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Partnership to Advance Youth Apprenticeship Field-Building

At A Glance

Youth apprenticeship represents a proven approach to addressing the skills gap. Career Launch Chicago has developed a promising model for youth apprenticeships and engagement with partners to support the effort. 

Ben Williams Director
Kassandra McGhee Director
Joe Deegan Director


Youth apprenticeship is a proven approach to addressing the skills gap, offering benefits like higher earnings growth and career advancement. However, these programs face challenges, including acquiring reliable data on potential apprentices, gaining employer and stakeholder buy-in, ensuring transferable postsecondary credits, building stakeholder capacity, navigating labor law and liability standards, and securing transportation. Rural areas encounter added barriers such as limited employer resources, inadequate public transportation, insufficient broadband, and greater socioeconomic and health challenges. These obstacles hinder the widespread creation, implementation, and scaling of high-quality, responsive youth apprenticeship programs that bridge the skills gap and promote economic growth and equity. 


In 2023, Jobs for the Future (JFF) was once again selected as a National Technical Assistance Partner of the Partnership to Advance Youth Apprenticeship (PAYA), a role that JFF has held since the Partnership was created. Organized by New America, PAYA is a multi-year collaborative designed to sustain and scale high-quality apprenticeship opportunities for high school aged young people.  

JFF provided thought leadership and technical assistance to PAYA field partners, including three virtual webinars, a virtual Pathways Academy, and direct technical assistance coaching to disseminate promising practices. JFF also researched and profiled two innovative youth apprenticeship programs, Career Launch Chicago (CLC) and Regional Opportunities Initiatives (ROI).


JFF engaged a broad group of subject matter experts to inform this work, including New America, Trident Technical College, Advance CTE, Regional Opportunities Initiatives, and City Colleges of Chicago. In collaboration with these experts, JFF developed a set of resources for utilization by apprenticeship intermediaries, practitioners, employers, secondary and postsecondary institutions, and systems across the country. These resources include tools, trainings, and comprehensive site profiles that highlight promising youth apprenticeship models, replicable lessons, and strategies that demonstrate how to overcome common barriers in successfully creating, implementing, and scaling youth apprenticeship programs. 


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This project has been funded, either wholly or in part, with Federal funds from the Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration under contract number GS10F0094X. The contents of this publication do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of Labor, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement of the same by the U.S. Government.

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