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Linda Harris


Harris is the Director of Youth Policy at CLASP. She has more than 25 years of experience in youth and workforce development policy, research and administration at the local, state and national levels. Her expertise is disconnected and disadvantaged youth in high poverty communities. She co-chairs the Campaign for Youth, an alliance of national organizations that seeks to raise awareness about the 32 percent of youth who drop out of school and fall outside of the labor market mainstream. She also played a lead role in establishing Communities Collaborating to Reconnect Youth (CCRY) Network, a vehicle for peer-to-peer exchange among communities that are engaged in cross-system programming for high-risk youth. Her publications include Creating Postsecondary Pathways to Good Jobs for Young High School Dropouts, Learning from the Youth Opportunity Experience: Building Delivery Capacity in Distressed Communities, and What's a Youngster to Do: The Education and Labor Market Plight of Youth in High Poverty Communities and Making the Workforce - Justice Connection for Re-entering Youth Offenders. Prior to CLASP, she served as Director of the Baltimore City Mayor's Office of Employment Development and as Administrator for the Baltimore City Private Industry Council. During her tenure, the agency attracted more than $70 million in discretionary funding to support workforce programming in the Baltimore area and achieved a national reputation for innovation in workforce development Ms. Harris has provided consulting and technical support to several communities across the country on design and implementation of workforce programs for youth and adults. She has served on numerous state and national boards, including: the Governor's Employment and Training Council and the Governor's Advisory Council on Family Preservation in Maryland; the Board of Trustees of the Conference of Mayors' Workforce Development Council; the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals' Board; Maryland Workforce Development Association Board, and the Baltimore Empowerment Zone Board. She holds a Bachelor of Science in mathematics from Morgan State University and a Master of Science in Urban and Public Affairs from Carnegie-Mellon University.

Articles, Investigations and Blogs

In this op-ed, an advocate says a multibillion-dollar federal initiative is needed to bring disconnected youth back into the mainstream—not just for their sake, but for ours, too.