A growing number of education and workforce programs are implementing “career pathways” strategies to help youth and adults prepare for postsecondary education and quality jobs. This Issue Brief describes the career pathways approach and profiles MDRC projects that shed light on its effectiveness and potential to improve education and career outcomes.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) — formerly the food stamp program —is a critical work support for low-income people and families.
Findings from the Project Rise Implementation Evaluation
Project Rise offers education, a paid internship, and case management to young adults who lack a high school credential and have been out of work and school for at least six months. Participants, who were attracted more by the educational instruction than by the internship, substantially engaged with the program.
Lessons from Two Decades of YouthBuild Programs
Youth development is a cornerstone of the YouthBuild program, which provides job skills training, academic support, counseling, and leadership opportunities to low-income, out-of-school young adults. Participants attested to the transformation that can occur in an early 1990s study; a 2014 survey of program directors largely reaffirms this.
Since 2010, MDRC has published a series of reports from its ongoing evaluation of small, nonselective public high schools in New York City. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about the study.
Examples, Evidence, and Prospects
High school reform is increasingly focused on the role of career-technical education (CTE) in preparing all students for success in both college and career. Instead of stand-alone vocational courses, programs that merge CTE, rigorous academics, and career exploration are gaining momentum, but schools need resources and training to implement them.
This two-page issue focus describes two projects — one completed and the other just started — testing a career-focused GED curriculum model that aims to improve high school credentialing and college entry rates. It offers a contextualized, career-focused GED curriculum, while supporting students in their transition to college or training.
Some 25 million working-age adults in the United States lack a high school diploma or equivalent, barring them from most colleges and many training programs.
Findings from the YouthBuild Evaluation Implementation Study
YouthBuild is a federally and privately funded program providing construction and other training, educational services, counseling, and leadership development opportunities to low-income, out-of-school young adults ages 16 to 24. This first report from a Department of Labor-supported evaluation focuses on the implementation of YouthBuild in 75 sites across the nation.
Improving the employment outlook of disadvantaged young people on a large scale will require a stronger focus on engaging private employers on potential solutions. On June 4, 2014, MDRC and The Rockefeller Foundation convened a group of experts to discuss such demand-driven approaches.