Education: National League of Cities Recommended Strategies and Current Local Initiatives for Implementation

  • Promote reading proficiency by the 3rd grade by addressing lack of school readiness, chronic school absences, and summer learning loss.
  • Charlottesville City Schools has a quality preschool program for 3 and 4 year old children, but capacity is limited.
  • The United Way Thomas Jefferson Area’s childcare scholarship program provides incentives for placing children in quality care.
  • The City of Promise has a strong focus on school attendance and marked progress has been made.
  • The evidence-based Check and Connect program an-evidence based truancy prevention and intervention program for children in grades K-6 will start in September.
  • The Boys and Girls Club has a summer reading program that has been effective in preventing learning loss.
  • Recruit mentors to help Black boys stay on track in school.Research has demonstrated that youth ages 10-16, who are in a mentoring relationship for at least a year, experienced substantial benefits.
  • Big Brothers/Big Sisters has entered into an agreement with City of Promise to provide mentoring in the footprint.
  • 100 Black Men of Central Virginia provides individual and group mentoring for some boys, but youth criteria for participation are high.
  • The City of Charlottesville is piloting a mentoring program, Young Lions,in collaboration with Big Brothers/Big Sisters.
  • Charlottesville Abundant Life Ministries operates STRIVE, a mentoring and college preparation program.
  • Push for in-school alternatives to suspension and expulsion.Black boys are suspended and expelled disproportionately starting in early grades.
  • Charlottesville City Schools has been making incremental policy reforms to address this. Numbers have decreased but disproportionality remains.
  • Work to reduce chronic absence and truancy. Students cannot learn when they are not in school. School truancy is often a warning signal for more serious problems.
  • Students enrolled in City of Promise and Check and Connect generally show improved attendance and performance. However, these programs need to increase capacity to serve all Black boys in the City.
  • Develop alternative pathways to high school completion. Some strategies in this area, such as flexible diplomas, would require changes in state law.
  • Other strategies such as an alternative high school and credit recovery programs are in place with limited capacity.

Workforce: Current Outcomes for the City of Charlottesville:

  • 17% of Black males, ages 16-24 in the labor force, are unemployed compared to 6% of all residents in this age group.US Census
  • The median income for a Black household is $38,229, compared to the median income for all households is $44, 183.US Census


Workforce: National League of Cities Recommended Strategies and Current Local Initiatives for Implementation

  • Expand opportunities for early work experience and career exploration. Early work experience is a strong predictor of future success. Effective strategies include internships, summer work experience, job shadowing, and internships. Partnerships with the business community are helpful. Career academies are an effective strategy.
  • The City has a large summer internship program and a smaller year-round initiative.
  • Young Lions and My Brother’s Keeper will have employment opportunities.
  • Invest in YouthBuild Programs and Local Youth Corps.These proven national models combine work and learning.
  • A local construction company, Martin Horn is developing a YouthBuild program.
  • The City has applied for AmeriCorps funds to develop a construction industry training and apprenticeship program.
  • Explore ways to create transitional jobs for young Black men.This model creates subsidized temporary wage-paying positions as a transition to unsubsidized employment. With individuals returning from prison, it has been shown to decrease recidivism by 16-22%.
  • There is a small pilot Coming Home to Work program in the City of Charlottesville.
  • The Growing Opportunities initiative also serves this population.
  • Ensure equal access and effective targeting in workforce development programs.This strategy suggests focusing federal workforce funding, such as Workforce Investment Act, in geographically specific areas rather than across a wide region. It also recommends working with community partners with an interest in better employment opportunities and entrepreneurship to expand training and resources for young Black men.
  • Promote linkages to foster care and juvenile justice systems.These strategies promote policies and practices that support successful transition to independent living and adulthood. The current Great Expectations program at PVCC is a local example.
  • Reduce employment barriers for those with a criminal record.Cities can offer incentives such as tax credits, bid incentives for city contracts or community benefit agreements for entities that hire ex-offenders. Cities can also “ban the box” on municipal job applications eliminating questions about criminal records. Charlottesville recently did this.