Re-Engaging Dropouts: Local Innovations & New Opportunities for Federal Policy

Re-Engaging Dropouts: Local Innovations & New Opportunities for Federal Policy
Re-Engaging Dropouts: Local Innovations & New Opportunities for Federal Policy


This forum examined local progress and federal policy connections to support systematic efforts to re-engage dropouts in education drawing upon a growing body of experience in the multi-city Reengagement Network hosted by the National League of Cities (NLC).  Andrew Moore of the NLC Institute for Youth, Education, and Families provided an overview of reengagement activity nationwide, drawing upon a new Municipal Action Guide on the topic.  Eric Dregne of the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque, Iowa discussed recent progress and partnerships of Re-Engage Dubuque. Robert Sainz of Los Angeles’ Economic and Workforce Development Department described early results from a unique workforce-school district reengagement partnership supported by the Workforce Innovation Fund.  Allie Kimmel, Legislative Assistant, Representative Jared Polis (CO-2) provided closing remarks.

Presenters included:

Photo_Dregne formattedEric Dregne joined the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque in 2010 after a 20-year career in retail executive management.  As Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, he leads collaborative efforts focusing on areas like youth, underserved communities and healthy neighborhoods, as well as the Foundation’s grantmaking initiatives. As a volunteer, Dregne held leadership positions on initiatives including: Envision 2010 community visioning (Dubuque, IA); Vision2020 community visioning (Galena, IL); Every Child/Every Promise, a youth-focused organization; and Dubuque 2.0, a community information and engagement initiative around sustainability.


Photo_Kimmel formatted

Allison Kimmel is legislative assistant for Congressman Jared Polis (CO-02) at the U.S. House of Representatives, where she manages his education portfolio. Previously, she was a research assistant for education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute. She received her BA from Harvard University, where she majored in government and completed the Undergraduate Teacher Education Program (UTEP). She was a board member of Harvard Students for Education Reform and interned at the Department of Education, Breakthrough Collaborative, and the American Enterprise Institute in education policy studies.


Photo_Moore formatted

Andrew O. Moore is a Senior Fellow with the National League of Cities’ Institute for Youth, Education and Families, a foundation-funded “action tank” that helps  municipal leaders take action on behalf of the children, youth, and families in their communities.  Moore’s current roles with the Institute include: Assisting 30+ cities nationwide to develop or strengthen multi-sector partnerships involving city governments, community colleges, and business and community leaders focused on increasing postsecondary completion; Supporting a growing national network of Dropout Reengagement Centers, which constitute key local infrastructure for increasing high school graduation and college and career readiness rates; and leading an exploration of municipal leadership roles in juvenile justice system reform.

 Earlier, Moore spent 15 years building the nationwide network of service and conservation corps, and has consulted on strategic program development with the National League of Cities’ YEF Institute and other clients in the youth development field in the U.S. and United Kingdom.

Sainz formatted

During his time with the City of Los Angeles, Robert Sainz has been instrumental in reinventing the Workforce Development System, establishing the FamilySource System, and founding the L.A. Youth Opportunity Movement.

Robert Sainz serves as the Assistant General Manager in charge of Operations. Through his work, he manages over $100 million in public agency grant funds. More importantly, he has impacted the lives of thousands of young people and adults, creating opportunities for them to return to school, enter employment, and start careers. Robert has over 20 years of public service experience, specifically in local government. Throughout his public service career, he has addressed many difficult social problems facing our community’s low-income residents, including the challenges of juvenile delinquency; youth and adult unemployment; and poverty. He has personally been engaged in policy development, program development and program implementation of a number of youth and community intervention programs.

He was previously the Executive Director of the Los Angeles Youth Opportunity Movement for the City of Los Angeles. The Youth Opportunity Movement provides educational, vocational, and career opportunities for over 3,500 young people ages 14-21 in three of the most economically disadvantage areas of Los Angeles.

He has also worked as the Assistant Executive Director of the City of Los Angeles Commission for Children, Youth and Their Families. In this capacity, he worked tirelessly on a variety of issues impacting the lives of children and families. Robert began his public service career in the Los Angeles County Probation Department in 1992, and as Probation Director managed the Department’s Community Relations and Communications Office.

Robert is the past Chairperson of the Violence Prevention Coalition of Los Angeles and past Chairperson of Helpline Youth Counseling, a community-based organization. He is a Board Trustee and past president of US Conference of Mayor’s Workforce Development Council. He has received numerous awards and recognition for his work including the Durfee Foundation’s Stanton Fellowship.

He received his BA degree from UC Santa Cruz, MPA from Columbia University, and post-graduate work from the University of Southern California.


Click here to view part 1 of the presentation

Click here to view part 2 of the presentation

Click here to view part 3 of the presentation

Read about the Los Angeles YouthSource centers, which work to re-engage dropouts

Click here to read the forum brief

Presenter Information:

Eric Dregne

Vice President of Strategic Initiatives

Greater Dubuque Community Foundation

Roshek Building Suite 195

700 Locust Street

Dubuque, IA 52001


Allie Kimmel

Legislative Assistant

Congressman Jared Polis (CO-02)

1433 Longworth House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515


Andrew O. Moore

Senior Fellow, YEF Institute

National League of Cities

1301 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Suite 550

Washington, DC 20004


Robert Sainz

Assistant General Manager

Economic and Workforce Development Department

City of Los Angeles

1200 West 7th Street, Floors 4 & 6

Los Angeles, CA 90017


The American Youth Policy Forum (AYPF), a nonprofit, nonpartisan professional development organization based in Washington, DC, provides learning opportunities for policy leaders, practitioners, and researchers working on youth and education issues at the national, state, and local levels. AYPF events and publications are made possible by contributions from philanthropic foundations. For a complete list, click here.