Opportunity Youth Community Recommendations for CV-4 Legislation

As Congress considers legislation to aid the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic (a fourth phase of legislation, or CV-4), advocates for and with Opportunity Youth (16- to 24-year-olds who are not employed and not in school) came together to provide recommendations that will help reconnect youth, aid young workers and stabilize the economy. The full report can be accessed below.

Opportunity Youth have struggled to find jobs even during a strong economy, all while having to navigate a strained system. We are already hearing about the impacts the pandemic is having on organizations that connect Opportunity Youth to work. We also know from previous economic recoveries that, without targeted support, Opportunity Youth’s prospects will not improve when the economy improves.

Unfortunately, the recently passed CARES Act did not have a strong focus on young people. The law does not provide the funding needed to meet the existing needs of 4.5 million Opportunity Youth and support youth workers who are vulnerable to mass lay-offs in the face of an oncoming recession. Programs across the country are already underfunded; the pandemic is threatening many of them with layoffs or closure. Now is the time for bold proposals to reconnect Opportunity Youth to pathways that build toward a career with a family sustaining wage as they help restart the economy and rebuild our communities.