Youth Development and Youth LeadershipPurpose
All effective youth programs have youth development at their core. Effective youthleadership programs build on solid youth development principles, with an emphasis on thoseareas of development and program components that support youth leadership. This paper hasbeen created by the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth(NCWD/Youth) to assist youth service practitioners, administrators, and policy makers indefining, differentiating, and providing youth development and youth leadership programs andactivities, which are important components of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA).
Youth Development in Workforce DevelopmentIn 1994, the National Youth Employment Coalition (NYEC) held a series of meetings todiscuss the state of youth training and employment programs for disadvantaged youth inAmerica. Based on these meetings, a report was sent to the US Secretary of Labor outlining theneed for a comprehensive national youth policy (National Youth Employment Coalition, 1994).The suggested policy would cross sectors of government and fields of service delivery includingemployment and training, health and human services, housing and community development,secondary and postsecondary education, and juvenile justice, and would not only provideservices to youth but would also value youth as a resource for program development. Thecomprehensive youth policy would put in place a coherent and long-term strategy that would