Jobs for the Future Webinars

JFF holds webinars on a broad range of important topics in education, workforce development, and related policy. If you have any questions, please contact

Strengthening College Transition in State ESSA Plans: Incoporating Dual and Concurrent Enrollment and Early College High School

Date: Wednesday, February 15, 2017

2:00pm EST / 1:00PM CST /12:00pm MST / 11:00am PST

Leaders of the newly-established College in High School Alliance will share guidance for states and school districts on how to incorporate early college high school and dual and concurrent enrollment into their Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plans and how to align supportive state policies.

  • Lexi Barrett, Director of National Education Policy, Jobs for the Future
  • Clara Haskell Botstein, Associate Vice President, Bard Early Colleges
  • Adam Lowe, Executive Director, National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships

The webinar will highlight the provisions in the ESSA related to dual and concurrent enrollment and Early College Hgh Schools, how state and local agencies can leverage federal funds, and state policy best practices. 

Register for webinar. 

About the College in High School Alliance

The College in High School Alliance (CHSA), founded in September 2016, is a coalition of leading national organizations committed to policies that support high-quality dual enrollment, concurrent enrollment, and early college high schools. CHSA believes that greater support for these models at the federal, state, and local levels will significantly improve the secondary and postsecondary outcomes of students, particularly those from low-income and middle-class backgrounds.

Catalyzing CTE through Pay for Success Competition

Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Social Finance and Jobs for the Future launched the nation's first Pay for Success competition in K-12 education. This competition will spur the implementation and expansion of high-quality career and technical education (CTE) programs for underserved, high-need youth. Social Finance and Jobs for the Future hosted an informational webinar to provide an overview of the Pay for Success competition and application process.

Watch the webinar in full

Helping Young Immigrants Understand Their Rights and Options Under the New Administration

Young immigrants have faced challenges and vulnerability in our country for years, and their status and safety are even more precarious now. We know that many of you work with immigrant youth who are now very fearful and have a lot of questions—and you may have questions too. In order to help you respond to the questions and concerns of the young people you work with (and their families), we hosted an informational webinar that featured two immigration law experts:

Watch the webinar in full

Early College Designs

For webinars on Early College High Schools, please visit the Early College High School Community page. 


For webinars on NatureWORKS, our initiative on the green infrastructure workforce, please visit the initiative's events page.

Overview of the $100 Million TechHire Grant Opportunity

Opportunity@Work recently hosted a webinar to provide an overview of the grant solicitation for the $100M TechHire DOL grants. We led the overview of the grant solicitation, sharing some helpful hints. JFF also created a one pager on our services in support of TechHire partnership grants. 

Please keep in mind that neither Opportunity@Work nor Jobs for the Future are involved in any part of the $100 million TechHire grant process. The grant solicitation was designed and is being administered by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Recording and Slides

Webinar on Ability to Benefit

More on Ability to Benefit, the Higher Education Act, and JFF's policy work.

On Monday, November 9th Jobs for the Future and the Center for Law and Social Policy hosted a Webinar on a Call for Questions on Ability to Benefit. The webinar was recorded (see below) and addressed a number of important topics on ATB, including:

  • What is Ability to Benefit?
  • Who is eligible for Ability to Benefit?
  • What are the two primary ways to help your students qualify for ATB and access financial aid for college pathway programs?
  • What constitutes an “eligible” career pathway program?
  • Where to find the list of approved ATB tests for students to qualify for ATB

Presenters and facilitators include:

  • Derek Ball, Financial Aid Program Coordinator, Kentucky Community and Technical College System
  • Sarah Carrico, Dean of Enrollment Management, Saint Paul College
  • Maria Flynn, Senior Vice President, Jobs for the Future
  • Jon Kerr, Director of Adult Basic Education, Washington State Board for Community & Technical Colleges
  • Carney McCullough, Director, Policy Development Group, Office of Postsecondary Education
  • Mark Mitsui, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Community Colleges, Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education
  • David Musser, Policy Liaison, Federal Student Aid
  • Lauren E. Walizer, Senior Policy Analyst, Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success, CLASP

The History and Background of Ability to Benefit 

Access to financial aid plays a huge role in students’ ability to access, persist in, and complete postsecondary education, especially for those students without a high school diploma or its equivalent. In 1976 the Ability to Benefit provision was added to the Higher Education Act allowing students without high school degrees to become eligible for federal assistance so long as they had the “ability to benefit” from postsecondary training. Beginning on July 1, 2012 students were required to have a high school diploma or its equivalent in order to receive federal financial aid. Funding for ATB was cut in the 2012 Federal Budget in an effort to decrease spending on Pell Grants.  

In December 2014, Congress partially restored the Ability to Benefit (ATB) provision of the Higher Education Act. Under this provision, otherwise-eligible students who do not have a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent, but who are enrolled in eligible career pathway programs, may qualify for federal financial aid. In addition to participating in an eligible career pathways program, eligible students only need to pass an approved test or successfully complete six hours of college credit. This restoration provides a great opportunity for the thousands of students who will now be able to pursue postsecondary education and training in our nation’s community and technical colleges, or four-year colleges, and attain the credentials that are necessary for careers in high-demand occupations. Now that ATB is restored for students in eligible career pathway programs, it is critical that we do everything we can to help students in these programs access these resources. Read more.

Recording and Slides

What You Can Do

Share the recorded webinar link (to be posted here after November 9) broadly with your colleagues, including financial aid staff, student support services, adult education, admissions, and others on campus in order to help ensure eligible students access ATB.

Additional Resources

For more information on Ability to Benefit or the webinar please contact: Mary Clagett, Director of National Workforce Policy, Jobs for the Future,