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The original item was published from 8/3/2009 9:34:06 AM to 8/11/2009 12:00:08 AM.

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Dubuque News

Posted on: July 2, 2009

[ARCHIVED] Dubuque to Assist Disconnected Youth Using Economic Recovery Funds

Dubuque is one of just twelve cities in the country selected to receive technical assistance for reengaging disconnected youth using resources from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

The initiative, City Leaders Reengaging Disconnected Youth through Economic Recovery Efforts, is sponsored by the National League of Cities’ (NLC) Institute for Youth, Education, and Families (YEF Institute) and will help city leaders utilize funding to enhance employment and job creation for disconnected youth.

“Dubuque is very fortunate to be one of the 12 communities selected to receive this assistance,” said Dubuque Mayor Roy D. Buol. “It will allow Dubuque to collect accurate data on disconnected and at-risk youth and help us gain a better understanding of which areas are succeeding and which areas need improvement.”

Disconnected youth are high school dropouts aged 16-24 who are unemployed, transitioning from foster care or are former juvenile offenders. These youth are more likely to become involved in the juvenile or criminal justice systems, presenting a significant challenge to local economies and the overall well-being of cities.

Specifically, Dubuque plans to use the assistance to develop a data collection system to assess the scale, trends and dynamics of disconnected youth in our community. The City of Dubuque will serve as the lead on the project. Partners willing to dedicate staff, resources and funding include: Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque, Every Child | Every Promise, Shared Youth Vision Committee, Dubuque Community School District, Four Mounds, and the Dubuque Multicultural Family Center. This project is expected to help develop a proactive approach to working with at-risk youth and families and identify and conduct outreach to youth that have been disconnected or are at-risk of becoming disconnected in the future.

This technical assistance program aims to help cities develop, implement and assess the effectiveness of their plans to reengage disconnected youth by utilizing the $1.2 billion in ARRA funds allocated for local workforce investment boards and out-of-school youth employment. Resources provided through the ARRA can potentially improve cities’ abilities to spur or deepen employment opportunities for disconnected youth by focusing on summer jobs, green job creation and workforce training and preparation offered by community colleges.

NLC’s YEF Institute will provide technical assistance to cities in the form of webinars and conference calls, where leaders will be connected to experts and federal agencies and will have a chance to discuss key issues, new opportunities and promising practices. Participants will also have access to an online community for cities to share resources and interact with one another. Strong emphasis will be placed on cross-system collaboration to include city leaders, workforce investment boards, school districts, community colleges and the local business community.

Other cities selected to receive this technical assistance include Des Moines; Hartford, Conn.; Knoxville, Tenn.; Manchester, Conn.; Newark, NJ; Portland, Ore.; Reno, Nev.; Rochester, NY; Tucson, Ariz.; Washington, DC; and West Palm Beach, Fla.

For more information on ARRA funds for employment and disconnected youth, view NLC’s issue brief:

At the conclusion of the initial technical assistance, NLC’s YEF Institute will select up to six of these cities to receive more intensive, individualized technical assistance in a second phase beginning in January 2010.

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NLC’s City Leaders Reengaging Disconnected Youth Using Economic Recovery Resources project is supported by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.

The National League of Cities is the nation’s oldest and largest organization devoted to strengthening and promoting cities as centers of opportunity, leadership and governance. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans.

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