Opportunities for Youth (OFY) is a collaborative partnership of 73, government agencies, nonprofit social service organizations, educational providers, and employers launched in 2015 in response to the high rate of opportunity youth (OY), or youth aged 16-24, who are not in school and not working, in the Greater Phoenix Metropolitan Area. Since 2017, OFY has been an initiative of the Center for Human Capital and Youth Development in the Arizona State University Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions.
Our initiative’s goal is to lower the number of OY in the Greater Phoenix Metro Area. We approach our strategies and solutions using the collective impact model. No single problem can be addressed in isolation and for large-scale social change to occur, there needs to be a concerted effort among all cross-system stakeholders mobilized to take action. Therefore, OFY currently convenes 73 community partners, facilitates countywide systems change, and connects youth with resources and career/educational pathway programs.
OFY’s mission is to harness the power of cross-sector collaboration to create a comprehensive system of opportunity that reengages our Greater Phoenix Metropolitan Area’s disconnected youth.
Opportunities for Youth is a coalition of over 70 organizations who participate on one or more of OFY’s Leadership Council (advisory board) and Action Teams
The Leadership Council is comprised of cross-sector community partners representative of the relevant ecosystem that provides strategic direction for the Collective Impact initiative and champions its work. The Leadership Council is the heartbeat of collective impact: where action occurs and goals are brought to life. (52 Members)
Align reengagement practices, performances, and processes across reengagement centers in the Greater Phoenix Metro area. (40 Members)
Reconnect opportunity youth annually back into the appropriate educational program. (49 members)
Ensure opportunity youth have access to gainful employment and upward career mobility. (21 Members)
Youth Leadership and Development
Incorporate Positive Youth Development into youth serving environments. (14 Members)
Number of Opportunity Youth in the City.
The number of OY in Greater Phoenix Metro area would fill ASU’s Sun Devil Stadium (53,599) over two and one-half times.
In light of COVID-19, the number of OY in the Greater Phoenix Metro Area has spiked dramatically over the past six months. To illustrate, in 2019, the rate of youth disconnection in the Greater Phoenix Metro Area was 12.3% (or 70,300 youth ages 16-24). This rate today is estimated to be 27% or nearly 1 in 3 youth ages 16-24 who is not working or in school. This translates to over 140,000 youth in the Greater Phoenix Metro Area who are disconnected from work and school.
Goals for The Hire Opportunity Coalition Grant.
Conduct cross-sectoral systems changes across Maricopa County- broadening participation that leverages the expertise, resources, and advocacy of partnerships to increase career, educational, and life outcomes of opportunity youth.
Implement a data-driven and youth-inspired marketing strategy in order to increase outreach effectiveness and community relations resulting in enhanced OFY brand awareness and credibility.
Increase the number of opportunity youth in existing employment and educational pathway programs – developing new pathways in high-demand and emerging industries, ensuring youth are ready for success.
Increase access to and use of data to inform capacity of youth and program decision-making
Increase commitments from industry leaders to engage in OFY activities and in developing and implementing employer-led career, apprenticeship, and educational pathway programs.
Increase the number of opportunity youth who are retained on career and educational pathways through support services.
Empower youth-voice through youth-driven activities to achieve positive youth development and leadership opportunities.
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