The Connecting Youth to Jobs Act (H.R.3246)  will create living-wage employment opportunities for young people, with an emphasis on youth facing barriers to employment and historically disadvantaged youth.

To prevent and end youth homelessness in America our young people must have broad access to employment programs and the ability to access living-wage employment. For these reasons, the National Network for Youth is proud to endorse the Connecting Youth to Jobs Act of 2021 and urges Congress to include this legislation in the infrastructure package that Congress is considering.

What does the Connecting Youth to Jobs Act (CYJA) do?

 Funding under this act will be prioritized to programs serving a high number of underserved youth- defined as youth with a barrier to employment, which includes: youth of color, out-of-school youth, youth experiencing homelessness, low-income youth, youth impacted by the criminal justice system, foster youth, and pregnant or parenting youth.

This bill also sets a minimum wage of at least $15 for all program participants. It also includes clauses to protect current workers in participating companies and ensures program participants can join unions when applicable.

Eligible organizations can apply for grants to provide comprehensive support services that help overcome barriers to sustained employment. These support services may include housing, health care, transportation, child care, access to technology, and more.

This act requires the collection of performance data within one year of enactment, including program completion rates; the success rates of full-time unsubsidized employment or reconnection to public education after program completion; and the diversity of, and equal opportunities available through funded youth programs.

This act also requires the DOL to review and assess the programs and equity, diversity and inclusion activities funded under the Act and submit a report to Congress, including best practices and recommendations for improvement. 

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What You Need To Know

Eligible organizations are determined to serve a high number or high percentage of eligible youth who are employed in subsidized public employment programs and who are from an underrepresented population, including community-based organization; state or local government in partnership with a community-based organization; partnerships among state and units of local government, community-based organizations, public education entities, registered apprenticeships, and employers from in-demand industry sectors; partnerships among community-based organizations and juvenile and adult correction facilitations; or labor organization or joint labor-management organization.


CYJA Fact Sheet