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

Blog

Tuesday November 3, 2015
Each year, more than 600,000 individuals are released from state and federal prisons. Advancing policies and programs that give these men and women a second chance to put their lives back on track promotes not only justice and fairness, but also public safety. The path that these individuals take—successful reentry or recidivism—depends most on a single variable: full-time employment. Unfortunately, only 70 percent of adults in state prison and fewer than half of the juveniles who are incarcerated have a high school diploma or GED. Without this basic steppingstone to opportunity, the jobs...
Tags: Opportunity Youth, Reentry
Thursday October 22, 2015
By Marty Alvarado and Joel Vargas Recent research about regional collaborations in California note their potential for promoting change across a state with a wide array of unique cultures, histories, and economies. Their potential for producing large-scale results is as yet a tantalizing general hypothesis: If educators, employers, and community leaders work together, they will achieve greater results than by working in their usual silos. It is a hypothesis now being tested vigorously in California through multiple publicly and privately supported regional initiatives that are all striving...
Tags: Opportunity Youth, Career Pathways, Credentials
Wednesday October 21, 2015
Helping Youth Transitioning out of Foster Care Succeed in College
Participants working to help improve success outcomes for foster youth held a debrief session outdoors in Kalamazoo, MI. Young people who are transitioning from foster care aren’t faring well in college. A 2010 study by researchers at the University of Chicago, revealed that only 6% of former foster youth had earned a two- or four-year degree by age 24. Those not in college may be in jail—34% who had left foster care at age 17 or 18 reported being arrested by age 19. Such dismal outcomes speak volumes about the lack of systems put in place to help former foster youth make a successful...
Tags: Opportunity Youth, Career Pathways, Dropout Recovery
Tuesday October 20, 2015
Last week, the U.S. Department of Education announced a new Experimental Sites Initiative (ESI). The ESI will allow a limited number of postsecondary academic institutions and nontraditional online course providers to apply for the ability to receive financial aid. This experiment will allow the department to test different ways of disbursing financial aid. The experiment will target MOOCs and other online certificate programs that are seeing a dramatic increase in use by students as the cost of traditional higher education and training continues to soar.  While these online programs are not...
Tags: Competency Education, Federal Higher Education Policy
Tuesday October 13, 2015
The Social Innovation Fund—a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service—matches federal investment with significant philanthropic funding to support evidence-based solutions to pressing social problems. The Fund is currently facing some opposition in Congress. Since its launch in 2009, Jobs for the Future has been the recipient of two Social Innovation Fund (SIF) grants. From where Jobs for the Future sits, and reflecting on our six years of experience with the initiative, we see the SIF as a critical vehicle for public-private partnership investment in small but powerful...
Tags: Opportunity Youth, Credentials, Career Pathways