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Practices & Centers


Accelerating our education pathways systems toward equitable economic advancement.
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Driving systems transformation for 21st-century educators, learners, and workers.

Today’s education ecosystem must meet the needs of today’s learners. This means learner-centered outcomes, pathways between education and careers, and policies and practices that support both degree and non-degree programs.

Jobs for the Future’s Education practice works to support systems change in the education ecosystem, influence policies that promote diverse pathways, and identify and apply data-informed, learner-centered solutions.

Key Initiatives

Multiple Education Pathways to Careers

We develop strategies, design models, and shape policies and practices that help learners earn credentials aligned to quality jobs.

Young Adult Talent Development

We partner with training providers, educational institutions, and employers to create pathways for young people ages 16-24 who are disconnected from school and work.

Improving State Education Outcomes

We dive into state-specific efforts focused on learner agency and flexible learning to ensure strong, career-aligned learner outcomes.


News & Ideas


The SSCN: 10 Years of Leading Change at Community Colleges

With connections to nearly half of the country’s community colleges and 4.5 million community college students, the Student Success Center Network is dedicated to promoting racial justice and driving equitable economic advancement by dramatically increasing the number of students earning postsecondary credentials with value in the labor market.


Guided Career Pathways

Why Guided Career Pathways? Dramatic disruptions in our labor market and economy require a responsive and dynamic model for postsecondary education. Today’s rapidly changing economy has exacerbated disparities: Black, Latinx, and Indigenous workers, as well as those in low-wage jobs, are experiencing greater barriers to gaining postsecondary credentials than ever before.


Sustaining a Movement for the Next 10 Years: The Pathways to Prosperity Coalition

The Pathways to Prosperity Network is 10 years old and has been instrumental in catalyzing and building the national college and career pathways movement. Today, state and local leaders and policymakers from K-12 and postsecondary education, intermediary organizations, business and industry, and workforce and economic development are collaborating to scale high-quality pathways.


Tipping the Scale

This brief shares learnings from the community of LEAP organizations and partners as they continue to deepen their practices to enhance the positive impact and durability of programming while also scaling to reach greater numbers of young people in similar situations.

Featured Projects

The Big Blur

It’s time to give up tinkering and instead take on a radical rethinking and restructuring of grades 11-14—the last two years of high school and the first two years of college—in order to increase success for all.

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Student Success Center Network

This national network scales proven practices to help more than 4.5 million students earn credentials that lead to well-paying jobs. Nearly half of U.S. community colleges are connected to the Student Success Center Network.

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Talent for the Future

Juan left high school and lost his housing. But he has skills and drive and found a Back on Track program to help him prepare for a career in IT. JFF helps employers leverage an untapped workforce of young adults like Juan who can fill their talent gaps.

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Impact Stories

Pathways to Prosperity Network

We are boldly reimagining how U.S. education and workforce systems meet state and regional talent needs and prepare young people for careers.

Building Equitable Pathways

Building Equitable Pathways is a community of practice working to create equitable pathways systems so that more Black and Latinx youth and young people experiencing poverty succeed in college and their future careers.

Lone Star STEM

Lone Star STEM supports the implementation of college and career pathways in computer science and cybersecurity to develop a diverse talent pipeline of future tech workers.

Young Adult Talent Development Network

The Young Adult Talent Development Network is composed of leaders of more than 35 national and local organizations that are leaders in young adult talent development and employer engagement.


Joel Vargas

Vice President

Joel Vargas is vice president of the Education practice at JFF, overseeing programs focused on improving learning systems and outcomes. He was previously vice president of programs and launched our West Coast office in 2015.…

Marty Alvarado

Vice President

Marty Alvarado is vice president of postsecondary education and training in the Education practice at JFF. She helps shape strategic direction and spearheads initiatives that create meaningful impact in the education and workforce landscape. Her…

Charlotte Cahill

Associate Vice President

Charlotte Cahill is an associate vice president in the Education practice at JFF, where she provides strategic leadership across multiple projects and major initiatives, including Pathways to Prosperity. She collaborates with state and regional leaders…

Marie Davis

Associate Vice President

Marie Davis is an associate vice president in the Education practice at JFF. She provides insight and guidance on the development and execution of innovative programs and platforms that will enhance and elevate JFF’s role…

Kyle Hartung

Associate Vice President

Kyle Hartung is an associate vice president in the Education practice at JFF. He works with leaders and organizations to design, strengthen, and scale solutions to reimagine the ways in which people experience and move…

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The Education practice at Jobs for the Future can help you design policies and practices that center learner experiences, explore and establish pathways, access coaching and collaborations, and more. Contact us to learn more about how you can partner with us or support our work, and subscribe for updates.