Preparing America’s young workers for success

The success of America’s young workers is critical to the strength of our economy. Millions of young people enter the workforce every year. Youth employment programs offered in local communities present a powerful opportunity to help young people develop healthy financial habits early and access services and products that can help them save, invest, and achieve their financial goals. 

Many of these programs use the key milestone of gaining paid employment to introduce timely information and skills around responsible money management and financial decision making. In 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) Youth Employment Success (YES) initiative, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), worked with 23 municipal youth employment programs to help develop and deliver services such as financial literacy training and access to safe and affordable accounts for the first time. Five of the participating workforce programs receive more intensive, tailored technical assistance to integrate financial knowledge and skills-building services into their existing year-round youth employment and training programs.

Earlier this year we held the Youth Employment Success Roundtable: Setting Up America’s Young Workers For Success to give participating youth employment programs the opportunity to share their learning, elevate the challenges they experience in supporting financial knowledge and skill development for young workers, and to provide input as we develop a path forward for the CFPB’s Youth Employment Success initiative. Today, we are releasing a report on the event summarizing key insights and potential next steps generated during the roundtable. 

The roundtable convened federal agencies, leaders of municipal workforce programs, and other stakeholders who work at the intersection of youth employment programming and financial capability. Robust conversations throughout the roundtable yielded ideas for how communities can come together to address the needs of youth workforce programs that provide financial capability services. Roundtable participants highlighted next steps to improve services for young workers by:

  • Preparing youth-serving workforce programs to implement financial capability services
  • Improving tools and resources for financial literacy for participating young workers
  • Facilitating relationships between programs and financial institutions to ensure young workers have access to safe and affordable accounts

Throughout the roundtable, participants explored the importance of this work, shared successes and challenges of delivering financial capability services in youth employment programs, and highlighted promising models and opportunities for scale.

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