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

Blog

Monday March 6, 2017
As I enter my third month as JFF’s President and CEO, it is becoming increasingly clear to me that in order to advance JFF’s mission of helping all young people and adults attain quality credentials and employment, we must think about our strategies and solutions within the context that the rapid changes and economic trends—such as the growth in automation technologies and contract-based work arrangements—are bringing to the workplace and to the very future of work in our society. Almost 35 years ago, Hilary Pennington and Arthur White founded JFF to help: states bridge their workforce skill...
Tags: Future of Work, Addressing Employer Needs
Tuesday February 28, 2017
students in classroom
The expression “building the plane as you fly” has become increasingly familiar across education. It captures the feelings of risk and uncertainty that accompany designing innovations and testing them in real time with actual participants, all while being responsible for keeping existing operations running. It reflects the idea that you know you need to try to build something different, even as you still have students on board—who enter your doors every day in need of a range of services. The risky, uncertain aspects of this endeavor feel all the more acute under the pressure of grant...
Tags: Career and Technical Education, Career Pathways
Monday February 27, 2017
students working
Our nation faces some daunting economic and workforce challenges, including a growing gap between the skills employers need versus those workers can offer. But there’s an upside to current conditions—an incredible opportunity to increase the diversity of our country’s talent pipeline and improve career prospects for underserved, high-need youth. The Catalyzing CTE though Pay for Success Competition, recently launched by Jobs for the Future and Social Finance, Inc., seeks to do just that. Pay for Success is an innovative public-private funding model that drives government resources toward...
Tags: Career and Technical Education, Career Pathways, Credentials, Opportunity Youth
Thursday February 23, 2017
I’ve been waiting 15 years for this moment. On January 24th, my home state, Massachusetts, submitted a proposal to the annual joint meeting of the Boards of Elementary and Secondary Education and Higher Education to establish career-focused early college high schools. Early colleges are schools or programs within schools designed to enable students to take college-level courses in high school for free. The combination of free tuition and early college enrollment are strong predictors that a young person will attain a two- or four-year college degree, and research shows that early college...
Tags: Dual Enrollment, Early College, ESSA, Opportunity Youth
Tuesday January 24, 2017
Student-Centered Learning Research Collaborative
Originally posted on StudentsattheCenterHub.org on January 17, 2017.  Here’s an alarming thought: What if our educational research questions, policies, and practices sometimes arise as much from ignorance as they do from evidence? I’m wondering this because I have a confession: When I was a middle school teacher, I never read educational research. Mostly this was because I had little time to do so amid the demands of teaching, but it was also because I didn’t know where to look, what to ask, or whether to care about what scholars were discovering. My day-to-day focus was on the practical and...
Tags: Student-Centered Learning, Deeper Learning