A Green Career Pathways Framework: Postsecondary and Employment Success for Low-Income, Disconnected Youth

A Green Career Pathways Framework: Postsecondary and Employment Success for Low-Income, Disconnected Youth

The Corps Network, 2011

Toolkit Purpose 

A Green Career Pathways Framework explores the extent to which green jobs-jobs that contribute to meeting the goal of achieving environmental sustainability-offer a pathway out of poverty for low-income young people, many of whom have disengaged from school and are struggling to find a way into the economic mainstream. This paper offers guidance on how youth programs can learn more about and access industry-driven green credentialing and Career Pathways development work within local communities or regions. It also discusses how youth programs can then work with employers and postsecondary partners to build on-ramps to postsecondary technical training programs and entry to green careers.

Publisher 
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and W.K. Kellogg Foundation
Intended Audience 
Youth programs and those who work with and support those programs
Career Pathways Target Population 
Disconnected low-income youth who have experienced difficulties in their personal lives or communities and may not have completed high school
Based On 
The findings of a working group, combined with additional research on lessons from youth development, workforce development, education, and the emerging green economy.
Summary of Toolkit Approach 

This paper presents a multi-part framework to help program practitioners ensure that credentialing programs they connect youth to have labor market value. This framework:
- Outlines the type of career pathway work currently underway in many communities or regions of this country and argues that youth programs must link with such efforts;
- Shows how youth program leaders can use this information to design strong on-ramps to postsecondary credentials that enable entry to green careers;
- Describes ways that youth programs need to work closely with postsecondary partners and employers to ensure that program services actually prepare youth to succeed; and
- Explains how to scale-up "college connected" on-ramp models and offers brief ideas on how a range of stakeholders can create local partnerships in order grow career pathway efforts.
The paper also includes a three-phase model design to provide programs with detailed steps on how to build on-ramps to postsecondary credentials that enable entry to green careers (the three phases cover enriched preparation, bridging transition, and first year supports to completion). The paper lays out each phase of the model and includes short case studies of young people and their trajectories into green jobs, as well as examples of how youth programs and partners have built the components of the on-ramp model to align to green careers.

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