Today, IEL launched the second year of the DC Youth Workforce Leaders Academy (YWLA) in collaboration with the Greater Washington Workforce Development Collaborative and the DC Alliance of Youth Advocates. YWLA offers a 10-month professional development opportunity to support youth services professionals who provide workforce development services to youth ages 16–24. Participants engage in monthly live-learning sessions, expert-led webinars, web-based topical discussions, individual professional development activities, and facilitated peer-to-peer learning. YLWA aims to expand participants’ expertise in providing high-quality youth workforce development services to all youth including youth with disabilities and other disconnected youth.
Professionals in this year’s cadre represent organizations and agencies including Urban Alliance, the Latin American Youth Center, DC Child and Family Services Agency, and Smithsonian Museums. This month’s topic focuses on an orientation to the national and local landscape of youth workforce development. Future topics will include communicating with youth, program design and delivery, and engaging family members. Program topics are supplemented by professional development materials created by the IEL-led National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth.
Program alumni have an opportunity to continue their professional development and deepen their knowledge by serving as peer mentors for the current class.