Cleveland-based Youth Opportunities Unlimited (Y.O.U.) is partnering with a national employment program, Generation, to bring a proven, global, youth employment training program to Ohio to help local young people connect with the job market, according to a news release.

Generation is a demand-driven employment program founded in 2014 by McKinsey & Co. to recruit, train and place young people in jobs. Since its founding in 1892, Y.O.U. — a nonprofit tackling youth workforce development — has reached more than 160,000 young people.

Together, the two plan to provide a model to help fix the skills gap, connect employers to skilled labor and help end youth unemployment, which is 13.8% in Cuyahoga County, according to the release.

“We are excited to embark on this partnership with Generation to prepare 18-24-year-olds with the opportunity to work in high-demand professions in the retail, customer service, and hospitality fields,” Y.O.U. president and CEO Craig Dorn said in a prepared statement. “We are able to provide this exciting, new, no-cost pathway to the young adults we serve, through funding from Cuyahoga County. We look forward to proving the potential of this model and quickly scaling to maximize our impact in years to come.”

The new program aims to partner with local and national employers in target sectors to identify job vacancies and deliver talent.

“Generation is thrilled to partner with Y.O.U. to help both unemployed young people and employers who are facing an unparalleled need for skilled employees,” said Sean Segal, chief operating officer of Generation U.S., in a prepared statement. “Generation’s proven methodology and success around the globe, paired with Y.O.U.’s experience in the Cleveland community, will ensure Cleveland’s unemployed youth a new path to sustainable careers.”

Generation programs are free for accepted participants, who are guaranteed job interviews upon successful completion of the program consisting of an innovative boot-camp style training. Generation also offers an integrated curriculum combining technical, behavioral and mindset skills. Participants receive mentorship throughout the program and after they join the workplace.

Employers in Cleveland have a significant demand for customer service and teller positions. Cuyahoga County alone has more than 20,000 unemployed youth who are candidates for training to fill these positions, according to the release.

“We anticipate this pilot program will link 100+ skilled youths with sustainable careers in the Cleveland community over the next 12 months,” said Brandon Carrus, senior partner in McKinsey’s Cleveland office, in a statement. “We look forward to continuing our support of this partnership that will transform the lives of young people and provide needed talent for employers across the city.”

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