America’s youngest workers, particularly young adults of color, are facing the most dire employment prospects since the Great Depression. As our nation looks toward recovery, and policymakers and investors seek strategies to build stronger connections to economic opportunity for young workers of color, let’s highlight the promise of work-based learning (WBL) opportunities.
In a new research report by the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program, “Unpacking the Work of Work-Based Learning,” authors Ranita Jain and Vivian Vázquez describe how four organizations involved with the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Generation Work initiative—Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee in Seattle, District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund in Philadelphia, Goodwill of Central and Southern Indiana in Indianapolis, and PowerCorpsPHL in Philadelphia—engage with young adults and employers to design and manage WBL opportunities.
WBL can help young adults of color get the experience, education, credentials, and relationships necessary to succeed in the workforce, now and in the future. And it can provide them an entry point into jobs in industries where they have been historically underrepresented.