Youth employment has a lasting, positive impact on the lives of millions of young people. Youth employment:

  • Puts young people on a pathway toward self-reliance,
  • Allows them to cultivate skills that will serve them for years, and
  • Positions them for future success and prosperity.

But despite the growing number of youth actively seeking employment, 1.5 million young people are currently unable to secure a job.

The YES Project is a national initiative launched by America’s Promise Alliance that brings together youth, employers, and a diverse network of stakeholders and advocates working to support and grow our youth workforce so that every young person seeking a job can find a job.

If we hope to achieve this goal, we all have a responsibility that every young person is ready, connected, and supported. 

to enter the workforce with confidence.
Making sure young people have the skills they need to succeed in the workforce starts before they submit their first application, and requires exposure to a wide range of career paths as well as guidance from members of their community.
to the networks, relationships, and resources needed to access new opportunities.
When youth are connected, they are actively engaged and directed to knowledge, resources, and opportunities. This does not require cultivating a personal relationship with youth. Adults can serve as critical bridges to opportunities without strong personal ties.
with coaching, access to information, as well as affirming and healthy work environments.
It’s not enough to find where to work—young people also need guidance learning how to make the best impact both for their employer and themselves. Young people thrive when supported within their communities— and employment can play a large role in their success.

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!

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.

  • The National Network for Youth

    The National Network for Youth (NN4Y) has been a public education and policy advocacy organization dedicated to the prevention and eradication of youth homelessness in America for nearly 45 years. As the largest and most diverse network of its kind, NN4Y mobilizes over 300 members and affiliates –organizations that work on the front lines every day to provide prevention services and respond to runaways and youth experiencing homelessness and human trafficking.


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.