University Outreach provided research support to the Flint & Genesee County Opportunity Youth Coalition by identifying federal grant programs available to fulfill their vision that “Flint & Genesee Opportunity Youth will have the resources and support to succeed in education, career, and life.”
It is estimated that nearly 10,000 people in Genesee County, ages 16-24 are not in school or employed. This number represents 19% of all Genesee County youth (Opportunity Index, 2016). Collectively known as ‘Opportunity Youth’, these young people hold a tremendous amount of potential to complete their education and contribute to the local economy.
The Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce, coordinates the Opportunity Youth Coalition and met with University Outreach in summer of 2016 to assist with data collection to further define where and who these 10,000 young people are. The report, published in March 2017, includes details on geography, gender, income, race/ethnicity, educational attainment, dependents, and homelessness. The report also details the federal funds that currently flow into Genesee County for job training, education, housing, childcare, and healthcare services.
University Outreach staff member, Sara McDonnell worked with UM-Flint students Paige Tiedeman and Elizabeth Sims, and faculty member Kasie Nickel-White, to complete the research. UM-Flint student, Paige Tiedeman, spent nearly six months collecting data about Flint and Genesee County’s Opportunity Youth, and the types of federal grant opportunities that could be sought after by the Coalition to support young people in completing their education, and preparing for and securing gainful employment.