Youth Employment

These are the COMBAT-funded programs with a youth-oriented emphasis or component.

ArtsTech Youth Employment & Training Initiative

ARTSTECH PROGRAM -- ArtsTech offers 150 hours of youth-paid apprenticeship opportunities for 75 youth aged 13-17. Participants will learn several crucial life/career skills:job readiness; appropriate on-the-job behavior; avoiding common pitfalls that cause young people to be fired; Money management; time management; substance use and abuse prevention; appropriate leisure skills; and other behaviors that translate to a healthy lifestyle. Participants will also learn what job placements are available and how to match their personal interests with career opportunities. Pre-employment activities include collecting all required documents, including parent/guardian approvals, and processing all youth where they will receive their job assignment so they are prepared to start work.

Blue Hills Restorative Justice Program

BLUE HILLS NEIGHBORHOOD ASSCOCIATION PROGRAM -- The Restorative Justice Program involves a holistic approach to personal development and economic stability for at-risk and identified vulnerable youths, ages (13-17) in Central Kansas City, MO. Using the evidence-based Theory of Change model as outlined by The Annie E. Casey Foundation (Theory of Change: A Practical Tool For Action, Results and Learning), Blue Hills Neighborhood Association Restorative Justice Program seeks to provide a pathway of change program that encompasses practical cognitive behavioral and conflict resolution skills, coupled with workforce readiness and retention strategies that discourage negative interactions with family members, law enforcement, peers and individuals in their communities.

Bridge Job Readiness Program

BRIDGE LEADERSHIP ACADEMY PROGRAM -- The Bridge Leadership Academy is creating a Job Readiness Program for youth June 2021 - June 2022. The program will be for 25-plus youth, with a focusing on preparing them to have a success career path. The outcomes the Academy will seek to achieve include: 90% of the participants will complete the program; 80% of participants will develop interpersonal skills; 100% of participants will not show physical aggression while in the program; 100% will learn about three different career paths and how to apply these skills to real life employment. BLA provides a nurturing environment for students from diverse backgrounds to learn and feel a sense of belonging. In addition to traditional academic experiences, BLA provides one-on-one academic tutoring, leadership development programs, healthy food options, physical activity forums to encourage healthy dialogue—all in addition to Job Preparedness and Readiness Skills.

Calvary Community Outreach HYPE Summer

CALVARY COMMUNITY OUTREACH NETWORK PROGRAM -- Youth are offered 25-hour per week summer employment on the Calvary Community Outreach campus. Administrative positions are available in the Program Director’s office. Other opportunities are available as summer camp counselors, community garden workers and activity staff. Youth earn the minimum wage established by the State of Missouri ($9.45/hour) and receive one meal per day, plus bus passes when needed. CCON will attempt to place youth in jobs to aid them in exploring career interests and aptitudes, building vocational knowledge, developing team and leadership skills, and practicing creative thinking and problem solving. Each youth is also assigned to an adult Youth Employment Mentor who makes regular visits to their workplaces, helping navigate conflicts on the job and teaching basic job skills.

Cornerstones Build Trybe for Youth Employment

CORNERSTONES OF CARE PROGRAM -- The purpose of Cornerstones of Care’s Build Trybe program is to build a bridge to successful employment in skilled trades for youth aging out of foster care, foster youth with mental health disorders, homeless youth and students with behavioral challenges. Build Trybe provides experiential learning opportunities in horticulture, culinary, construction, landscaping, metalworking and woodworking trades. Build Trybe trains youth aged 13 and over in advanced trades programming, utilizing learning centers and community partners to create real-world experiential classes. Apprentices in the Build Trybe program are paid and engaged in financial literacy and budgeting classes to save for first cars, first apartments and trade tools. As the youth show aptitude and job readiness, Build Trybe then partners these young adults with skilled trades people, advanced training programs, and employers in the community.

DeLaSalle Education Center Block37

DE LA SALLE EDUCATION CENTER PROGRAM -- DeLaSalle’s Block37 offers at least 75 at-risk high school students a safe space, positive adult role models and access to activities that promote positive social, emotional, and educational outcomes for students. The program gives students, 100% of whom live at or below the federal poverty (FPL) level, the protective factors they need to mitigate risky behaviors (e.g., violence, drug/alcohol use) and strengthens their engagement in school. Through apprenticeships and internships provided on-site and at partner organizations, teens gain real-work experience and learn new skills while earning an hourly wage or stipend.

Grace United Youth Employment Program

GRACE UNITED COMMUNITY MINISTRIES PROGRAM -- Youth ages 13 to 17 will be provided relevant job training opportunities during summer school, and during before and after school activities. These activities can be critical in reducing violence among children. A Denmark study showed that children growing up in poverty are seven times more likely to harm themselves and be involved in violent crimes as young adults. This research highlighted the importance of providing child-friendly public services, housing and education. The vision of this program is to assist 40 low to moderate-income children ages 13 to 17 in developing key lifelong skills that will be necessary to use in their future. Those skills will include increased independence and a sense of responsibility; a positive attitude toward teamwork; key work skills such as customer service, time-keeping and prioritizing; money management skills; an preparation for full-time employment.

Hickman Mills Legacy of Excellence Project

HICKMAN MILLS PREVENTION COALITION PROGRAM -- The purpose of the Legacy of Excellence project is to prepare teens for the workforce by providing job readiness /preparedness training, developing strong interpersonal and social skills, and a healthy sense of self and obligation to community, as well as a $2,200 for the whole year ( $1,200 for the summer and $1,000 for the school year). Through these efforts, the secondary and long-term purpose is to reduce youth crime rates in south Kansas City by 10%, reduce youth recidivism by 10% and increase employability of participants by 95%.

Ignition Lab Opportunity Internship Program

OPERATION BREAKTHROUGH PROGRAM -- The Opportunity Internship program provides hands-on learning experiences in STEM, a powerful springboard for high school students who live in economically depressed, often violent neighborhoods helping prepare them for post-high school job training programs, entrepreneurial ventures or college admission. The program provides important opportunities for the students to serve as positive role models for rising adolescents, helping strengthen relationships, supporting social emotional competence, and building resilience.

Ivanhoe Youth Employment Program

IVANHOE NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL PROGRAM -- The purpose of the Legacy of Excellence project is to prepare teens for the workforce by providing job readiness /preparedness training, developing strong interpersonal and social skills, and a healthy sense of self and obligation to community, as well as a $2,200 for the whole year ( $1,200 for the summer and $1,000 for the school year). Through these efforts, the secondary and long-term purpose is to reduce youth crime rates in south Kansas City by 10%, reduce youth recidivism by 10% and increase employability of participants by 95%.

KC Common Good Working For Youth

KC COMMON GOOD PROGRAM -- Working For Youth is a collaborative, violence prevention program that increases the number of paid internships and employment opportunities for Jackson County youth most at risk of violence. Youth, ages 14-18, within historically marginalized communities are matched with an employer and a coach for the summer. In addition to a paid work experience, youth will receive job training and mentoring through a trauma-informed approach, as well as other wrap-around support including financial literacy and life skills training. Short-term outcomes for youth are to gain greater understanding of oneself and one’s work, as well as increased connectedness to others and the community. Mid-term outcomes are a decrease in youth-involved in violence and an increase in high school graduation rates. Long-term outcomes include decreasing rates of violence, increasing rates of wealth built within marginalized communities, and expanded access to economic opportunity.

reStart, Inc. reTreats

RESTART, INC. PROGRAM -- At risk youth have an increased likelihood of experiencing homelessness, experiencing food insecurity and experiencing violence. The purpose of the reTreats program is to meet the growing need for gainful employment opportunities for marginalized youth as they start their journey toward independence by providing real world employment training that includes customer service, bookkeeping, marketing, accounting, culinary skills and more. Youth work together to prepare the reTreats by working with vendors to secure ingredients and preparing reTreats in a commercial kitchen. They work with local retailers where reTreats are distributed, and process and fulfill orders, handle inventory, and manage supply. reTreats program participants graduate with skills to obtain and retain living wage employment.

ScoutReach Summer Camps

HEART OF AMERICA COUNCIL, BS PROGRAM -- The Heart of America Council believe Scouting should be accessible to all—regardless of demographics or zip code. ScoutReach, which served 3,643 Scouts in 2020, supports our highest need populations and we cover all associated costs for those youth. ScoutReach participants identify as 1% Asian, 39% Black, 5% Caucasian, 10% Hispanic or Latino, 3% Other, and 42% declined to provide identifying information. The Council does not ask for household income to participate in our programs, but ScoutReach sites are selected based on the Federal Free and Reduced Lunch program. Heart of America operates ScoutReach exclusively at schools or community centers where more than 80% of students qualify for FRLP and most of the council’s partners far exceed that threshold.

Transition Zone Youth Workforce

TRANSITION ZONE, INC. PROGRAM -- Transition Zone’s purpose is to serve youth and families who need assistance in overcoming poverty; who live in underserved, marginalized areas of the community; who are typically overlooked due to a lack of social and emotional skills, life skills, and workforce development skill sets. Transition Zone provides a loving, safe and equitable space for equipping them with necessary skills and resources needed to retain good employment and education, empowering them to live healthy, fulfilling lives.

Youth Life Link

SISTERS IN CHRIST PROGRAM -- The Youth Life Link project helps keep at-risk youth safe and inspires them to learn about and lead violence-free lifestyles. Inspiring youth to learn along with providing culturally relevant and engaging employment opportunities will decrease the high school dropout rate. Teaching youth job readiness and on-the job-training skills will assist them in finding employment. Understanding appropriate recreation and how to use idle time will decrease the number of youth referred to the juvenile justice system. Additionally, assisting youth gaining employment will improve their financial outlook and set them on the track to grow up to be adults who lead crime-free and self-sufficient lives.

Listed By Agency


    These are the agencies that have a COMBAT-funded program with a Youth Employment emphasis or component.

    » Youth Employment & Training Initiative
    Blue Hills Neighborhood Association
    » Blue Hills Restorative Justice Program

    Bridge Leadership Academy
    » Bridge Job Readiness Program

    Calvary Community Outreach Network
    » HYPE Summer

    Cornerstones Of Care
    » Build Trybe for Youth Employment
    DeLaSalle Education Center
    » Block37
    Grace United Community Ministries
    » Youth Employment Program

    Heart of America Council, BSA
    » ScoutReach Summer Camps
    Hickman Mills Prevention Coalition
    » Legacy of Excellence Project

    Ivanhoe Neighborhood Council
    » Ivanhoe Youth Employment Program

    KC Common Good
    » Working For Youth

    Operation Breakthrough
    » Ingnition Lab Opportunity Intership Program

    reStart, Inc.
    » reTreats

    Sisters In Christ
    » Youth Life Link

    Transition Zone, Inc.
    » Youth Workforce