Generation Work

Metro United Way is partnering with lead organization, KentuckianaWorks, along with Goodwill Industries of Kentucky, YouthBuild Louisville, and the Coalition Supporting Young Adults, to implement Generation Work™. Generation Work™ is a project, funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and delivered with the National Fund for Workforce Solutions, to center young adult worker voices in employer practice change.

This partnership aims to build capacity for a unified, durable strategy for engaging employers to advance racially equitable workforce outcomes that meet the needs of young adult workers, up to age 24. To hone partner confidence in broaching these topics with employers, we have provided an employer capacity-building series that has focused on racial equity, positive youth development, worker voice, and trauma in the workplace.

Ultimately, our goal is to focus on the perspectives of young adults of color to inform hiring, retention, and workforce advancement in our community recognizing that employer policies and practices play a significant role in how young adults connect to meaningful, quality jobs.

The project focuses on four key areas:

  • Racial Equity:

    addressing systemic and structural inequities that contribute to employment disparities for young people of color.

  • Employer Engagement:

    changing practices to create more supportive workplaces for young adults of color.

  • Positive Youth Development:

    working with employers to improve how they engage and empower young workers.

  • Learning and Evidence Building:

    sharing lessons and best practices with the broader workforce development field.

We believe this approach will lead to improved employment outcomes for Black young adults in Louisville, who have an unemployment rate nearly twice as high as white young adults (17.5 percent vs 9 percent) and are more than 1.5 times more likely to be disconnected from work and school (18 percent vs 10 percent).

Louisville is one of eight communities across the country who are engaged in Generation Work. See the 2022 announcement from the Annie E. Casey Foundation here.


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