Bay Area Transition Age Youth Workforce Initiative

Initiative partners

  • COYN

  • John Burton Advocates for Youth

  • New Ways to Work

  • Pivotal

About the Initiative

The initiative’s goal is to expand workforce opportunities for transition-age foster youth, and other system impacted youth, by identifying barriers experienced by youth in the Bay Area to accessing workforce development programs and services, implementing innovative strategies and lessons learned in Los Angeles County and other jurisdictions, and advancing policy and programmatic changes in response.

The initiative builds on the groundbreaking work the LA OYC has done, in partnership with Los Angeles Performance Partnership Pilot (LA P3). Los Angeles successfully advocated for the approval of a federal waiver to expand access for youth in foster care in Los Angeles County to programs funded through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The waiver allows “In-School Youth” (ISY) who are designated as participants in the foster care system, juvenile justice system, or homeless youth system to be counted as “Out-of-School Youth” (OSY) for purposes of meeting the federal expenditure requirement. Furthermore, the City of Los Angeles then requested—and was granted permission—for all seven local Workforce Development Boards (WDBs) in the region to utilize this waiver to implement innovative, cost- effective, and outcome-focused strategies for improving results for disconnected youth. Utilizing the City of Los Angeles as the test case for the effectiveness of the waiver, the total number of youth in foster care, in the juvenile justice system, and those experiencing homelessness receiving WIOA-funded services has increased 53 percent, 91 percent, and 100 percent respectively over the last three years on average.

The increase in the representation of youth from these systems over the last three years is due to a focus on increasing the enrollment of these young people despite the ISY or OSY status and collaboration across many partners. COYN is now leading work with partners across the state, and the California Workforce Development Board (CWDB) to obtain a statewide WIOA waiver modeled on the Los Angeles pilot to allow all WDBs across the state to utilize the flexibility of waiver that the seven Los Angeles WDBs have utilized. COYN has worked with the CWDB to write and submit the waiver request and respond to federal inquiries as well as implementation of the waiver. COYN intends to engage the CWDB in broader dialogue to develop a coherent statewide youth workforce strategy.


  • Support the securing of the federal waiver

  • Develop a TAY workforce core practice model based

  • Develop a community of practice in the Bay Area to support waiver utilization and practice model implementation