According to the Center For Economic Research, the number of unemployed black teens and young adults is much higher than the number of unemployed white teens and young adults. Also, last year, there were more jobs for teens than at any other time in 14 years. At least 250,000 more teens now have jobs than before the pandemic. “37% of 16–19-year-olds had jobs or were looking for work last year, according to the Labor Department.”

Pathways programs, in or out of school, are helping to connect young people to employment and economic opportunities. These programs and platforms are successful when they make a wide variety of job opportunities accessible, providing young people with the freedom and choice to find jobs that uniquely fit into their lifestyles while giving them tools to establish a foundation of financial freedom.

These tools also are a boon to companies. They rapidly adjust to evolving workforce patterns and demands by making their job openings instantly available to a wide audience of untapped talent, using the power of AI to provide useful data to build, incentivize, and retain a robust talent pipeline.

These platforms and tools cannot simply be job-finding tools; they must facilitate support and guidance tools to help youth navigate the complexities of modern employment. To better understand the emerging tools, I spoke to William Ward, the Founder and CEO of Flexie, about how Flexie is working to support black and brown youth.

Read the full article about workforce development solutions by Antonio Boyd at Getting Smart.