Office of Children and Family Services

Office of Workforce Development

Core Beliefs

Office of Workforce Development Teens.

OWD is founded upon core beliefs about youth and the world of work in which they must successfully compete. These core beliefs, which underscore and inform all OWD activities, are as follows:

The cost of failing to prepare youth for workforce success is unaffordable, both in fiscal and human terms.

New York State recognizes that it is in its fiscal best interest to prepare youth to successfully compete in the work world. When youth become working adults, they contribute to the health of a society, invest in its economy and in its future.

But when, because of a lack of skills or work-relevant attitudes, they are excluded from the workforce, they are marginalized from much more than jobs; they depend upon public assistance for survival, pay no taxes, and are more likely to become involved in underground economies.

Worse still, their effectiveness as parents is also compromised as they typically represent poorer work-world role models than do their employed counterparts.

Preparing for self-sufficiency is a developmental process

Youth are not "employable" simply because they turn eighteen. They need work-relevant attitudes and behaviors, as well as the basic academic competencies necessary to attain and maintain employment.

"Problem free" is not the same as "fully prepared"

To successfully compete in today's market place, youth need to be more than well adjusted; they need to be work-ready.

Academic education is not enough

Academic achievement is only one of the requisites for workplace success. It needs to be supported by the right skills and attitudes about work. Academic achievement alone is no "ticket" to success.

At-risk youth are in most need of workforce development services

Without these services, at-risk youth are likely to remain dependent upon public programs and more likely to engage in criminal activity.

Lessons learned with at-risk youth inform models for all youth.

The vocational needs of at-risk youth are no different than those of youth in the general population; they only differ in their intensity. OCFS workforce development programs, proven successful with at-risk youth, are being replicated in school and community settings.

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