According to the latest American Community Service data, taken in 2021, there are over 570,000 young people ages 16-24 in California who are disconnected from school and work. This represents 20% increase from 2019.
In the evolving landscape of our modern economy, one of the most critical, yet often overlooked challenges we face is how to support teens and young adults (ages 16-24) who are disconnected from two of the most foundational, indispensable institutions of education and employment. Not surprisingly, the consequences of disengagement from both school and work are far-reaching, affecting not just the individual youth, but the communities in which they live, and even society as a whole.
Any meaningful attempt to answer key questions about both prevention and intervention, requires an analysis of the relevant facts. Data, when properly analyzed, provides invaluable insights that not only present a clearer picture of the situation but also guides policy and intervention design. It helps pinpoint the specifics: who is affected, when are they most vulnerable, where are the hotspots, and why these trends are emerging.
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