Youth Jobs Partnership


The Purpose

In the ethnically diverse Clark-Fulton, Tremont West and Detroit Shoreway neighborhoods of Cleveland, the future seems bleak for hundreds of young adults.  With a high school graduation rate of only 52%, and an unemployment rate of 25% for those with no high school diploma, sometimes even a glimpse of a better future seems rare.

The Youth Jobs Partnership (YJP) provides a path to a hopeful future to these neighborhoods, and to thousands of young lives that hold so much potential.  This Biblically-based workforce development initiative provides Cleveland’s young adults, ages 16-22, with comprehensive job training, professional development, and mentorship opportunities. YJP uses strategic partnerships to transform low-income teens into a highly-competent workforce with marketable skills and a solid work ethic; and then transitions each graduate into gainful employment or further training.

The Plan

Youth Jobs Partnership uses a whole-person approach to best equip young people for success in a career and in their personal lives, including:

  • Rigorous Courses: Training sessions are based on extensive benchmarking and best-practice data.
  • Character Development: Mentors emphasize personal character development, such as communication skills, conflict resolution management, integrity, punctuality, excellence, and work ethic.
  • Portfolio Creation: Each participant drafts a working resume, cover letter, and personal budget.
  • In-School Academic Tutoring: A unique partnership with Cleveland Metropolitan School District provides job training in the context of the classroom, as well as homework assistance, OGT preparation and reinforcement of math, science and reading skills.
  • Individualized Mentoring Services: Cleveland-area professionals mentor each participant through planning and achieving measurable goals in academics, career, and personal life.
  • Personalized Placement Services: After high school, students are placed in the next appropriate opportunity based on their individual skills, situation, and aspirations.
  • Spiritual Foundation: Biblical truth sets the foundation for principals that are taught throughout the program. 

The Progress

Each year, YJP equips more than 1,000 teens for a brighter future. They step into the workforce with marketable skills, experience, and confidence.  And 91% of YJP participants take that step with their high school diploma in hand, as opposed to 52% of their peers.  After completing the program, participants also showed 11% increase in resume writing ability, 24% increase in personal finance skills, 13% increase in interviewing skills, and 22% increase in conflict resolution, according to diagnostic tests.

More importantly, YJP lays a spiritual foundation for these students.  The Gospel is clearly presented to each student, and every year, dozens of young adults give their lives to Christ.  Mentors follow up with each of these students to connect them to the support they need to grow in Christ.

YJP is changing the lives of urban young adults, but the long-term goals of the program encompass more than the individuals themselves.  Over the next decades, YJP hopes to spur economic growth in these neighborhoods, and ultimately, to have YJP alumni hand off their skills and their vision of a better future to the next generation of leaders.



To get involved as a mentor, employer partner, or student participant, contact Program Director Joe Fell at or (216) 861-5323.