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About Our Areas of Work
We organize our work into three areas to help low-income youth & adults:

Blog

Tuesday July 12, 2016
Critical Findings of the Accelerating Opportunity Initiative Jobs for the Future’s Accelerating Opportunity (AO) initiative was launched over four years ago, with the goal of helping the nation’s large numbers of adults with low basic skills earn higher-wage jobs faster by combining the Adult Basic Education (ABE) and career and technical training they need into one integrated program. The numbers speak for themselves: in the first three years of the initiative, 8,287 students enrolled in AO pathways across 54 colleges in four of our participating states: Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, and...
Tags: Career Pathways, Credentials, Career and Technical Education, Adult Basic Education
Tuesday March 29, 2016
There are startling statistics that we can no longer ignore. A child born into a family in the lowest income quintile has a 4% chance of moving into the top quintile. Half of black Americans are born poor and stay poor. Most black, middle-class children are downwardly mobile. These data points reflect the growing inequality, lack of economic mobility, and increasing numbers of Americans living in poverty and insecurity. Like many of you, Jobs for the Future is doubling our efforts to change this deeply troubling and painful reality in the land of opportunity.  At JFF we are committed to...
Tags: Career Pathways, Credentials, Summit, Economic Mobility
Friday October 16, 2015
At Jobs for the Future, we work to drive innovation in education and workforce development at the federal, state, and local level with the ultimate goal of fundamental systems change that will result in economic opportunity for all. The systems involved are some of the most calcified in the nation—K-12 education, higher education, the public workforce system, corrections, public assistance, and more.  My experience of the past 20+ years shows me that getting just two of these systems to work more effectively together (e.g., adult education and higher education) is challenging—let alone...
Thursday July 30, 2015
Supporting Second Chances
More than 2 million people are incarcerated on any given day in the United States, and over 700,000 former prisoners transition back to their communities every year. We can—and must—do much more to help these young people and adults become productive members of society. The Obama administration’s move to make federal Pell Grants available for some inmates to take college courses is an important step in the right direction. Finding a full-time job after serving time in prison is one of the primary predictors of successful reentry. And while most jobs at a fair living wage require...
Tags: Career Pathways, Opportunity Youth, Reentry
Tuesday June 30, 2015
Connections between the workforce and federal assistance programs at the state and local levels have not always been strong. However, that’s about to change as a result of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. In WIOA, Congress took a step that had been discussed within the beltway for almost a decade by requiring that Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) become a mandatory partner in the workforce system (unless a governor decides to exclude TANF). This new requirement is a great step forward in many ways: Lays the groundwork for system-level coordination, resulting in an...
Tags: Federal Workforce Policy