Under the Workforce Investment Act (1998), a Youth Council must be created as part of each local workforce board. As a standing sub-committee of the board, it has the responsibility of coordinating an area's youth activities. The Youth Council also has a central role in planning youth programs, determining eligible youth providers, and in recommending funding.
The Youth Council is a subgroup of the local board. It is appointed by the local board and the County Commissioners and is comprised of members of the local board, and representatives of youth service agencies, local public housing authorities, parents of youth seeking assistance, youth, the Job Corps, and others deemed appropriate. The Youth Council develops portions of the local plan relating to youth, recommends the providers of youth activities to be awarded grants by the local board, and coordinates youth activities in the local area.
Under the Workforce Investment Act, which governs the Workforce Investment Board, eligible youth are defined as low income individuals between ages 14 through 21, who can be characterized by one or more of the following; deficient in basic literacy skills, a school dropout, homeless, runaway or foster child, pregnant or parenting an offender, or an individual who requires additional assistance to complete an educational program, or to secure and hold employment. In addition the Youth Council administers the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) grants and works to leverage other community funds and youth services.
Section 117 of the Workforce Investment Act outlines the role and responsibilities of the Youth Council.
The Youth Council is responsible for:
- Developing portions of the local strategic plan relating to eligible youth, as determined by the chairperson of the local board.
- Recommending eligible providers of youth activities, to be awarded grants or contracts on a competitive basis by the local board subject to the approval of local board.
- Conducting oversight with respect to the eligible providers of youth activities, in the local area, subject to the approval of the local board.
- Coordinating youth activities authorized under section 129 in the local area subject to the approval of the local board.
- Carrying out other duties determined to be appropriate by the chairperson of the local board.
The local board may delegate its responsibility for oversight of eligible youth providers, as well as other oversight responsibilities, to the Youth Council, recognizing the advantage of delegating such responsibilities to members with expertise in youth issues.