City Invests in Second Chances for Youth

After a groundbreaking CSS report in 2005 called attention to the large-scale problem of disconnected youth in the city—young people ages 16 to 24 who are disconnected from school and jobs—city and state policy makers took note.

Since then, a steady drumbeat of research and advocacy from CSS, including our leading role in the Campaign for Tomorrow’s Workforce, have helped spur critical investments in education and skills-building for youth and young adults.

In December 2010, CSS President David R. Jones joined with U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and then-Schools Chancellor Joel Klein to announce a $3 million pilot project aimed at modernizing the GED.  This followed on the heels of a CSS report that found that New York City’s GED system was in need of major reform and investment to better prepare young people for the test.  

A CSS report from June 2011 generated new legislation from the City Council and new policy directives within the city's Human Resources Administration putting greater emphasis on education and GED attainment for out-of-school youth on public assistance.

And in August 2011, Mayor Bloomberg announced the Young Men’s Initiative, a major public/private initiative aimed at helping young black and Latino men overcome disparities in education and employment.  Among other issues, the Mayor called for a bold rethinking of probation, expansion of youth programs at public housing sites, and a greater focus on GED preparation and testing.

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