Under the Workforce Investment Act, the provisions for Youth Councils are as follows:
Chartering a Youth Council
As a standing sub-committee of the board, it has the responsibility of coordinating an area's youth activities. WIA's mandate for the creation of a Youth Council is the best chance that communities have to create coherent, comprehensive youth policy, and to foster best practices in serving youth.
Who are the members of the Youth Council?
- Members of the local WIB who have special interest or expertise in youth policy;
- Members who represent service agencies, such as juvenile justice and local law enforcement agencies;
- Members who represent local public housing authorities;
- Parents of eligible youth seeking assistance under WIA;
- Individuals (including former participants) and members representing organizations that have experience relating to youth activities; and
- Members who represent Job Corps Centers, if a Center is located in the local area.
- Appropriate additional members needed to best represent the community.
- There is no mandated size, but the typical Youth Council might include 20-25 members.
- Members are appointed to the Youth Council by the local WIB, with the input and consultation of the local elected official(s).
Is there a mechanism for youth input?
Absolutely. Youth input is a vital component in the development of a system that most directly affects our youth. Efforts will be ongoing to ensure their active participation, as well as that of parents.
What are the Youth Council's Roles and Responsibilities?
- The Youth Council shall develop the portions of the local plan relating to eligible youth, as determined by the LWIB.
- The Youth Council shall recommend eligible providers of youth activities to the LWIB to be awarded grants or contracts on a competitive basis to carry out youth activities.
- The Youth council shall conduct oversight with respect to the eligible providers of youth activities in the local area.
- The Youth Council shall coordinate youth activities in the local area.
- The Youth Council shall perform other duties determined to be appropriate by the LWIB
- Build community awareness and demonstrate leadership by addressing key development, education and employment issues affecting youth.
- Influence and leverage other community youth funds and services.
- Create a strategic plan using labor market information and other community data.
- Promote and market goals, activities and accomplishments of the Youth Council.
- Broaden the youth employment and training focus in the community to incorporate a youth perspective.
Critical Elements for an Operational Youth Council
Youth Councils must fulfill Workforce Investment Act requirements, but can play a role far beyond those parameters.
Youth Councils can:
- Increase awareness of important youth issues. Youth Councils can have the power to spur effective, coherent youth policies at both the local and state level.
- Leverage funds for youth programs, including youth with disabilities, from various funding streams and maximize their impact. Youth Councils can work to consolidate resources and programs, coordinate programming, and help youth funds work harder and go further for the kids they are meant to help.
- Motivate individuals, agencies, and communities to improve youth services across the board, and to support and encourage local school improvement efforts. Through a better understanding of the needs of young people and the needs of the business world, Youth Councils may effect improvement in every area of youth service, not only in the few agencies receiving WIA youth funds.
- Insure that all youth are provided the opportunity for career development through relevant educational instruction within their local area. The Youth Council can facilitate the linkages between education, workforce development, and economic development necessary to enable students to choose careers.