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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
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
Thursday January 12, 2017
Young health care worker reading to older man
When it comes to the frailest among us, it is most likely a woman who does the caring. According to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics data, in 2016 women accounted for 87 percent of the nursing assistant workforce, 87 percent of home health aides, and 83 percent of all personal aides. Women of color are disproportionately employed in all of these caring occupations, as are single mothers and immigrant women. Because these occupations pay so little, most of the women in these health care support occupations remain poor, unable to support their own families even as they work full time...
Tags: Health Care, Career Pathways