Nominate an Innovative Strategies Program

How can my program be featured in Innovative Strategies?

Innovative Strategies features workforce development programs that demonstrate effectiveness in serving youth, including those with disabilities. NCWD/Youth is continuously adding new programs to the site. If you are interested in having your program showcased, review the Innovative Strategies criteria listed below.

Innovative Strategies criteria:

  1. Programs provide workforce preparatory experiences, such as:
    • Structured career exploration/career planning, including career awareness activities, career interest inventory, and exposure to the workplace through such activities as job shadowing, and work site visits.
    • Structured work-based learning experiences, including paid and unpaid internships, apprenticeships, occupational skill training combined with work experience and other types of on-the-job training opportunities.
    • Work-readiness (also called employability skills) training which may be combined with structured or unstructured work experiences.
    • Classroom or school-based simulated work experiences, such as school-based enterprises. In school-based enterprises, students produce goods or services as a part of their school program. Simulated experiences teach through emulating the work place.
    • Programs of study that are career or industry-focused and have an onsite work component.
  2. Programs provide youth development and leadership opportunities. These may include activities designed to develop leadership, citizenship, interpersonal, team work or life management skills.
  3. Programs tailor services to individuals. This means the program has a process for assessing individual needs which may lead to the development of a service plan that addresses those needs. Participants may receive support services that are required for successful program participation, such as transportation, physical and mental health care, equipment for work, and childcare.
  4. Programs demonstrate awareness and attention to serving youth with disabilities. This includes a process for determining whether a youth has a disability based on a recognized (e.g., the Americans with Disabilities Act) definition of disability; awareness by administrative and front line staff of requirements for access and accommodations; and a process for providing accommodations and supports to youth with disabilities enrolled in the program.
  5. Programs have quantitative or qualitative outcome data that shows their program services are effective for the youth that they serve.
  6. Programs’ effectiveness has been validated by an outside source within the past 5 years. This may be as a result of a third party evaluation, publication in a peer-reviewed journal, or a recognized state or national award.

If you think your program meets these criteria and you would like it to be featured in Innovative Strategies, please contact us at Please include the program name, address and contact person, including an email address and phone number. We will then contact you to get more information.