Since 2015, the Annie E. Casey Foundation has funded five city-based partnerships — in Cleveland, Hartford, Indianapolis, Philadelphia and Seattle — to change the way public and private systems prepare youth and young adults for employment success. Called Generation Work™, this multiyear effort ultimately aims to help more young people gain the knowledge and experience needed to secure jobs that pay family-sustaining wages.
One strategy the partnerships use are “now jobs.” These employment opportunities — which range from short- and long-term internships to subsidized job placements — are an interim step on the continuum of workforce development services that prepare young adults for long-term career opportunities while also helping them meet their immediate income needs.
In a new video series, Casey’s Allison Gerber discusses how Generation Work partnerships are using “now jobs” to support young people as they develop the skills and credentials needed to land higher-paying positions. She is joined by two guests — Ranita Jain of The Aspen Institute’s Economic Opportunities Program and Taylor Hopkins of Goodwill Industries of Central and Southern Indiana — who share how this approach is working for employers, young people and workforce practitioners.
What is a “now job”?
“Now jobs” are part of a continuum of workforce services to help young people gain the skills and credentials needed for long-term employment success.
How do “now jobs” prepare young people for long-term careers?
“Now jobs” allow young people to explore their strengths, talents and interests and learn about workplace norms.
How do “now jobs” help meet local business demands?
“Now jobs” not only benefit young people, but also employers who need skilled workers to fill positions.
How can policymakers and funders support young people’s career success?
To help young people succeed in today’s economy, policymakers and funders should allocate more resources to comprehensive workforce training programs and focus on longer-term education and career gains in addition to short-term job placements.
What’s the role of positive youth development in a “now job”?
Positive relationships, open communication, mutual respect and consistent support are key to helping young people reach their educational and employment goals.