Executive Directors and Leaders of nonprofits and foundations created Youth Training Wage recommendations to the Citizens League which then brought them to Minneapolis and St. Paul. The pathway to a sustainable wage as currently implemented in Minneapolis has unintended consequences on youth training programs. The problem resulted from putting the duration of the youth programming into the ordinance itself. As a result it can not be easily amended without voting on the entire ordinance.

St. Paul took a different route, and did not define the duration of a youth training program. This one small difference created a workable solution for the scores of youth employers in St. Paul.

Youth workforce training programs are commonly called Youth Social Entrepreneurship programs. They include social and emotional supports to encourage youth personal agency, community engagement to increase social capital, and workforce readiness or even workforce skills training.  Nonprofit youth training programs commonly serve youth ages 14-24 and focus a significant portion of paid time on building job readiness and social-emotional skills, especially in youth who are low income and face multiple barriers to employment. These programs are designed to assist youth as they move from high school to gainful careers. Youth living in neighborhoods with multiple supports may not need these programs as much as youth living in areas that don’t provide these supports.

Directors agree that a thoughtful increase in the employment wages and low or no-cost training will promote economic security for the next generations of youth. The empowered youth will help increase the quality of life in our communities.

Please contact Peg Thomas at peg@sundancefamilyfoundation.org or Matt Halley at matt@cookiecart.org if you want information about achieving a sustainable wage while protecting youth training programs.

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