Creating Youth Employment Opportunities
The City of Hartford needed to improve its results for disconnected, disadvantaged youth through its newly founded Youth Service Corps (HYSC). There was a high priority to create new jobs and training opportunities.
HYSC partnered with GovEx to design a framework enabling leaders and stakeholders to track the program’s progress and begin to build a culture focused on using data to improve decision making. By creating bold goals, selecting appropriate metrics to track progress, establishing venues to discuss strategies and successes, and building analytical capacity among staff, Hartford is now able tell the story of HYSC and its participants, while highlighting the program’s effect on the community.
With the support of GovEx, Hartford Youth Service Corps was able to help more than 200 previously disconnected young people work a total of 121,311 service hours and earned more than $1.3 million in wages in 2017 alone.
GovEx convened the Mayor, city leadership, and external stakeholders in goal setting, committing to serve 500 youth in the first two years of the HYSC program. Together we chose key performance indicators to track progress from the perspective of participants, service learning project providers, and funders. Staff members from three departments were trained using city data on how to use available tools to elevate analytical skills and evaluation abilities.
We engaged with department heads citywide in an exercise to explore the possibilities when bringing data and evidence into decision-making, and convened multiple cross-partnership meetings to discuss programmatic goals and determine appropriate metrics and targets.
The tracking system built in partnership with GovEx helped HYSC identify the success story of Ravon, had been incarcerated for three years. After his release he had a difficult time getting a job because of his felony conviction. The HYSC program really helped Ravon, especially when it came to adjusting to being in the workforce. Ravon is now working in his community and is on a path to a better future.