Path to Employment: Maximizing the Impact of Alternative Pathways Programs

by: Adam Newman | Papers |Jun 8th, 2017

A two-part publication highlighting how alternative pathways programs can accelerate employment prospects for low-income adults

In the latter half of 2016, Tyton Partners conducted national research on behalf of The James Irvine Foundation regarding innovative education-to-employment opportunities for low-income adults. The goal of this initiative was to better understand the emerging ecosystem of Alternative Pathways Programs, which are generally non-accredited, employment-oriented education and training initiatives that promise a pathway into the workforce for opportunity youth and adults. In particular, we sought to explore how these models could support low-income adults and other underserved populations to enhance their readiness and access to sustainable employment opportunities and longer-term career pathways.

In Path To Employment, we explore how an expanding segment of non-traditional programs are both helping low-income adults improve their skills and connecting them to meaningful entry-level jobs and new career pathways.

In Part 1 of Path to Employment, we introduce and define Alternative Pathways Programs and detail their potential to augment the education-to-employment pathways for low-income adults. In addition, we identify and described six Program Pillars that represent critical design considerations for providers seeking to achieve outcomes with low-income adult learners.

Part 2 of Path to Employment takes a closer look at how a dynamic cohort of Alternative Pathway program organizations, located in California and beyond, are driving success for participants through well-designed models that draw on the principles included in our six Program Pillars. Profiles for nine organizations are included, each illustrating one or more of the preferred Pillar models for low-income participants.

Across the publications, we highlight important implications and opportunities for stakeholders supporting low-income adult populations, including policymakers, employers, funders, and traditional providers such as community colleges and social services agencies, and share a broad list of innovative providers in the space.

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