Promising Practices in Young Adult Employment: Hands-On Multidisciplinary Career Exploration and MentorshipsReport as inadecuate

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Jobs For the Future

The National Fund for Workforce Solution's Young Adult Initiatives aim to test and implement new strategies for targeting America's young adults and share this information so that employers and workforce development can join forces in investing in the millions of young adults across the nation. This case study focuses on promising findings from two programs supported by the Milwaukee Area Workforce Funding Alliance. These programs were designed to expose high school students to promising careers in design, construction, and information technology. Drawing from these programs, this report considers which program characteristics fostered success and how other cities can design similar programs. Lessons from the partnership include: (1) When working with young adults, remember that the learning context needs to include hands-on, experiential lessons that tie back to academic work; (2) When designing the program, ensure that the partners each fulfill a specific role and make sure each partner knows what that role is; and (3) If the partnership starts from employer demands, it will be more successful than if academia or community-based organizations put together a program and then try to get employers to participate. The successful practices detailed in this report are anticipated to benefit from the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) youth program, which requires that, by 2016, 75 percent of workforce board youth funding be spent on out-of-school youth.

Descriptors: Young Adults, Youth Employment, Labor Force Development, Case Studies, Employment Programs, High School Students, Career Exploration, Design, Engineering, Construction Industry, Information Technology, Program Effectiveness, Partnerships in Education, Experiential Learning, Hands on Science, Program Design, Agency Role, Youth Programs, Out of School Youth

Jobs for the Future. 88 Broad Street 8th Floor, Boston, MA 02110. Tel: 617-728-4446; Fax: 617-728-4857; e-mail: info[at]; Web site:

Author: Wagner, Stacey


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