White Papers

White Papers include a synthesis of research on policy, programs, and practices. Definitions and references are included. Topics are wide ranging moving from youth development and leadership to universal design strategies to how to organize workforce development programs to better serve employers.

Blazing the Trail: A New Direction for Youth Development and Leadership: Youth Call-to-Action

Based on findings from the NCWD/Youth-organized Blazing the Trail summit in August 2007, the eight-page, youth-friendly Youth Call-to-Action outlines ten actions that youth can take to enhance their development and become leaders in their community and the nation, including learning about their rights and responsibilities, becoming a self-advocate, learning about disability history, researching scholarships, participating in work experiences, training youth workers, and more.

Blazing the Trail: A New Direction for Youth Development and Youth Leadership

This report identifies challenges that surfaced during discussions at the Blazing the Trail Conference and the next steps to be taken by all stakeholders in the field of youth development and youth leadership.

Career-Focused Services for Students with Disabilities at Community Colleges

This case study report examines the efforts of community colleges to function as intermediaries in meeting the local workforce development needs of employers and promoting career opportunities and job attainment for students, including those with disabilities.

Comprehensive Career Planning and Its Role in the Competitive Global Economy

This white paper chronicles the gaps and inconsistencies in implementation of career guidance services in and out of schools, as well as the lack of measures for career development and guidance services in America. The paper posits that these challenges stem from the lack of a governmental policy framework that promotes the systematic value of career guidance services as a strategy for meeting economic and security needs of the nation. The paper offers a number of recommendations, including: 1) improving the quality of the K-12 school career development and guidance system; 2) increasing the capacity of postsecondary and workforce development programs serving out-of-school youth and at-risk populations; 3) convening policy makers and researchers to develop consensus on performance measures definitions; and 4) improving professional development opportunities for staff involved in career development and career guidance services.

Foster Youth Demonstration Project: Final Evaluation Report

This evaluation report shows the results of demonstration projects in five states around foster care and youth transition.

Individualized Learning Plans: A Research and Demonstration Project - Summary

This document is a summary of initial findings of a study funded by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy. The study, launched in the 2008-09 school year and targeted for completion in 2012-13, is the first longitudinal research and demonstration project designed to understand the effectiveness of Individualized Learning Plans.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities of Youth Service Professionals: The Centerpiece of a Successful Workforce Development System

This paper reviews the current state of practice within the workforce development system in reference to the competencies — the combined knowledge, skills, and abilities — of youth service professionals. The paper looks at how and by whom: 1) required content is established; 2) training and education based upon that content are provided; and 3) credentials are given. Additionally, the paper outlines some possible action steps to build stronger connections among organizations and workforce development institutions to ensure that skilled staff serves youth and employers.

Making the Connections: Growing and Supporting New Organizations--Intermediaries

This paper describes how a new organizational strategy - intermediaries - can link the supply and demand sides of workforce development. By aligning and brokering multiple services across institutional and funding sources, intermediary organizations can play an important role in improving employment outcomes for youth with disabilities.

Performance Data and Youth with Disabilities (Workforce Investment Act)

NCWD/Youth prepared an analysis of 2007 performance data reported by a select set of Workforce Investment Boards (WIB) under the Workforce Investment Act  (WIA) to understand how youth with disabilities are being served. U.S. Department of Labor data indicate that of all youth served under WIA in 2007, nearly 14 percent were youth with disabilities.  As an initial  analysis of the data, authors of this paper are unable to draw firm conclusions about the actual effect serving youth with disabilities has on performance outcomes of local workforce investment boards that oversee WIA Youth Activities monies. However, the limited data suggests that youth with disabilities have similar performance outcomes as youth without disabilities.  Additionally, the data suggests that WIBs that serve large proportions of youth with disabilities tend to have lower performance outcomes than WIBs that serve proportionally fewer youth with disabilities. To better understand the findings of this paper, NCWD-Youth is currently conducting a limited case-study analysis of the selected WIBs and reviewing similar 2008 data.

Performance Measurement In The New Workforce Development Environment: A Background Paper

This Policy Brief offers a simple primer for the dialogue based on a review of the literature; that is, it is a descriptive background paper about WIA’s performance measurement requirements, including those of the mandated partners. The paper is organized to offer a common understanding of key terminology and then briefly describes the history of performance accountability in the workforce development system beginning with the Government Performance and Results Act through the current push toward common measures across programs.

Performance Measures - Adjustment And Incentives

This paper reviews what we know about performance measures and their effects and highlights key issues and approaches for addressing adjustments to them.

Preparing All Youth for Academic and Career Readiness: Implications for High School Policy and Practice

This paper identifies the challenges in practice and policy for successful post-school outcomes and it offers recommendations on how states, local school districts and individual high schools can prepare all youth, including youth with disabilities, with the academic and career readiness skills.

Toward Universal Access in the Workforce Development System

This paper explores the core concepts of “universal service,” which has a very distinct meaning inside the employment and training arena, and that of “universal design” in the context of disability public policy.

Transitioning Youth with Mental Health Needs to Meaningful Employment and Independent Living

This study focuses on the role of skills development, work, and career exploration. It presents the findings from case studies of five promising program sites and identifies program design features and system-level policies that appear to help youth and young adults with mental health needs better transition into adulthood and life-long success.

Universal Design for the Workforce Development System

This resource has been developed to assist workforce development policymakers and program operators in assessing their ability to meet the needs of their customers.

Youth Development & Leadership White Paper

This paper assists youth service professionals, administrators, and policy makers in defining, differentiating, and providing youth development and leadership programs and activities, which are important components of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA).

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