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Opportunity NOW is a coordinated initiative launched by Mayor Megan Barry to provide young people in Davidson County access to employment. In Nashville, we have seen fewer and fewer teenagers and young adults working during the summers and after-school. At the same time, Nashville employers across various industries are concerned about the lack of “soft” skills among their youngest employees—skills most readily learned through actual work experience.
The initiative was created based on recommendations from the Mayor’s Youth Violence Summit as a way to connect youth to opportunity and to hope. Opportunity NOW is designed to combat the growing gap in opportunity and will become the much needed system for delivering employment and employment-like opportunities for young people.
Helping to implement the Mayor’s initiative is the Nashville Career Advancement Center (NCAC), a division of the Mayor’s Office and the city agency for workforce development. NCAC coordinates closely with Mayor Barry and her Advisory Council for the program.
Employers are the foundation of this initiative and the key to providing meaningful worksites, engaged supervisors, and quality opportunities for young people.
Employers can engage with Opportunity NOW by:
- Partnering with the initiative to hire young people directly
- Providing work sites for young people that are participating in a more structured program
- Donating towards the per participant cost of serving a young person in the program
The Opportunity NOW system is broad enough to cater to a variety of skill levels while creating pathways to both subsidized and unsubsidized employment for youth aged 14 to 24.
- "Experience Work" is a team focused, project based program for youth aged 14 to 16.5 that promotes community engagement.
- "High School Internship" is a six week summer internship program for youth aged 16.5 to 18 at local businesses and community organizations.
- "Summer Plus" provides entry level positions for recent high school graduates with college going plans.
- "Work Now" provides a wide range of immediate employment opportunities for young people.
For additional information, and to find out how you can be involved in Opportunity NOW, please email email@example.com.