Funders are finding innovative ways to respond to the triple inequities borne by the youth workforce: low pay, low benefits and low status. 
Last year, the Lilly Endowment made an unprecedented $90 million investment in Indiana’s youth programs, offering grants up to $1 million for programming, capacity building and capital projects. This year, Lilly committed an additional $20 million to fund the Youth Worker Well-Being Project to provide out of school time (OST), child welfare, mental health and shelter staff access to telehealth services, mental health counseling and peer learning groups. The next phase will focus on professional development for emerging leaders of color. 

The Grantmakers for Education OST Impact Group is producing a landscape scan, funded by the C.S. Mott Foundation, to highlight emerging workforce solutions and make recommendations to funders on how their investments can support high-quality jobs and a more sustainable workforce.

The Sanneh Foundation’s investment strategy is the one that got me the most excited. Can affordable housing make the “low-pay, low-opportunity” afterschool field fairer for workers? chronicles the Foundation’s commitment to supporting its young adult workforce. The Foundation, started by Tony Sanneh, a former professional soccer player, runs free sports camps and OST opportunities for low-income, urban and immigrant youth. It is committed to hiring and training young adults who want to serve their community. When the foundation surveyed its workers, it found that housing insecurity was a major issue: one in 10 employees lacked a permanent place to live. They started by offering employees housing vouchers, paying security deposits and co-signing leases. They’ve just purchased their second home where 14 of their 50 youth workers pay $600 a month for rent and utilities, receive weekly food boxes and have access to supportive mental health services…



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