Rural Youth Employment
The image on the right is of a USDA National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) summer employee near Palmer, AK. (source: NRCS Photo Gallery. NRCS photo by Ron Nichols, 1997.
A major issue in rural America, for leaders, and the community, as a whole, is that of youth employment and the associated out-migration. One of the greatest threats to non-metro communities is the loss of its youth. When youth leave a community, they, in many ways, take with them the future of that community.
In taking steps to make rural communities places where young people want to stay, communities must ensure not only that young people are ready to enter the work force, but that there are jobs for their youth. This guide includes a variety of planning and funding resources, and more to assist communities trying to improve career opportunities and prepare their youth for the workforce. It also contains resources on building community school-to-work programs.
This resource guide was revised and updated by Patricia LaCaille John June 2005.
Rural Information Center Publication Series; no. 61 2005.
This publication was last Modified July, 2013
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California's Rural Youth. Katherine E. Heck, and others. Davis: 4-H Center for Youth Development, Department of Human and Community Development, University of California, 2004. 48 p. http://cyd.ucdavis.edu/publications/pubs/report/pdf/ca_rural.pdf
Frontier Youth: Living on the Edge. Santa Fe, NM: National Clearinghouse for Frontier Communities, 2009. 30 p. Conference 2009 Notes are now archived at AgriWellness. Copies are available from AgriWellness for a small fee.http://www.agriwellness.org/ConfInfo.htm
Issues Facing Rural Youth: A Compendium of Research, Reports, and Public Opinion Polls. Compiled by: Nancy Valentine, James Kahler, Susan Cippoletti. Washington, DC: National 4-H Headquarters, 2005. 14 p. http://www.national4-hheadquarters.gov/library/ruralresearch.pdf
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Attracting and Retaining Young Adults to the Pennsylvania Heartland. University Park: Penn State College of Agricultural Science-Cooperative Extension, 2003. 69 p. http://www.extension.psu.edu/workforce/Briefs/TP-COVER_TOC.pdf
Maine's Disappearing Youth: Implications of a Declining Youth Population. Merritt T. Heminway. Briefing Paper prepared for the Maine Leadership Consortium, Augusta, Maine. May 2002. 11 p. http://www.umaine.edu/mcsc/GEDC/presentations/Merritt%20Heminway%20brief.pdf
Migration and Youth Migration from Aroostook County: Trends, Factors, and Implications; Final Report. Charles S. Colgan, Bruce H. Andrews. Portland: University of Southern Maine, Center for Business and Economic Research, 2004. 87 p.
Understanding the Employment Experiences and Migration Patterns of Rural Youth and Young Adults. Steven Garasky. Paper Presented at the NLSY97 Early Results Conference Sponsored by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Joint Center for Poverty Research held November 18-19, 1999, in Washington, DC. 21 p. http://ideas.repec.org/p/wop/jopovw/143.html
"Agents of Change: Thoughts on Youth Development." Karee Teague. Journal of Extension. 39, No. 2 (2001): 4 p. http://www.joe.org/joe/2001june/comm2.html
"Collaborative Problem Solving: Financial Education for Youth." Judy McKenna, Jan Carroll. Journal of Extension. 37, No. 5 (1999): 7 p. http://www.joe.org/joe/1999october/a3.html
"Reaching Migrant Farmworker Youth Through 4-H Career and Workforce Programs." Celina G. Wille. Journal of Extension. 37, No. 5 (1999): 4 p. http://www.joe.org/joe/1999october/iw4.html
"'Second-Chance' Strategies for Female School Dropouts." Katheryn Parker Boudett, Richard J. Murname, John B. Willett. Monthly Labor Review. 123, No. 12 (2000): 13-32. http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2000/12/contents.htm
"The Transition From School to Work: Education and Work Experiences." Julie A. Yates. Monthly Labor Review. 128, No. 2 (2005): 21-32. http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2005/02/contents.htm
Web Links (Youth and Workforce Development Resources). Washington, DC: National Youth Employment Coalition. 7 p.
"Youth Employment During School: Results From Two Longitudinal Surveys." Donna S. Rothstein. Monthly Labor Review. 124, No. 8 (2001): 25-52. http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2001/08/contents.htm
"Youth Employment in the United States." Donna S. Rothstein. Monthly Labor Review. 124, no. 8 (2001): 6-17. http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2001/08/contents.htm
"Youth Initiation into the Labor Market." Lynn Huang, Michael Pergamit, Jamie Shkolnik. Monthly Labor Review. 124, No. 8 (2001): 18-24. http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2001/08/contents.htm
Youth Resource Links (Employment, Training, Career, and Education). Washington, DC: National Youth employment Coalition. 5 p.
Entrepreneurship Education: Learning by Doing. Washington, DC: Appalachian Regional Commission, 2004. 48 p. http://www.arc.gov/images/programs/entrep/Learning_By_Doing.pdf
Entrepreneurship Initiative. Washington, DC: Appalachian Regional Commission, 4 p. http://www.arc.gov/index.do?nodeId=19
Resources for Young Entrepreneurs. Washington, DC: SCORE Association. http://www.score.org/resources_young.html
"Serious Business": Teaching Entrepreneurship Skills to Youths. Fred D. Baldwin. Appalachia, January - December 2002: 4 p. http://www.arc.gov/magazine/articles.asp?ARTICLE_ID=37&F_ISSUE_ID=&F_CATEGORY_ID=9
"Youth Entrepreneurship. James R. Lindner, Kathryn J. Cox. Journal of Extension. 36, No. 5 (1998): 6 p. http://www.joe.org/joe/1998october/rb2.html
Building School-to-Work Systems in Rural America. Hobart Harmon. Eric Digest, EDO-RC-97-7. Charleston, WV: ERIC Clearinghouse on Rural Education and Small Schools, 1998. 6 p. http://www.ericdigests.org/1998-3/rural.html
Building Strong School-to-Work Systems: Illustration of Key Components. Stephen F. Hamilton, Mary Agnes Hamilton. Ithaca, NY: Cornell Youth and Work Program, 1999. 113 p. http://cywparchive.human.cornell.edu/pubs/system_building.pdf
'Business Partnerships for American Education': Employer Involvement in the National Academy Foundation's High School Career Academies. Katherine L. Hughes, Melinda Mechur Karp, Margaret Terry Orr. Journal of Vocational Education and Training. 54, No. 3 (2002): 365-394
Experiences and Lessons of the School-to-Work/Youth Apprenticeship Demonstration. Research and Evaluation Report Series 97-E. Washington, DC: U.S. Department Labor, Employment and Training Administration, 1997. 277 p. http://wdr.doleta.gov/opr/fulltext/document.cfm?docn=6121
Local School-to-Work Partnerships: Early Lessons from Pennsylvania. Anita Kane, William J. Stull. Publication Series No. 6. Philadelphia: Temple University Center for Research in Human Development and Education, 1999. 11 p. http://www.temple.edu/lss/pdf/publications/pubs1999-6.pdf
Looking Forward: School-to-Work Principles and Strategies for Sustainability. Washington, DC: American Youth Policy Forum and the Center for Workforce Development, Institute for Educational Leadership, 2000. 42 p. http://www.aypf.org/publications/index.htm
Rural Schools and the Workforce Investment Act. ERIC Digest ED448967. Lionel J. Beaulieu. Charleston, WV: ERIC Clearinghouse on Rural Education and Small Schools, 2000. 7 p. http://www.ericdigests.org/2001-3/rural.htm
School-to-Work: Making a Difference in Education; A Research Report to America. Katherine L. Hughes, Thomas R. Bailey, Melinda J. Mechur. New York: Institute on Education and the Economy, Teachers College, Columbia University, 2001. 48 p. http://www.tc.columbia.edu/centers/iee/STWrelease.HTM
"School-to-Work Programs: Information From Two Surveys." Mary Joyce, David Neumark. Monthly Labor Review. 124, No. 8 (2001): 38-50. http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2001/08/contents.htm
Work-Based Learning. ERIC Digest No. 187. Michele Naylor. Columbus, OH: ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult Career and Vocational Education, 1997. 7 p. http://www.ericdigests.org/1998-1/work.htm
Collected Case Study Evaluations of the Appalachian Regional Commission's Educational Projects. Nicole Bartfai, and others. Rockville, MD: Westat, 2001. 170 p. ERIC Database http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/custom/portlets/recordDetails/detailmini.jsp?_nfpb=true&_&ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=ED467709&ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=no&accno=ED467709
Creating Economic Opportunities for Every Young Person: Lessons From The Hitachi Foundation's Partnership in Education and Economic Opportunity Initiative. Leah Totten, David Dodson, Julie Thomasson. Chapel Hill, NC: MDC Inc. May 2000, 84 p. http://www.mdcinc.org/docs/workforce_pub_opportunities.pdf
Getting In, Staying On, Moving Up: A Practitioner's Approach to Employment Retention. Tony Proscio, Mark Elliott. New York: Public/Private Ventures, 1999. 32 p. http://www.ppv.org/ppv/publications/publications_description.asp?search_id=19&
A How to Guide for Creating Employment and Entrepreneurship Opportunities for Youth. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 2002. 17 p. http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/mfh/nnw/resourcesforcenters/nnwcreatingemployment.pdf
Improving Career Outcomes for Youth: Lessons from the U.S. and OECD Experience. Robert I. Lerman. Washington, DC: The Urban Institute, 2000. 65 p. http://wdr.doleta.gov/opr/fulltext/document.cfm?docn=6151
Improving the Economic and Life Outcomes of At-Risk Youth. Robert Ivry, Fred Doolittle. New York: MDRC, 2003. 22 p. http://www.mdrc.org/publications/361/concept.html
Job Corps: Comparison of Federal Program with State Youth Training Initiatives. GAO/HEHS-96-92. Washington, DC: U.S. General Accounting Office, 1996. 22 p. http://www.gao.gov/archive/1996/he96092.pdf
Multiple Employment and Training Programs: Funding and Performance Measures for Major Programs. GAO-03-589. Washington, DC: U.S. General Accounting Office, 2003. 53 p. http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d03589.pdf
Preparing Youth for Employment: Principles and Characteristics of Five Leading United States Youth Development Programs. Glenda L. Partee. Washington, DC: American Youth Policy Forum, 2003. 13 p. http://www.aypf.org/publications/PreparingYouthforEmployment.pdf
Preparing Youth for the Workforce: Exploring Employer Engaging in the Chicago Region. Samuel P. Whalen, Jan DeCoursey, Ada Skyles. Chicago: Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago, 2003. 99 p. http://www.chapinhall.org/research/report/preparing-youth-workforce
Supporting Youth Employment: A Guide for Community Groups. Carol Clymer, and others. Philadelphia: Public/Private Ventures, 2002. 63 p. http://www.ppv.org/ppv/publications/assets/19_publication.pdf
Taking Stock: A Review of U.S. Youth Employment Policy and Prospects. Thomas J. Smith. Revised. Philadelphia: Public/Private Ventures, 2002. 33 p. http://www.hewlett.org/download?guid=a9d012b3-49cd-102c-ab7e-0002b3e9a4de
Youth Entrepreneurship Community Development Model. Alburn, AL: Economic Development Institute, Auburn University, 2002. 54 p.
Youth Program Initiative: Training Packets. Austin: Texas Workforce Commission, 2003. 12 v. http://www.twc.state.tx.us/svcs/youthinit/ypi.html
Youth Employment and Training Programs
U.S. Department of Labor
U.S. Department of Defense
Job Corps is a no-cost education and vocational training program that helps young people ages 16 through 24 get a better job, make more money and take control of their lives.
At Job Corps, students enroll to learn a trade, earn a high school diploma or GED and get help finding a good job. The program pays a monthly allowance. Job Corps supports its students for up to 12 months after they graduate from the program. 800-733-JOBS (800-733-5627) http://www.jobcorps.gov/
Locate a local Job Corps Campus: http://recruiting.jobcorps.gov/en/centers.aspx
WIA Youth Activities (17.259) is a formula-funded youth program that serves eligible low-income youth, ages 14-21, who have barriers to employment. Service strategies prepare youth for employment and/or postsecondary education through strong linkages between academic and occupational learning. Funds are allocated to State and local areas on a formula distribution determined by the number of unemployed individuals in areas of substantial unemployment; the relative excess number of unemployed individuals in a State; and the relative number of disadvantaged youth in a State.
State One-Stop Web Site: http://www.doleta.gov/usworkforce/onestop/onestopmap.cfm
U.S. Department of Education
National Guard Civilian Youth Opportunities (12.404), known as the National Guard Challenge Program is a 22-week, quasi-military, residential program, for drug free, 16 to 18 year old high school dropouts who are unemployed and not currently involved with the legal system. The residential phase is followed by a 12-month post-residential mentoring period. Subject to program funding levels, successful completion of the residential phase entitles graduates up to a $2200 stipend if the graduate goes on to college, vocational-technical learning institutions, a job, or returns to school. The program operates in 24 states and Puerto Rico.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Grants to States for Incarcerated Youth Offenders (84.331) provides grants to the designated State Correctional Education Agencies to establish a postsecondary education or postsecondary vocational training program for eligible incarcerated youth offenders.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
U.S. Office of Personnel Management
Chafee Foster Care Independence Living (93.674) helps ensure that young people involved in the foster care system get the tools they need to make the most of their lives. They may have opportunities for additional education or training, housing assistance, counseling and other services up to the age of 21.
USAJOBS/STUDENTJOBS http://www.usajobs.gov/studentjobs/ For Federal Government job information,"...whether you are student in high school, college, or graduate school seeking work experience or you are about to graduate and begin your career, consider Federal service!" Comprhensive Web site with many options for student employment through federal agencies.
Federal Student Temporary Employment Program (27.003) http://www.opm.gov/employ/students/ provides students an opportunity for part-time temporary employment with Federal agencies in order to allow them to continue their education without interruptions caused by financial pressures.
Federal Summer Employment (27.006) http://www.usajobs.gov/studentjobs/ provides summer employment primarily for college students and high school students. Listings by USAJOBS.
Additional Employment, Training, and Assistance Programs
Corporation for National and Community Service
U.S. Department of Labor
Department of the Interior
AmeriCorps (94.006) addresses pressing education, public safety, human, and environmental needs of our Nation's communities by encouraging Americans to serve either part or full-time. AmeriCorps members may receive education awards for qualified postsecondary education expenses or to pay off qualified student loans.
1-800-942-2377 (or TTY: 1-800-833-3722)
Indian Employment Assistance provides vocational training and employment opportunities to eligible American Indians. Division of Workforce Development, Indian Energy and Economic Development, Bureau of Indian Affairs http://www.bia.gov/WhoWeAre/AS-IA/IEED/DWD/index.htm
Career and Technical Education Research (CTER)
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Monthly Labor Review Online
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Agricultural Education Magazine
Career Development for Exceptional Individuals (CDEI)
Agricultural Education Magazine
Texas Tech University
Department of Agricultural Education and Communication
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806-742-2816 ext. 231
Council for Exceptional Children
P.O. Box 79026
Baltimore, MD 21279-0026
Career Development Quarterly
National Career Development Association
10820 East 45th Street, Suite 210
Tulsa, OK 74146
Employment and Training Reporter
MII Publications, Inc.
733 15th Street, NW, Suite 900
Washington, DC 20005
Rural Special Education Quarterly
American Council on Rural Special Education
Utah State University
2865 Old Main Hill
Logan, UT 84322-2865
Journal of Vocational Behavior
Customer Service Department
6277 Sea Harbor Drive
Orlando, FL 32887-4800
Youth & Society
Sage Publications, Inc.
2455 Teller Rd.
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
American Youth Policy Forum
American Youth Work Center
1836 Jefferson Place, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036-2505
1200 17th St. , NW, 4th Fl.
Washington, DC 20036
Boys and Girls Clubs of America
1230 W. Peachtree St., NW
Atlanta, GA 30309
The Bureau for At-Risk Youth
135 Dupont St.
PO Box 9120
Plainview, NY 11803-9120
Children's Defense Fund
25 E St., NW
Washington, DC 20001
460 West 41th Street
New York, NY 10036
Institution for Youth Development
P.O. Box 16560
Washington, DC 20041
Jobs for America's Graduates
1729 King St., Suite 100
Alexandria, VA 22314
Jobs for the Future
88 Broad Street
Boston, MA 02210
The Corps Network
666 11th Street, NW, Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20001
National Clearinghouse on Families & Youth
P.O. Box 13505
Silver Spring, MD 20911-3505
National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth)
c/o Institute for Educational Leadership
4455 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 310
Washington, DC 20008
National Community Education Association
3929 Old Lee Highway, Suite 91-A
Fairfax, VA 22030-2401
National Dropout Prevention Center/Network
209 Martin St.
Clemson, SC 29631-1555
National 4-H Council
7100 Connecticut Avenue
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
National Network for Youth
1319 F Street, NW, Suite 401
Washington, D.C. 20004
National Youth Employment Coalition
1836 Jefferson Place, NW
Washington, DC 20036
2000 Market Street, Suite 600
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Washington Internship Institute
1776 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Suite 201
Washington, DC 20036-1921