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Exploration of Jobs for Michigan Graduates: Trauma as a Barrier to Economic and Labor Market Opportunity

Within the Midwest, Michigan has the highest rate of youth disconnected from the educational and work opportunities necessary for adult well-being. Trauma may well be a crucial player in this disconnect, contributing to later experiences of poverty. New research has shed light on the potential of trauma-informed care (TIC) and Restorative Practices (RP) to improve opportunities not only in mental health, but in youth economic development programs as well.

This study will provide data analysis toward understanding trauma’s impact on high school graduation and youth’s economic well-being and labor market participation. The analysis will be applied to data from Jobs for America’s Graduates in Detroit that tracks intake and graduating statistics like testing scores, employment, post-secondary education and earnings. Researchers will compare the barriers to high school graduation with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration’s seventeen areas of trauma in order to determine the impact of trauma on later-life successes. These findings will be used to provide better, trauma-informed pathways for disadvantaged youth across Detroit and the state at large.

Jessica K. Camp, U-M Dearborn Department of Health and Human Services
Tracy S. Hall, U-M Dearborn Office of Metropolitan Impact