Apply now for a $20K grant from America’s Promise’s Young Employed Successful Project to co-host a Virtual Action Roundtable conversation focused on bringing employers & young people of color together to create more inclusive workplace environments.

The YES Project, an initiative of America’s Promise Alliance (America’s Promise), exists to ensure that every young person seeking a job can find a job—and succeed once they get it. Since 2019, the YES (Young Employed Successful) Project has convened and collaborated with national youth-supporting organizations, corporations, research institutions, policy groups, and young people to explore the conditions necessary for young people to become ready for, connected to, and successful in the workplace. These conversations resulted in the co-design of the Ready Connected Supported Framework—a collectively-developed vision that pinpoints what young people need to thrive in the workplace. America’s Promise and its partners serve as the driving force behind a nationwide effort to improve the lives and futures of America’s youth. As an Alliance of hundreds of nonprofits, businesses, community organizations, and education entities, we spark and support collective action to overcome the barriers that stand in the way of young people’s success.  

Over the past year, the Center for Promise, the applied research institute of America’s Promise, connected with national youth-supporting organizations to gain a deeper understanding of what readiness, connectedness, and support mean to young people amidst an ever-changing employment landscape. We specifically sought out the perspectives of young people who represent groups often excluded from policy conversations: young people of color, those whose families have immigrated to the United States in search of new opportunities, and young people from economically disadvantaged and working-class backgrounds. These perspectives are reflected in Finding a Way Forward, a report outlining results from this quantitative research, released in October 2020. One major finding is that young people do not view their work and life as separate from one another. This means that success in the workplace requires a multi-dimensional, whole-person approach. In other words, a young person’s identity matters. From their racial background to their personal circumstances, it is important for young people—particularly young people of color—to be able to bring all of who they are to work.  See theory of change below.

These findings have informed the YES Project’s 2021 Virtual Action Roundtables and have helped shape an actionable vision: Employers and young people of color partnering to improve belonging and satisfaction in the workplace.   

The YES Project will issue six grants of $20,000 each (across three installments) to co-host Virtual Action Roundtable conversations in partnership with the YES Project focused on this vision. 

WHO SHOULD APPLY:  Grants will be issued to nonprofit organizations who work to support young people in their journeys to and through the world of work. Grants will be given to youth-supporting organizations, intermediary organizations providing workforce development training and/or connecting young people to employment opportunities, and/or career services departments. Applicants must have an existing relationship with employer partner(s). Direct service providers and backbone organizations with strong employer partner relationships are encouraged to apply.  

ESSENTIAL PARTNERS: Grantees will work with 1-3 employer partners and 3 young people of color to co-design strategies to create more inclusive workplaces. The role of the grantee and essential partners is outlined in the section below:

Employer partner(s) can range from small business to corporations. Employer partners reflecting localized industries of growth base on applicant’s geographic area are particularly encouraged to apply.

Young people of color, for the purposes of this grant, include individuals between 16-24 years old who identify as non-white. Young people can be current participants or alumni of grantee organization, former interns/employees of grantee’s employer partner, or current employee of employer partner. If a current employee, young person must feel comfortable in providing feedback/co-creating with the employer. 

WHAT (DELIVERABLES): Grantees will facilitate a set of primary “Actions” among employer partners and young people: (1) secure public commitments from at least one employer partner to collaborate with young people in co-designing strategies for improving belonging and satisfaction in the workplace among young people of color, (2) co-host the Virtual Action Roundtable conversation (3) facilitate co-design process between employer and youth partners, including any follow-up conversations that may be necessary, and (4) ensure the implementation of (at least one) co-designed strategie(s) by employer partner(s) by the end of the grant period.  .   

AMERICAS PROMISE ROLE: America’s Promise/YES Project will amplify employer commitments, co-facilitate the Action Roundtable conversations, and continually partner with grantee and partners to amplify the work being done by employers and young people.   

WHERE: Virtually via America’s Promise Zoom Platform    

WHEN:  

Grantees will be announced April 2021. 

Action Roundtables will be held between May 2021 – July 2021. 

Co-designed strategies (at least one) must be implemented no later than December 1, 2021 and any strategies not implemented by December 1, 2021   must be included in a final report with a clear timeline identified for implementation. 

HOW: Each Virtual Action Roundtable will be co-facilitated by a member of America’s Promise Alliance and grantee. A sample run of show can include but is not limited to:  

Welcome and outline of session aims  

Attendee introductions

Ready Connected Supported Overview

Co-design: Identifying opportunities to strengthen workplace belonging and satisfaction

Draft implementation timeline

Next steps 
DETAILS: The first installment of the award ($5,000) will be dispersed following submission of an approved event plan and budget by America’s Promise. The second installment ($5,000) will be dispersed upon completion of Virtual Action Roundtable and  a clear plan of engagement for young people and employer partner(s) to implement strategies prior to December 1, 2021. The final installment ($10,000) will be dispersed once employer partner(s) implement at least one co-designed strategy no later than December 1, 2021. Additionally, grantees will participate in several YES Project activities, which include:     Youth Employment Town Hall – Grantee and the participating young people will attend the YES Project’s virtual town hall, examining how race and identity inform belonging and satisfaction in the workplace, ultimately contributing to productivity and centered on concrete strategies that employers/employees are taking in pursuit of those goals. Tentatively scheduled for May 2021.    
Race, Identity, & Belonging in the Workplace Blog Series – Grantee will nominate at least one young person to contribute written content focused on providing tips to employers on how to improve workplace culture for young talent of color.   

Race, Identity, & Belonging in the Workplace Video Series – Grantee will identify at least two young people to share short video messages offering suggestions on how employers can improve workplace culture, specifically focusing on race, identity and/or belonging.   

Webinars & Case Study – Grantees will attend two webinars (in collaboration with GradNation and How Learning Happens) and participate in an APA-produced case study.   

Please also note, the YES Project does not fund:  (1) Organizations that do not have 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status with the IRS  (2) Private Foundations  (3) Public charities with a non-private foundation status of
509(a)(3)  (4) Individuals   

To apply visit: https://form.jotform.com/210485372506151

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