The City of Oakland’s Summer Youth Employment Program provides Oakland youth, ages 16-21, opportunities to earn money, gain meaningful work experience and improve their job-readiness skills. The City contracts with local youth-serving organizations to:
- Recruit and enroll youth in the program
- Provide youth with high-quality job-readiness training
- Identify organizations to serve as worksites for youth
- Act as the employer-of-record/fiscal sponsor for youth whose wages are subsidized through the program
Through the Oakland Fund for Children and Youth’s (OFCY) robust Request for Proposals (RFP), the Oakland Workforce Development Board (OWDB) will solicit multi-year proposals from eligible organizations to provide the youth summer employment activities and services detailed below. The OWDB will make final award recommendations through this process.
The OWDB prioritizes services for African American/Black, Latinx, Native American and Pacific Islander youth residing in East Oakland, Fruitvale and West Oakland, so organizations with demonstrated success in providing services to these populations are strongly encouraged to submit proposals.
As part of OWDB’s ongoing commitment to ensuring the highest quality employment and work experience programs and services for Oakland youth, contracted vendors will be required to fulfill time-sensitive and specific requirements related to data collection, recordkeeping and reporting that will be validated through an annual evaluation conducted by City of Oakland and its programmatic partners.
Responses to the RFP should detail how the applicant will provide the following summer youth employment services:
- Identify appropriate summer job opportunities and worksites for youth with an emphasis on matching employment opportunities to their career interests
- Employ qualified staff to support youth participants with building work-readiness skills, identifying career interests and finding meaningful employment opportunities
- Adopt and refine work-readiness approaches, competencies and skills identified as “best-practices” in the field and be willing to test and deliver new curricula and/or training as requested by the OWDB and/or its partners
- Coordinate support services needed to ensure that youth are set up to realize success, including career interest assessments, work-readiness training and other services that facilitate the completion of their work experience
- Create meaningful enrichment programming to enhance the job placement success (e.g., field trips and site visits to employers, job-shadowing activities, recruiting guest speakers in career paths of interest to youth, etc.)
- Maintain a payroll system for youth employees
- Collect, report and share accurate and timely data/records on youth recruitment, training and worksite placements, work attendance and hours worked
- Administer required pre- and post-summer employment surveys (provided by the Oakland Workforce Development Board) to all youth, to assess outcomes of the summer employment program from the youths’ perspective
- Distribute a post-summer survey (provided by the Oakland Workforce Development Board) to all employer and/or worksite supervisors to assess outcomes of the summer employment program from the employers’ perspective
- Work with the City’s evaluation team to promote ongoing improvement of the summer youth employment program
OWDB prioritizes services for African American/Black, Latinx, Native American and Pacific Islander youth (ages 16–21) residing in East Oakland, Fruitvale and West Oakland. OWDB will prioritize programs that can engage and successfully serve opportunity youth (not employed or in school).
Data Collection, Reporting, Record-Keeping
Documentation of program eligibility, completion of assessments, case notes and evidence of outcomes attained. In addition, successful Respondents will maintain comprehensive information on worksite placements that includes, but is not limited to, worksite agreements, documentation of participant hours spent at the worksite, Department of Labor job codes for youth job placements.
Job-Readiness Assessment and Training
Job-readiness assessments should be used to identify meaningful summer work opportunities and to provide youth with feedback on their skill development during the summer. Youth should be able to demonstrate skills and competencies essential to workplace success prior to being matched with employers and/or worksites.
Ensuring Meaningful Work Experiences
Vendor responsibilities will include identifying worksites and number of available opportunities, verifying and approving work experience activities submitted by worksites, hosting worksite liaison orientations and training and providing on-going program monitoring at worksites. Paid work experiences must provide quality learning environments that facilitate youth development. Specifically, paid work experience should aid youth in exploring career interests and aptitudes, building vocational knowledge, developing team and leadership skills and practicing creative thinking and problem-solving. As such, positions should engage youth in a field that interests them and provides them with substantive tasks.
Criteria for Quality Worksites
Hiring program youth should not negatively impact current employees or impair existing contracts for services or collective bargaining agreements. Employers will not hire youth that would replace the work of employees who have experienced layoffs, nor shall employers terminate regular employees with the intention of replacing them with youth subsidized through the programs.
Employers are required to adhere to current workplace and safety guidelines and applicable federal/state wage, labor and worker’s compensation laws as outlined in California Child Labor Law.
Employers should be capable of and willing to adhere to program guidelines and communicate regularly with the Respondent to resolve any disputes or issues, including attendance and tardiness, that arise with their youth hires during the duration of the job opportunity. These instances should be documented.
Employers should also be capable of tracking time worked by their youth hires and will coordinate with the Respondent for the timely collection of timesheets and regular periodic distribution of payroll checks.
Employers should provide adequate supervision of, materials, and orientations for their youth hires. This includes providing alternate supervisors in the event of primary supervisor absence.
Worksites will need to provide reasonable accommodation for youth with disabilities as necessary.
Financial Access and Empowerment Training
Training topics should include the following topics: banking, credit scores, insurance, credit cards, student loans, mortgages, taxes, stocks, savings, 401(k)/retirement savings and other critical money management concepts.
Respondents who wish to pay and administer youth wages and seek city reimbursement must have the capacity to operate a payroll and timekeeping system that assures that all youth are paid on time according to an established schedule. The payroll system can be operated directly by the funded Respondent or via a fiscal agent named at the time of application.
Monitoring Youth Performance
Tracking and monitoring youth progress toward identified goals, completion of job-readiness training and completion of work hours.