Minnesota Youth Program

The Minnesota Youth Program (MYP) serves low-income and at-risk youth ages 14 to 24 who lack academic and "applied skills" considered critical for current and future workplace needs.


How does MYP prepare youth for the work place?

Research has shown that the number one predictor of future success in the workforce is early exposure to work experience. Work readiness training is focused on employer-driven behaviors such as attendance, punctuality, teamwork, communication skills, and problem-solving, and is delivered in an interactive manner. MYP provides youth with hands-on opportunities to apply skills they learn in the classroom:

  • Inquiry: Fostering a curiosity and desire in youth to develop new skills.
  • Technology: Exploring and becoming familiar with current technologies.
  • Science, Engineering and Math Skills: Practicing vital skills to enhance mastery.
  • Decision-Making and Daily Living: Learning important time management skills and practicing decision-making.
  • Interaction With Others: Working with diverse groups of people and teaching them how to work together to reach goals.
  • Positive Attitudes and Behaviors: Teaching young people about the importance of attitude in the workforce, about being on time, and having the confidence to solve problems.

What does the research say about work experience for teens?

  1. Contextual/hands-on learning improves student's grades, attendance and graduation rates.
  2. Young people who have an opportunity to gain work experience as teens are more likely to stay in school, avoid involvement in crime, gang behavior and drugs and unwanted pregnancies.
  3. Teen employment contributes to significantly higher wages as young adults enter their twenty's.
  4. Teens in low-income families have the least access to jobs - especially jobs that combine part-time work and school.

Find a Service Provider

Services are provided through a network of public and private nonprofit youth service providers, WorkForce Centers, and partnerships with local education agencies.


For more information, contact:

John R. Olson, Youth Program Coordinator
Office of Youth Development
Phone: 651.259.7547
Email: John.R.Olson@state.mn.us