Tulane University’s Cowen Institute will receive approximately $1.6 million over three years to fund community collaborative initiatives that improve education and employment outcomes for opportunity youth. The work will advance several existing initiatives by providing financial and technical support to the EMPLOY collaborative, a group of 20 organizations in New Orleans working with opportunity youth.
“We are thrilled for the opportunity to partner with local youth service providers and national technical assistance partners, including Jobs for the Future, to provide high-quality opportunities for young adults in New Orleans,” said Amy Barad, Director of Strategic Initiatives at the Cowen Institute.
With the Cowen Institute providing backbone support, the EMPLOY collaborative will coordinate education, training and job placement services to enable youth to enter career pathways in the region’s high-growth industries. The Youth Empowerment Project (YEP) and Delgado’s Accelerated Career Education (ACE) program, will serve as partners as well as the Tulane Earn and Learn Career Pathways Program. These organizations serve youth who have earned a high school credential as well as those who have not, with the majority being youth of color and more than half being young men.
“Creating pathways to sustainable careers is essential to ensuring opportunity youth can contribute to our communities,” said Scott Cowen, President Emeritus and Distinguished University President at Tulane University.
Additionally, EMPLOY members are creating a data network to support the process of identifying, assessing and referring youth across organizations and educational institutions. This network will expand EMPLOY’s understanding of local youth disconnection causes and reconnection strategies.
EMPLOY is one of seven national collaborative grantees to receive three-year grants from the federal Corporation for National and Community Service through its Social Innovation Fund (SIF). The national effort will be overseen by Jobs for the Future (JFF), a nonprofit that works to ensure economic opportunity for all. Baptist Community Ministries (BCM), one of Louisiana’s largest private foundations with a commitment to the New Orleans region, will provide a local match for the first year.