In April 2002, the YEF Institute launched the two-year Transitional Jobs Project with financial support from the Joyce Foundation and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. The project set out to assist municipal leaders in establishing high-quality transitional jobs programs to help hard-to-employ residents obtain steady employment.
The following ten cities were selected through a competitive process:
Following their selection, YEF Institute staff worked closely with team leaders to set a vision for the project and ensure that each team's composition reflected the full range of key community stakeholders, including municipal leaders, representatives of the workforce development system, community and faith leaders, business executives, and other civic leaders.
Furthermore, staff helped each community identify and answer key questions for consideration in designing a TJ program, including topics such as program administration, target population, financing, and evaluation. The YEF Institute sought to provide the ten cities participating in the TJ Project with advice on TJ program development in the context of relevant local and federal policies.
The ten project cities made impressive strides toward designing and, in some cases, implementing a transitional jobs program in their respective communities within the 24-month project timeframe. Lessons learned from the project cities' experiences are documented in the YEF Institute report, Transitional Jobs: A Workforce Strategy for the Nation's Cities.