Alternative workforce development : the potential of youth, arts-based initiatives and the case of the Rose Kids
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Every year, the US Conference of Mayors presents awards to mayors and their administrations for programs that enhance the quality of life in urban areas. In 2009, the City of Charleston won and was named America’s “Most Livable” City. The program that won them the honor was the Palmetto Artisan Program, an entrepreneurial skill program helping youth artisans become licensed business vendors. This report seeks to understand the potential for arts-based youth programs, like the Palmetto Artisan Program, to impact local economic development and enhance quality of life. I explore this issue through a literature review of workforce development, arts-related economic development, an analysis of five programs across the country, and an in-depth analysis of the Palmetto Artisan Program in Charleston, SC. The report concludes with recommendations and insights for cities and regions wishing to implement similar programs that benefit young people and their communities.