May 24, 2007



FROM:                       Byron Zuidema
                                 BYRON ZUIDEMA
                                 Regional Administrator

SUBJECT: Improving Demand-Driven Services and Performance - Toolkit for Effective Front-line Services to Youth

1.  Purpose.  To transmit notice of a new publication Improving Demand-Driven Services and Performance: Toolkit for Effective Front-line Services to Youth (the Toolkit).

2. References.  Improving Demand-Driven Services and Performance: Toolkit for Effective Front-line Services to Youth

3.  Links.  This Letter is in the Region 5 website archive at:

4.  Substance.  The Toolkit was developed by a national team of youth professionals, trainers, and program experts as a multipurpose resource for case management focusing on disadvantaged, at-risk youth who have become disconnected from mainstream institutions and systems.  It consists of two tools: 

A) A case management manual for front line youth workforce specialists; and

B) A training guide that includes PowerPoint modules and appropriate exercises.

Divided into eight topics/chapters, the Toolkit is intended as a resource for the effective integration of case management and workforce development services. The Toolkit includes chapters/modules on:

- Recruitment, intake and enrollment and innovative strategies to engage youth in career development;

- Assessment and development of an Individual Service Strategy by recognizing and developing the strengths of youth;

- Meeting the needs of the Labor Market and the relevance of economic analysis as a tool in assisting staff and youth in choosing career pathways and service strategies;

- Implementing effective services strategies;

- Providing appropriate follow-up strategies to ensure long term success;

- Documentation and record-keeping to ensure appropriate information is captured;

- Evaluation and the need for continuous improvement;

- Engaging employers in preparing youth for high-growth, high-demand training and employment.

The Toolkit is designed to assist workforce professionals in the development of appropriate programming activities that help youth gain the skills and competencies they need to obtain jobs.  It targets youth professionals who serve the neediest or most disadvantaged youth.  The Toolkit offers:

- Strategies to recruit, engage, and support youth in their chosen career path.  Resource material is provided to assist the youth professional in serving youth with disabilities, youth offenders, youth who are limited in English proficiency, Native American youth, foster youth, and youth from diverse cultural backgrounds.

- Suggestions for leveraging resources in order to make young people employable for the long term and information on the type of dynamic partnerships required among a variety of community systems. 

- Information on the importance of accurate and timely documentation and how to track performance against goals. Documentation is defined as an accountability tool as well as a service tool to assist the youth professional in managing results.

5. Distribution.  Improving Demand-Driven Services and Performance: Toolkit for Effective Front-line Services to Youth is available online at the DOL/ETA Youth Services website.  

6.  Action Required. State Workforce Administrators are requested to share this Letter with interested staff and other appropriate agencies.

7. Inquiries.  Questions about the ToolKit may be directed to Lori Crockett Harris on 312.596.5496.

8. Effective Date. May 24, 2007

9. Expiration Date.  Continuing.

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