Talent Development Starts with a Service Year

Talent Development Starts with a Service Year
Talent Development Starts with a Service Year

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National Service is a solution for talent development. Even as the economy recovers, unemployment among young adults remains double that of the general population.

While rarely recognized as such, service years are a form of talent development well-suited to young adults — a kind of “civic apprenticeship” that combines work-based learning and career development with a motivating social purpose. Service year programs take many forms and engage many different populations. For example, they may target Opportunity Youth or college graduates, transitioning veterans or college students testing out a field. They may include opportunities to earn specific credentials, or provide informal pathways into careers. Yet, almost all service year programs enable service year corps members to develop essential workplace skills valued by employers, including communications, critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, and cultural competency. If participating in a year of service was available to more people and used widely as a strategy for talent development, it could dramatically increase employment opportunities for young Americans.

This webinar will illustrate the role of national service in supporting talent development in the United States and provide tools to organizations to start intentionally building service year programs. The webinar will feature a program, alumni, and employment specialist to build the case for service as a talent development pipeline. Attendees will walk away with concepts and resources demonstrating how service is a strategy for talent development, and learn strategies for increasing the quality of programs.


  • MacArthur Antigua, Senior Director, Alumni Engagement and Cross-Sector Partnerships, Public Allies
  • Ben Duda, Managing Director, Corps Members & Alumni, Service Year Alliance
  • Jessica Graham, Strategic Partnerships, Inclusion & Collaboration, Cisco
  • Matt Walsh, Research Analyst, Burning Glass Technologies
  • Moderator – Betsy Brand, Executive Director, American Youth Policy Forum


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.