High School Dropouts

MDRC designs and evaluates projects that serve young people who have dropped out of high school (or are at risk of dropping out) and that seek to connect them with educational and work opportunities.

The Latest
Report

This report presents implementation and early impact results from a random assignment evaluation of the Young Adult Internship Program (YAIP), a subsidized employment program for young people in New York City who are disconnected from school and work. YAIP boosted earnings for participants, which suggests that they obtained better jobs.

Issue Focus

Even in good economic times, workers with limited education may need help getting or regaining a foothold in the job market. Effective career training programs exist. Approaches that target in-demand industries and closely involve employers can get results, benefiting high school students, adults without diplomas, and long-term unemployed workers.

Key Documents
Brief

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) emphasizes targeting out-of-school youth with training and services that are employer driven and linked to labor market demand. Drawing upon available research and on-the-ground experience, this paper summarizes existing knowledge that can guide implementation of key WIOA provisions for serving out-of-school youth.

Report

Evidence from Promising Programs

A review of high-quality studies, this paper highlights interventions — in education, employment and training, and second-chance programs — that have demonstrated positive results for young men of color. It comes as policymakers and philanthropies focus new attention on investing more to build opportunities for these young men. 

Working Paper

A Scan of the Evidence

Disconnected young people are the focus of several recent national initiatives to improve their life prospects. Drawing on interviews and available research, this MDRC Working Paper scans the current state of policy and evidence regarding what works in helping young people reconnect to work or school.