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


Tuesday August 20, 2013
Strikes Spotlight Need for Better Routes to Family-supporting Jobs
Cowritten by Rachel Pleasants McDonnell & Deborah Kobes In JFF's Building Economic Opportunity Group, we're focused on increasing access to family-supporting jobs, and work with a number of programs across the country that do a good job of training participants for high-wage, in-demand jobs. The recent series of one-day strikes by fast food workers (and the upcoming walkout planned for August 29) are poignant reminders of just how many jobs there are that don't pay anywhere close to a family-supporting wage. And while many of these low-wage jobs are described as entry-level, they tend to...
Tags: Adult Basic Education, Career Pathways, Workforce Partnership
Monday March 18, 2013
Accelerating Opportunity, Jobs for the Future’s multistate initiative to redesign Adult Basic Education (ABE), is entering its second year of implementation. Drawing on the findings of the Accelerating Opportunity evaluators (the Urban Institute) and our own experiences as the managing partner, we can reflect back on the design phase, from December 2010 to November 2011, and how that set the stage for rapidly implementing pathways to good jobs and family-sustaining wages in eight states. (Click here for more information on the details of the design stage.) Careful attention to design...
Tags: Adult Basic Education
Wednesday September 12, 2012
Adult Literacy: Making the Connection
This week is National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week. JFF applauds its organizer, the National Coalition for Literacy, for drawing the connection between adult literacy and economic stability. We too are committed to helping adults gain the education they need to achieve financial independence and support their families and are staunch advocates at the state and federal level for investing in programs and policies that promote adult literacy. For many low-skilled adults, literacy training is most effective when it is made relevant to their needs and interests. Through a variety of...
Tags: Adult Basic Education, Career Pathways, Credentials, Literacy
Thursday August 9, 2012
Debating the Value of Placement Exams: Where to Begin?
For many years, community colleges have in good faith administered placement exams to incoming students. The philosophy behind placement testing is that we can best serve our students by accurately assessing their skills and then placing them into courses that provide them with the academic supports they need to be successful—be that college-level courses, Adult Basic Education, or dev ed. But recent research challenges this paradigm. The research comes at the question of student placement from many angles: Do students understand the high-stakes nature of tests they often take seemingly on a...
Tags: Adult Basic Education, Developmental Education
Tuesday July 31, 2012
JFF programs and partners help low-skilled workers gain the experience, credentials, and confidence to improve their economic opportunity. Here is one story of a hard-working American doing just that with the help of ANEW, a GreenWays-funded pre-apprenticeship program in Seattle, Washington. BRITTANY WILLIAMS has had a tough life. After her mother abandoned her and her brothers, she was drawn into street culture and dealt drugs. She was homeless for some time and spent time in prison. Her future looked bleak. Then last fall an unusual flyer caught her eye. Apprenticeship & Non-...
Tags: Adult Basic Education, Competency Education, Green Skills