Career & Technical Education

September, 2022
Edith Yang, Peter Halpin, Daniel Handy

The New World of Work (NWoW), a program that promoted teaching soft skills—the capabilities and habits that affect communication, social interactions, and problem-solving—operated briefly in over 75 community colleges in California. This brief describes statistical analyses of assessments NWoW used to grant credentials in those soft skills.

As technology continues to advance rapidly, the labor market exhibits a growing need for more frequent and ongoing skill development. At the same time, employers in many fields encounter difficulties finding adequately trained workers to meet their needs. According to data released by the U.S. Department of Labor, aside from a temporary dip as a result of the COVID -19...

Issue Focus
September, 2022
Parker Cellura, Marco Lepe

“Soft skills” are the capabilities and habits that affect communication, social interactions, and problem-solving. Credentials in soft skills aim to show employers that job applicants are proficient in these skills. MDRC interviewed employers to gauge how they perceive these credentials and to learn what could increase their utility and credibility.


Lessons from the New World of Work

August, 2022
Hannah Dalporto, Marco Lepe

Increasingly, companies are favoring skill-based requirements—such as communication and writing—in job postings. In response, postsecondary educators are looking for ways to teach these “soft skills” explicitly. This brief outlines practical considerations and recommendations for developing and implementing soft-skills instruction in a postsecondary setting.

Thanks mainly to state and city policy investing in the development of a green workforce, New York City hosts an emerging ecosystem of green jobs training providers, employers, and intermediaries. 

Careers in the green economy are already providing good wages and opportunities for advancement and wage progression. These jobs can also lead to tangible...


A Model for Postsecondary Career and Technical Education

April, 2022

This brief highlights lessons from the City Colleges of Chicago Centers of Excellence model, which has redesigned each of the system’s seven campuses as a “college-to-career center” and consolidated academic programs in high-demand industries at particular campuses.