The Austin Opportunity Youth Collaborative employs the collective impact model and acts as a “backbone” organization to bring together cross-sector partners, facilitate communication and strategy, and support the collaborative work of partner organizations. AOYC is the community’s “dot connector” for Opportunity Youth. The organization convenes organizations to identify, and strategically implement, efforts that will address the goals of the community-wide initiative. The tagline for AOYC is Equity, Education, and Employment. Improving systems in those three areas are the ongoing priorities for the Collaborative.
Capital Area / COMMUNITY WORKFORCE PLAN
The Youth Employment
• Goodwill Industries Central
• American YouthWorks
• Skillpoint Alliance
The Austin Opportunity Youth Collaborative is wrapping up its 8th year and looking to the future of improving systems-level outcomes for Opportunity Youth who have disconnected from education and employment.
There have been several key learnings from AOYC:
Strong partnerships are the key to creating systems change. Without the long-term, active commitment to this work by partner organizations there would not have been the same level of success for the Collaborative. The willingness of partners to show up, participate, and do the work has been an amazing contribution to success in Austin.
A holistic approach to education and employment pathways, as well as aligning the support systems we know lead to success, is essential to assisting formerly disconnected youth in finding their way forward.
An Equity lens is used for everything that we do to improve outcomes for youth. Austin has had a robust, community-wide effort to improve equity outcomes, and AOYC has been fortunate to be a part of the broader efforts.
Possibly the most important role of the collaborative has been to change the narrative about how the community views Opportunity Youth. The Austin community now addresses this group of disconnected young people directly in their strategies to solve complex social challenges and there is a collective commitment to improving systems that impact youth.
AOYC has had many achievements, but there is still more to be accomplished. The more work we do, the more barriers we uncover that need to be removed for young people to be successful.