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ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION

CTE Holds Promise for At-risk Youth, Report Finds

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April 24, 2013

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CTE Holds Promise for At-risk Youth, Report Finds

Career pathways education and apprenticeships leading to jobs in health care and construction hold promise for at-risk youth, according to a report from Mathematica Policy Research.

In Connecting At-risk Youth to Promising Occupations, Bradley, Lansing and Stagner look at occupations that would help vulnerable young people—those who have dropped out of school, are homeless or are juvenile offenders, for instance—to achieve self-sufficiency, defined as jobs that:

  • Provide earnings of $25,000 per year or more
  • Have modest education and training requirements
  • Are projected to be a fast-growing occupation
  • Have potential for advancement

They concluded that two industries fit the bill: health care and construction. In health care, specific occupations that meet the criteria include licensed practical/vocational nurses, dental assistants, dental hygienists and diagnostic medical sonographers. All of these positions typically require a certificate or associate degree. In construction, the researchers focused on jobs that require apprenticeship, including boilermakers, brickmasons, carpenters, electricians, plumbers and steel workers, as well as jobs that require some on-the-job training, such as cement masons, drywall installers and insulation workers.

The report goes on to praise career pathways programs and specific education and workforce initiatives such as I-BEST, which integrates CTE with basic skills, and YouthBuild and Year Up programs.

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