April 26, 2016
By Teri DeVoe, Senior Program Officer, State Programs, IMLS
Federal agencies have released a second call for bold proposals to improve education, employment, and other key outcomes for disconnected youth.
Over five million 14-to-24-year-olds in the U.S. are out of school and not working. In many cases, they face additional challenges including being financially unstable, homeless, in foster care, or involved in the justice system. In response, seven federal agencies, including the Institute of Museum and Library Services, are jointly inviting state, local, and tribal communities to apply to become a Performance Partnership Pilot (P3) to test innovative, outcome-focused strategies to achieving better outcomes for these youth, as well as youth at risk of becoming disconnected from critical social institutions and supports.
The P3 initiative allows pilots to receive customized flexibility from the participating agencies—including the Departments of Education, Labor, Health and Human Services, Justice, the Corporation for National and Community Service, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and now also the Department of Housing and Urban Development—to overcome barriers and align program and reporting requirements across programs. This flexibility enables communities to pursue the most innovative and effective ways to use their existing funds to improve outcomes for the neediest youth.
In October 2015, the Department of Education announced the first round of nine pilots on behalf of all the participating agencies. From supporting youth moms and their young children with a two-generation approach to helping foster care youth transition successfully from high school to college and career, these pilots will serve a total of roughly 10,000 disconnected youth. This second round of pilots offer up to 10 communities the opportunity to propose bold new ideas for how they would use P3 flexibility to transform the way they deliver services and improve outcomes for their disconnected youth.
Stakeholders on the front lines of service delivery have let us know that flexibility, such as better aligning the multiple systems that serve youth, is sometimes needed to achieve powerful outcomes. P3 responds directly to these challenges by offering broad new flexibility in exchange for better outcomes.
This round of P3 includes several priorities to test this authority in diverse environments across America and support broader learning in the field. For example, acknowledging the diverse needs of communities, the competition allows separate categories of consideration for applicants that propose to serve disconnected youth in rural communities, tribal communities, or communities that recently have experienced civil unrest. In addition, applicants can earn bonus points in the selection process by proposing to rigorously evaluate at least one component of their pilot, proposing to implement work-based learning opportunities, or proposing projects that would specifically serve youth who are neither employed nor in school.
A competition for a third round of up to 10 pilots is expected to be released in the summer of 2016. This will provide another opportunity for communities that need more time to collaborate and prepare their best proposals. Additionally, this third competition round will permit communities to use their Continuum of Care and Emergency Solutions Grants Program funds, funded through the Department of Housing and Urban Development, in the pilots.
To hear representatives from Federal agencies present the details of the recently released Notice Inviting Applications (NIA) on P3, including application requirements and selection criteria, please register and join the P3 National Webinar on May 9th at 1 p.m. ET. Registration information is available at the youth.gov site.