Increasing Young Adult Engagement for Successful Adulthood
For success in adulthood, youth aged 16-24 must be committed to their personal development and engaged in either education or employment opportunities. Changes from a K-12 environment to higher education and/or employment can prove challenging as young adults continue to develop.
The Department of Social and Health Services estimates that 29 percent of all youth will become disengaged from work or school by 22 years old. Gov. Inslee supports all pathways to successful adulthood and is spearheading Career Connect Washington, a framework that expands opportunities for all young Washingtonians undergoing the transition into diverse career pathways.
K-12 enrollment – Participation in school increases the likelihood of young adult engagement. Washington’s high school graduation rate is 79.3 percent.
College enrollment – Community & technical college enrollment and four-year college enrollment reduces the risk of disengagement.
Homelessness – Being homeless decreases the likelihood of a young adult engaging in work and/or school.
Criminal justice – Involvement with the criminal justice system reduces the likelihood of securing a smooth transition to adulthood.
Early parenthood – The birth of a child introduces a factor that makes engagement in employment or education more difficult.
- The Policy Academy on Work-Based Learning connects young adults to middle-skill opportunities in STEM fields.
- Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board leads the Career Connect Washington initiative, a collaborative effort between the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, the State Board of Education, Washington Student Achievement Council, State Board of Community and Technical Colleges to ensure that Washingtonians have multiple pathways towards developing a successful career.
- Opportunity Youth, ages 16-24, represent the population who are not engaged in school or employment. State research on this population, is spearheaded by the Department of Social and Health Services’ Research and Development Analysis.