There are more than 20,000 Opportunity Youth (young adults not college bound, age 16 to 25) in Franklin County who are not in school and not working. They produce a substantial fiscal and social cost, annually exceeding $647 million in lost productivity and tax revenue.
Overall, Opportunity Youth are not competitive in the job market due to factors such as lack of education or a transient work history. Recent Foundation-commissioned research has revealed best practices that offer sustainable solutions. The Columbus Foundation’s Community Research and Grants Management team identified three innovative nonprofit organizations in the technology workforce development sector, Digital Works, i.c. stars, and Per Scholas, which we are partnering with to help launch in-demand technology careers for young adults.
This project will substantially improve lives and spur community growth. There are approximately 1,200 annual technology openings that residents of central Ohio—if properly trained—could fill. This is the powerful opportunity that The Pathways Project is designed to seize.