Workforce & Career Development

In order for individuals to find stability, they need skills and access to opportunities that will allow them to achieve independence. Career readiness and reliable transportation are just a few steps that will get them there.

Develop pipeline programs from homelessness/unstable housing to college, vocational training, and/or stable employment through paid internships.

  1. Identify primary pipelines that limit career development and education opportunities for youth experiencing housing instability (such as school-to-prison pipeline), particularly those that impact groups of youth who are disproportionately impacted by housing instability including youth of color, LGBTQ+ youth, youth who have immigrated to the U.S., pregnant and parenting youth, and youth who have been system-involved.
  2. Select a pipeline to interrupt through the development of a pipeline into college/employment (example: college courses or vocational training offered in shelter/transitional housing for youth).
  3. Identify key stakeholders to bring to the table.
  4. Develop program design in partnership with youth.

Develop alternative transportation options for youth to increase access to employment and college opportunities.

  1. Develop an employer work group to establish a group of local employers willing to provide free transportation to employees. Focus primarily on large employers located outside of the public transportation routes.
  2. Provide resources and support through access points to get current RPS students access to their free GRTC pass/ID.
  3. Engage City of Richmond and GRTC to request reinstatement of reduced fare bus passes for nonprofits in Richmond serving young people.
  4. Identify opportunities to extend agreement between VCU and GRTC (for student ID to get them free GRTC access) to other colleges and universities in the area.

Develop an advocacy campaign on reducing barriers to employment for young people experiencing housing instability.

  1. Develop tools to share with local employers about the benefits of having LGBTQ-inclusive non-discrimination policies, and specifically employment practices that minimize barriers related to documentation for transgender youth.
  2. Advocate for employers who are in relationship with workforce development programs that place youth to participate in implicit bias training that explicitly addresses race, immigration status, and LGBTQ+ identities.
  3. Actively support statewide efforts to pass legislation that protects LGBTQ people from discrimination in employment.
  4. Engage a group of employers willing to examine their hiring practices, including expectations around credit and background checks, to identify strategies for reducing barriers that young people face in getting employed.

Coordinate existing services through a collaborative database of programs that provide basic employment readiness including networking opportunities, interview and resume skill building, dressing for an interview, getting and maintaining employment. Ensure youth both in and out of school have access to database.

  1. Identify existing networks through which this goal can be accomplished.
  2. Identify all the organizations providing employment readiness and access services.
  3. Conduct assessment of existing services including; What services do they have to offer? What population do they cater to? What are their requirements to access for services?
  4. Develop central locations to house information gathered where youth can easily access it. (Website, database)
  5. Develop system for maintaining database and assessing service access with youth input.

Identify geographic communities where affordable housing (between 20%- 60% AMI) and employment that pays a living wage (to afford existing housing) are or could be co-located.

  1. Identify networks and policymakers working to increase affordable housing in Richmond.
  2. Engage in mapping affordable housing and employment access to identify geographic “opportunity zones”.
  3. Develop policy brief to present to policymakers with specific recommendations for increasing co-located areas for affordable housing and living wage employment.