Generation Work in Northeast Ohio


About Generation Work

In Northeast Ohio, the Generation Work partnership, funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, aims to support the development of a coordinated and accessible workforce system that blends positive youth development and demand-driven strategies to build quality career pathways for young people of all backgrounds. The initiative is designed to address the needs of young adults 18 to 24 years old who are enrolled in federal workforce development programs and eligible to receive public benefits.

Generation Work at a Glance

The Annie E. Casey Foundation launched Generation Work in 2016 to explore new ways of connecting young Americans with the knowledge and experience they need to succeed in the job market. The initiative, which includes partnerships in Cleveland, Hartford, Indianapolis, Philadelphia and Seattle, weaves together best practices from the adult education and training field — in particular, a focus on demand-driven workforce development strategies — with positive youth development practices, such as mentoring and work-based learning, to better prepare young people ages 18-29 for work.



Traditional education and training models are failing to equip young people, especially young adults of color, in Greater Cleveland and surrounding Cuyahoga County with the skills and credentials necessary to land jobs that pay family-sustaining wages. Read more at Policy Matters Ohio: "Cleveland youth face barriers to good jobs".

Black Greater Clevelanders are less likely to find employment, and when they do secure work, on average earn lower pay than their white counterparts. At the same time, employers in the critical sectors of manufacturing, healthcare, information technology (IT), and other areas of economic growth, have difficulty filling job openings.

The Generation Work partnership in Northeast Ohio is working to address the systemic and institutional barriers to work that young adults of color and other youth from low-income families face, and helping them attain the necessary education and training to secure meaningful careers.

Northeast Ohio's Approach

The Generation Work partnership in Northeast Ohio provides a framework for local policymakers and providers of workforce services for young people to share new learning, strengthen referral relationships, improve data accessibility and promote racial equity efforts. The partnership’s framework is designed to improve current practice, connect, and align systems actors and institutionalize change.


Key Partners

In Northeast Ohio, the Generation Work partnership is made up of nonprofit youth service providers, workforce development organizations, local government and funders.


The Centers for Families and Children offers integrated health care approach, 5-star early learning programs, and workforce training to underserved individuals, families, and children.

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Cuyahoga County administers state Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funding and workforce development programming through its offices of human services and economic development.

Cuyahoga Community College Advanced Technology Academy (ATA) program offers training at no-cost to students ages 18-24, and industry recognized certificates in demand driven occupations. The ATA program is workforce driven, designed to increase occupational skills, employment opportunities, and retention.


The Fund for Our Economic Future is a collaborative of foundations, corporations, universities, health care systems, private businesses and civic agencies that focuses on advancing economic growth in Northeast Ohio.

OhioGuidestone, one of the largest behavioral health agencies in the state, has been helping individuals reset their paths, reclaim their autonomy and restore their purpose for more than 155 years through community counseling, substance use disorder treatment, early childhood services, psychiatric care, workforce development training and more.


The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Workforce Development Board operates OMJ|Cleveland-Cuyahoga, which houses the YRC and administers Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) funding.

Towards Employment is a workforce development organization that builds career pathways to successful, long-term employment while creating a talent pipeline for local businesses. It partners with Youth Opportunities Unlimited to provide services on behalf of the public one-stop career center, OhioMeansJobs|Cleveland-Cuyahoga County (OMJ|CC), at the Young Adult Resource Center (YRC).


Youth Opportunities Unlimited helps teens and young adults succeed by providing educational and workforce opportunities, skills development courses and access to career pathways. It partners with Towards Employment to provide services at the YRC.