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WIOA Outreach and Enrollment (Calvert County FY20 and Beyond) - (Annual)

Story Behind the Curve

HFY1 FY24: The Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) achieved 100% completion rates amongst the in-person placements and online programming.  There were two permanent hirings upon the completion of the SYEP.  Work-Based Learning (WBL) participants also achieved 100% completion.  Unfortunately, there were not any permanent hirings, but with professional letters of reccomendation in hand from their WBL training providers, each WBL Participant was able to secure a position similar to those trained for, at other companies. 

FY23: The program offered a Spring and Summer Youth Employment Program. In total 52 (100) of youth successfully completed the Spring/Summer Youth Employment Program. The program is a combination of online soft skills training and onsite internship placements. Over the course of the year, the program hosted 5 outreach events and made 95 referrals to supportive services.

FY22: 34 youth (100%) completed the Summer Youth Employment Program. New in FY22, the program began two marketing initiatives using social media to engage youth and a "boots on the ground" approach through an Outreach Team. 

FY21: Due to COVID19 challenges, the summer employment program did not begin until August 10th. To comply with CDC guidelines and to provide a safe experience for youth, the program featured a 6 week, virtual training program using the 14 Elements Platform. As students moved through and completed the modules, they received a $200 weekly stipend. Students that successfully completed the program received a total of $1,200. The 14 Elements program is a great opportunity for youth to learn soft skills, explore entrepreneurial sills, receive financial literacy training, etc.., while earning money to support themselves. The program included weekly assignments and check-ins with the Youth Services Specialist. Participants were recruited through online outreach events and marketing. A total of twenty-seven referals were received for the program. 

FY20: In the second half of FY20 there was a turnover in staffing resulting in a vacancy. Additionally, a new Program Director was hired after a lenghlthy vacancy. The new Program Director focused on hiring and training new staff, updating the program branding and outreach planning for Summer Emlpoyment programming. Additionally, the 4th quarter of FY20 was significantly impacted by COVID19. In June 2020 programming moved to a virtual format, to include the Summer Employment program and the LMB expects to see an increase in program participation and better off outcomes. 

Action Plan

FY20: The program will use Work Based Learning (WBL) as a tool for program enrollment. Participants that are not quite prepared for job readiness matching with WBL will receive supportive services through individualized and group cohort development sessions.  These sessions will feature Workplace Excellence training that will enhance particpant's soft skills, to prepare them to be job ready. They will also benefit from Job Clubs and industry specific sessions such as Resume building, interviewing, entreprenuership, etc.  Several employer partnerships are being established, with many other showing high interest.  

Program Summary

 A Youth Program Specialist provides targeted outreach, community based enrollment and youth engagement services to disconnected youth and youth at risk of becoming disconnected. Services include linkages to occupational skills training, work experiences, educational services, career counseling and planning. The program offers Summer Employment and Workbased Learning opportunites. Funding from CCFN supports half of the Youth Program Specialist position and supports 5 additional summer employment slot of Calvert County Youth. 

Target Population

Disconnected youth residing in population dense areas impacted by poverty to include: Lusby, Prince Frederick, Chesapeake Beach and North Beach that meet criteria to participate in the federally funded Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA) Youth and Young Adult Program. Eligible participants include youth classified as homeless, pregnant or parenting youth, youth with a disability, truant youth, English Language Learner, low income and/or an offender. 

Promising Practice/Model/EBP Employed

Work-Based Learning is an emerging best practice for disconnected youth. Well-designed work-based learning opportunities provide youth participants with occupational and work readiness training while also providing necessary income support for disconnected and at-risk individuals.

Showalter, T., & Spiker, K. (2016). Promising Practices in Worked-Based Learning for YOuth. Retrieved from

Summer Youth Employment Programs (SYEP) are successful in providing work experience and supplement income during the summer to youth (16-24) who would not otherwise be working. About 1/3 of an evaluation of SYEP show a significant positive impact on labor market outcomes, either employment rates or earnings. Offering linkages and referrals to community resources, follow up and incentives are important key elements for success of SYEP.

  Kluve, Jochen, et al. "Do Youth Employment Programs Improve Labor Market Outcomes? A Systematic Review." (2016).

According to a working paper entitled “What works for Disconnected Young People: A Scan of the Evidence” published by the MDRC, limited resources for outreach can mean that programs serve people who are motivated to apply on their own. As a result young people that fall on the chronically disconnected spectrum are often the most underserved. According to one study that reviewed several pilot programs for disconnected youth, programs that were able to overcome initial challenges in recruitment to workforce development programs typically used a combination of recruitment strategies simultaneously. Strategies for effective recruitment include: targeting high poverty areas, meeting youth where they are, establishing a robust social media presence and always recruiting in pairs by asking, “who else do you know”. Once recruited into a program solidifying a commitment for the second meeting is critical to maintain engagement in the program.


Treskon, L. (2016). What works for disconnected young people: A scan of the evidence. New York: MDRC. 

 Gordon, Erika and Susan Ullrich. “Promising Practices for the Recruitment and Engagement of Disconnected Youth.” Arlington, TX: 2M Research Services, 2017.

 Greg Newton Associates. Recruiting, Serving, and Engaging Disconnected Youth in the WIOA Young Adult Program. Retrieved from:


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