Community Forums Network seeks input on youth employment

It’s no surprise to anyone at Solid Ground that there is a crisis in our community regarding employment opportunities and readiness for young adults. There are no simple solutions to the variety of factors that combine to create barriers to young people gaining employment.

In an effort to gain collective wisdom, the Community Forums Network (CFN) is surveying the community about possible ways to address this issue.

According to their website, CFN “is privately funded and is a new public engagement platform that is part of the Dick Spady Legacy Project. Dick is co-founder of the Seattle-based Dick’s Drive-In Restaurants, Inc. The Spady family has invested over $400,000 in various civic programs and has provided the startup funds for CFN through 2012.”

The CFN website has a brief video highlighting some of the dynamics that impact employment of young adults and a short survey to register opinions. Nonprofits like Solid Ground are partnering with CFN to promote the survey. We will receive the results to assist program planning efforts.

PLEASE go the CFN website, watch the video and take the survey. Please encourage others to respond as well. The more people who participate, the better the results will be. Note that the first question asks folks to select their favorite nonprofit partner. Selecting Solid Ground will help make us eligible for a modest grant from CFN.

Thanks for taking a few minutes to participate in this important community engagement project! The survey is open through June 17!

Pathway to Career Corps launched by JustServe AmeriCorps

Solid Ground’s JustServe AmeriCorps team is launching a new effort to create opportunities for at-risk young adults. The Pathway to Career Corps project is a strategic partnership and initiative to create viable educational and career pathways for folks 18 to 24 in our community who are at high risk of unemployment, underemployment and lifelong poverty.

Pathway to Career Corps Members will experience a year of intensive case management, professional development, work experience, leadership development, service to the community, academic support for postsecondary education preparedness, and exposure to high-demand, living-wage career paths.

The project builds on Solid Ground’s experience as one of the largest national service teams in the state. The first pilot team of 13 young adults will start in September 2011 and work to:

  • Envision their long-term career path – and how to get there.
  • Enroll in postsecondary education toward a living-wage career path, obtain living-wage employment, or both.
  • Strengthen their communication, conflict resolution, cross-cultural and leadership skills (key skills for success in today’s workplace, and a foundation that prepares Members for lifelong leadership and service to the community).
  • Pathway Members will help to strengthen and expand critical community health, environmental, education and economic opportunity projects throughout Seattle/King County.

Between 2008 and 2018, new jobs in Washington requiring postsecondary education and training will grow by 259,000, while jobs for high school dropouts will grow by only 107,000. Fully 67% of all jobs in Washington State will require some postsecondary training beyond high school in 2018. Educational attainment and poverty are closely linked – the more education you have, the less likely you are to live in poverty. Individuals with an Associate degree on average make 20% more than high school graduates, and 70% more than someone with a high school diploma [Seattle Jobs Initiative].

“The goal of the Pathway to Career Corps is to help young adults access the stability and the learning of a 12-month intensive program, experience the transformational impact of service on themselves and the community, and develop a viable plan to move into a future living wage,” says JustServe AmeriCorps Supervisor Tera Oglesby. “National Service is a strategy to help them get there.”

For more information, contact Volunteer Resources Director, Glenn Puckett, at

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