported by the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, is aimed at providing education, career opportunities and support systems to opportunity youth by partnering with nonprofit, government and business organizations to create a pipeline to meaningful work experiences and careers.

Broad approach through policy work and immediate interventions to produce short and long term results. We amplify the voices of our partners to advocate for policy solutions that support youth and remove barriers.

We put youth on a path to success

Our partners ensure our youth can access the education and career training they need and make sure that challenges like transportation or childcare are addressed so that they’re ready to get to work and be successful.

Innovation and collaboration drive our work

We invest in small, effective innovations that get youth the necessary tools and supports for educational and career success. At the same time we are identifying, developing and supporting strategies to get youth engaged in education, training and job pilot programs. We do that through:

  • Career Coach Emily Griffith GED+ Program
  • Career Coaches are out in the community, meeting youth where they are at

Wins

Denver Public Schools and federal dollars have begun some of the innovations we have seeded, helping us focus on what’s next and maintaining services while reducing costs.

Policy Work

Solving this challenge long-term and at scale requires system-level changes. This report examines Colorado’s recent progress and identifies opportunities to change state-level public policy in the areas of education and workforce development to strengthen Colorado’s economy and support vulnerable youth at the same time.

Population Data Report

This report is the first attempt in Denver to look at the data for this population in order to understand what they experience, with the goal of ultimately making data-driven decisions with schools, government, businesses and nonprofits that are charged with moving opportunity youth into better education and the jobs our economy needs filled. 

The data available has created a better picture of who  Denver opportunity youth are as well as how organizations can collaborate to better record data on this population.