BENEFITING: Center For Workforce Development Inc
It is estimated that upwards of 575,000 youth between the ages of 16 to 24 are LGBT. On the surface, LGBT youth needs may not seem very different than those of any other youth, but the additional barriers from acts of intolerance expressed toward LGBT youth in school, within the juvenile justice system, and at home isolate them and put them at a greater risk of being homeless, dropping out, being a victim of a violent attack and committing suicide. LGBT youth experience isolation at school and in their homes impacting future relationships, health and their personal and financial stability. The emotional and psychological needs created by this isolation leads to substance abuse, mental health issues including suicide. The feelings of loneliness and abandonment by community, family, and friends, depression and stress from lack of acceptance, understanding and resources that should be addressed by traditional service providers are often poorly managed leaving LGBT feeling further ostracized by the agencies that are supposed to help.
The LGBT One Workforce initiative will create an educational and vocational training program to address LGBT youth specific barriers to a healthy life and place them in a reliable career path. In designing this initiative for LGBT youth we addressed the over arching barriers that LGBT youth face like homelessness, substance and sexual abuse, the sense of isolation or not belonging, and healthy relationships.
The LGBT One Workforce program will incorporate learning and on the job training in a safe and nurturing environment that will meet goals set out by LGBT youth and funders. The following are components of the LGBT program:
Education classes for GED attainment and certified vocational and life management training for youth ages 16 to 24; All youth will be placed in internships and transitional employment opportunities; Case management will occur throughout the training and for two years after completion of the program in order to assist with career development, housing, health and other supportive services that out LGBT youth graduates may need; Technical Assistance and training will be provided to resource partners, educational institutions, community organizations, and service providers so they may be better prepared to assist the LGBT community.
These components will increase LGBT youth success in careers and reduce the multiple barriers that face LGBT youth within their community.