The current state of youth (un)employment speaks for itself: 1.8 million young Americans (ages 16-24) want to work, are actively searching, yet still can’t find a job.

Beyond these alarming numbers, youth employment matters:

  • It strengthens young people’s confidence and ties to the labor market; 
  • Sets young individuals on a secure and fulfilling career pathway; and
  • Adds a broader pool of talent to the workforce and boosts the economy.

That’s why the YES (Young, Employed, Successful) Project, a national initiative launched by America’s Promise Alliance, was created to support and grow our youth workforce so that every young person seeking a job can find a job.

To tackle this ambitious goal, the YES Project teamed up with nonprofits, researchers, and employers and landed on three conditions for success:  ready, connected, and supported (RCS).  The RCS framework is the backbone of the YES Project and serves as a consensus point for everyone– from public officials, community leaders and young people themselves – to drive action towards increasing youth employment.


Ready, Connected, Supported Framework
Report Cover


Ready, Connected, and Supported is the guiding force behind the YES Project, uniting all stakeholders behind this shared vision to help young people achieve workplace success and career development.

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Action Round Table 
Round table image

Communities across the country are putting the ready, connected, and supported framework into action. Check out what’s happening in these four communities to help young people gain meaningful employment

`Find out more


Commit today to help young people access career opportunities by expanding their network, giving advice on the job search and interview process, and providing support before, during, and after employment.

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Our Framework

 The “Ready, Connected, Supported” framework is the backbone of the YES Project. The framework provides a shared approach from which everyone from employers and public officials to community leaders and young people themselves is driving action toward increasing youth employment. 

At a glance   Deep Dive



aciton round table Four Opportunity Youth Forum Communities were selected to join the YES Project’s Action Roundtable cohort. Action Roundtables consist of communities working to improve youth employment outcomes by convening diverse stakeholders and moving them towards action. Cohort members contribute to existing youth employment systems, assist with youth job placement, and/or create pathways for youth employment. Learnings from our Action Roundtable cohort will inform the actions communities across the country can take to increase youth employment.

  • California
    The Los Angeles Opportunity Youth Collaborative
  • Illinois
    Thrive Chicago
  • Connecticut
    Capital Workforce Partners
  • Arizona
    Ancestral Lands Hopi Program
Action Roundtable Grantees
  • The Los Angeles Opportunity Youth Collaborative

    The Los Angeles Opportunity Youth Collaborative (OYC), a multi-agencies effort to improve education and employment outcomes for transition age youth who are or have been in foster care in Los Angeles.
  • Thrive Chicago

    Thrive Chicago recently created an Opportunity Youth Data and Research Project to pioneer a new model for linking research and practice to help address the issues of disconnected youth.
  • Capital Workforce Partners

    Capital Workforce Partners helps individuals overcome barriers to employment and closes the gap between skills and business hiring needs.
  • Ancestral Lands Hopi Program

    Ancestral Lands Hopi Program (Hopi Reservation in AZ) focuses on the Hopi community’s most at-risk youth between the ages of 14 to 26 who are not actively engaged in school or in the workforce.

How does your state measure up to the national average?

See how you can find employment or help youth who are seeking a job!  We have a few ways to get you started, click on your state below to learn more!

  • IFoster

    iFoster is a national non-profit who ensures that children and youth growing up outside their biological homes have the resources and opportunities they need to become successful, independent adults and reach their full potential. Yearly, iFoster provides approximately 100,000 children and youth in and aging out of foster care with over $125 Million in needed resources, filling the gap between what child welfare invests in them and what they need to succeed. Through partnerships with corporations, government agencies, philanthropy, and non-profits, iFoster systematically addresses the highest priority needs of foster children and transition-age foster youth in daily living, health and wellness, education and employment, scaffolding them to independence. iFoster’s suite of programs for transition-age foster youth (those 16-24 year olds who are aging out of foster care) has been proven to improve academic and employment outcomes, increase social connections and supportive adult networks, and improve life satisfaction, reducing depression and suicidality in our most vulnerable youth.

    In 2019, iFoster launched TAY AmeriCorps as a dual-purpose program to both provide a pathway for foster youth to public sector employment and to address the systematic failure of youth aging out of foster care to succeed. The TAY AmeriCorps program is a unique AmeriCorps program which trains transition-age foster youth (TAY) to serve their peers, connecting them to the resources they need to successfully transition to independence. The program has won Best New AmeriCorps Program nationwide and received a commendation from the LA Board of Supervisors as an innovative solution for supporting the county’s foster youth. To find out more about TAY AmeriCorps, check out some of our recent blogs.


The YES Project is possible thanks to the generous support of AT&T, Citi Foundation and State Farm.

ATT + citi + state farms

The Steering Commitee for the YES Project can be found here.