In our country today, 4.6 million young adults ages 16 to 24 are out of school and unemployed. For these young people, commonly referred to as opportunity youth, building skills and gaining work experience are key to upward mobility. However, they face significant barriers to entering the labor market.

Responding to the high number of opportunity youth in Orleans parish, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation’s Hospitality Workforce Development program seeks to improve the life trajectory of young people through a focus on career placement and advancement. Our partners at Jobs for the Future recently developed “Alleviating Poverty for Opportunity Youth,” a set of policy briefs highlighting how policymakers can ensure that young people are accessing appropriate skill development opportunities and support services that lead to family-supporting careers.