Youth CTE & Employment Initiative

ACT is launching a Youth CTE & Employment Work Group to ensure Alexandria’s youth have access to exceptional career and technical education (CTE), work-based learning opportunities, and meaningful employment prospects that foster skill development, exploration, and clear pathways toward a prosperous, self-sufficient life filled with joy and community engagement.  Najmah Ahmad is leading and overseeing our convenings, facilitating information sharing and a learning agenda, and nurturing a culture of collective problem-solving.

We have launched the Youth Employment & CTE Working Group Application! The Youth Employment & CTE Working Group will endeavor to break down silos and work across sectors to enhance pathways to the future for all of the youth of Alexandria, particularly those historically and systemically locked out of opportunity. If you have any questions about the Work Group, please contact Najmah Ahmad at

Working Group members include representatives from:

  • Youth Serving Organizations (Ages 16-24)
  • K-12, Higher Education & School District partner organizations 
  • Workforce Development & Employer partner organizations
  • Community Organizations & Nonprofits (Including faith-based, advocacy & civil rights organizations) 
  • Parent & Family Engagement organizations 
  • Funders & Philanthropic organizations 
  • Government intermediary & policy organizations 

This Youth Employment & CTE initiative is focused on:

  • Key Partnerships: We’ve successfully identified and engaged key partners spanning various sectors, including Schools/Higher Ed, City Government officials & agencies, nonprofits/advocacy organizations, employers, workforce agencies, youth, families, and community members. This collaborative effort has laid a solid foundation for our collective endeavors.
  • Landscape Analysis: Our informal analysis of the current CTE & Youth Employment ecosystem in Alexandria has provided valuable insights. Notably, we’ve identified a pressing need for a clearly articulated, equitable vision and goals across the city. Additionally, there’s a recognized necessity for increased coordination across sectors, capacity building, funding identification, innovation enhancement, and pathway strengthening for both in-school and disconnected youth.
  • Co-Creator Lab: On February 22nd, 2024, we hosted a Co-Creator Lab with 50 participants from City, ACPS, business, nonprofit, community, and philanthropic leaders. This event served as a platform to introduce our work to a broader audience, initiate the crafting of a shared vision, share successful examples from across the country/region, and engage in brainstorming sessions to address challenges through empathy interview simulations.
  • Working Group Recruitment: Recruitment for our working group will kicked off in March and we have 35 members representing diverse sectors. Additionally, we’re opening our monthly learning journey sessions to interested parties from April to October 2024. From October to December, the working group will plan for potential shared investment and implementation. These sessions will delve deeper into successful models and best practices. The 35 members will also participate in monthly subgroup strategy meetings where we will align on goals and priorities as they relate to that month’s learning journey session.
  • Progress and Focus: We’re pleased to report significant progress in engaging with ACPS and city government agencies, with the Superintendent and City Council expressing enthusiasm for collaboration as they further their own related priorities. Moving forward, our focus will also be on deepening our employer engagement and ensuring meaningful in-school and out-of-school youth participation in the working group as well.

For more information, please contact Najmah Ahmad at

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