Opportunity Youth

Faced with the needs of Connecticut’s 119,000 disconnected or at-risk youth – young people who have either dropped out of school or are in danger of dropping out of school, and who are, for those aged 18 to 26, unemployed and in many cases without the skills to gain employment – a coalition of Connecticut stakeholders are working together with our elected officials as the Opportunity Youth Initiative.

Public investment in disconnected youth is essential to promote economic growth and social equity and prepare the next generation of workers for a rapidly changing job market.

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The situation described in Connecticut’s Unspoken Crisis: Getting Young People Back on Track is staggering: 119,000 young people aged 14-26 in Connecticut who, instead of launching their educational or work lives, are experiencing intense poverty with little to no visible path toward a different future. This crisis, coupled with the talent needs of Connecticut’s business and industry sector — where more than 90,000 job openings remain unfilled — highlights the urgency of public and private investment in young people as a much-needed way to support Connecticut’s economy, workforce and quality of life.