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COJ Staff Selected as National League of Cities Youth Excel Fellow
May 12, 2023
John Everett, Director of Workforce Development at Kids Hope Alliance (KHA) and the City of Jacksonville (COJ), has been named a Youth Excel Fellow as a part of the National League of Cities’ (NLC) Youth Excel Initiative.
Through the Youth Excel Initiative, Fellows work in close partnership with NLC to help their cities promote long-term community economic security by developing partnerships and implementing strategies that improve access to high-quality postsecondary education and career pathway opportunities that lead to high-wage jobs in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields. The initiative has a specific focus on supporting BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, or People of Color) youth and Opportunity Youth, or those who have become disconnected from school and the workforce. With a firm commitment to incorporating the voices of both youth and employers, the Initiative seeks to ensure that the Fellows’ work leads to impactful opportunities for young people in STEM.
John Everett joins 12 other municipal staff members from cities across the nation to engage in monthly peer-to-peer virtual learning opportunities and receive tailored technical assistance from NLC's staff and national content experts as they work to advance the city's efforts in developing high-quality career pathways for young people.
He shared how this opportunity aligns with the city's efforts to create a strong local, workforce and increase access to high-wage, in-demand jobs.  “The City of Jacksonville recently created a workforce development department within Kids Hope Alliance in order to provide high-quality training and apprenticeship programs to youth and young-adults.  The city continues to convene leaders across sectors to explore better ways to align systems to meet the workforce needs of marginalized populations.  Our mission is to promote equitable   
opportunities by driving policy change, fostering innovation, and advocating for initiatives that help them successfully transition into the workforce.  This has resulted in new, significant investments in efforts to improve outcomes for members of marginalized communities facing multiple barriers to economic mobility.
My goals as a fellow are to bring back strategies to address increase economic mobility, learn innovative solutions to economic barriers, and share the work Jacksonville is currently doing with the Youth Excel network of innovative city leaders committed to upward mobility for youth and young adults disconnected from educational and economic opportunities.”
The Youth Excel Initiative, operated out of the National League of Cities’ Center for Leadership, Advancement, Education, and Development, addresses the urgent need to develop community-wide approaches to workforce development that prepare youth to access high-quality careers in STEM fields. This initiative provides expert assistance to support cities and partners as they improve outcomes for youth and young people who are marginalized from economic success.
This cohort program runs from April 2023 through December 2023 and is made possible through the generous support of the Siemens Foundation.