On July 1, 2018 YOU Boston was awarded a $630,000 three-year grant aimed at helping young adults with court-involvement and other employment barriers re-join their communities as productive citizens. The grant, which is fully funded by the U.S. Department of Labor, will allow YOU Boston to provide job training and support services to 100 Boston-area young people between the ages of 18 to 24. By the grant’s end in 2021, the goal is to have at least 70 percent of those served enter into post-secondary education, apprenticeships, or unsubsidized jobs.

The agency will train participants for careers in such in-demand fields as;

  • Commercial driving
  • Culinary work
  • Information technology
  • Construction
  • Healthcare
  • Wastewater management
  • Office administration

YOU Boston received this special funding opportunity, through its participation in the Compass Rose Collaborative, a re-entry project consisting of eight other communities nationwide.

As a member organization of the Compass Rose Collaborative, YOU Boston will employ the following evidence-based features in its program design:

  • Transitional employment: A step-by-step method of supporting young people with job readiness skills as they advance from subsidized to unsubsidized employment.
  • Integrated services: One-stop access to a variety of services that can aid a young person’s ability to learn and work – such as housing, transportation, financial literacy, and legal services.
  • Positive youth development: A development model that sees young people as community assets to be developed rather than risks to be mitigated.

Now in its second year, the Compass Rose Collaborative is led by FHI 360, an international nonprofit working to improve the health and well-being of people in the United States and around the world. FHI 360 provides Collaborative programs with staff training, remote learning events, and twice annual meetings to share best practices.

The agency is honored to be a member of this special collaboration, and is looking forward to helping youth reach successful outcomes under this new grant opportunity. YOU Boston Deputy Director, Ricky Grant, summed it up perfectly when he said “YOU Boston is ecstatic about partnering with the Compass Rose Collaborative. This grant will provide us with the resources necessary to engage young people with transitional employment opportunities, wrap-around integrated services, and positive community engagement. We anticipate the many success stories that will come about because of the tremendous work done under the grant.”