Cowen Institute Receives Grant for Youth Career Pathways

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation has selected the Cowen Institute at Tulane University to receive a two-year $200,000 grant to support the Institute’s work in connecting Opportunity Youth with career pathways through the cross-sector EMPLOY collaborative. The grant will also help fund the implementation of a shared data system for youth service providers. Opportunity Youth are young adults aged 16-24 who are neither in school nor working.

“We are so pleased to receive this grant to support the vital work of reconnecting opportunity youth by promoting employment skills,” said Cowen Institute Strategic Initiatives Director Amy Barad.  “The New Orleans region has the third highest estimated rate of opportunity youth in the nation, and the funds from this grant will help support the work of the EMPLOY collaborative in building career pathways.”

The Institute is the backbone organization of the New Orleans opportunity youth collective known as EMPLOY. The collaborative works to connect local economic development strategies with tactical workforce development efforts, including advocacy and employer engagement. Within this structure, the organizations of EMPLOY promote career pathways for youth as well as identify and develop best practices within the field.

“It is important that we provide real opportunities for our disconnected youth. This grant helps us come together across programs and sectors to provide the coordinated and consistent supports they need to successfully pursue careers in some of New Orleans fastest growing industries,” said Glen Armantrout, Chief Executive Officer of Café Reconcile, an EMPLOY collaborative member.

Among the largest philanthropic foundations in the country, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work, and life. Located in Battle Creek, Michigan, it was founded in 1930 by breakfast cereal pioneer Will Keith Kellogg.

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