The vast majority of young people need a postsecondary credential to thrive in today's knowledge-based economy. By 2020, 68% of U.S. jobs will require one. But millions of Americans graduate high school unprepared for college or career success. Only 21% of entering U.S. high school students graduate on time, enter college immediately, and earn an Associate's degree within three years or a Bachelor's degree within six years.

Our best chance of preparing millions more Americans for the jobs of the future is by enabling higher education's most underrepresented populations (i.e., dropouts, minorities, low-income students) to succeed in college and other career training programs. JFF works with public and private partners across the country to design and expand models that: build basic skills, improve high school instruction, increase graduation rates, increase college entry, and provide crucial supports to help college students and job trainees advance toward credentials with high labor market value.

JFF pathways structure education, training, work-based learning, and career advancement in a seamless continuum across K-12, postsecondary, workforce institutions, and employers to enable youth and adults to build academic, technical, and professional skills, attain credentials, and enter into and advance within a specific career, field or sector. They achieve these outcomes:

  1. A degree or credential with real value in the current labor market.

  2. Employment with family/self-supporting wages

  3. Opportunities for further education and career advancement

Browse by area of work:

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