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.
Interim Results of the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Evaluation
Interim results from a random assignment evaluation of the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program, an intensive, residential program for high school dropouts, show that young people who had access to ChalleNGe were much more likely than those in the control group to have obtained a high school diploma or a General Educational Development certificate. They were also somewhat more likely to be working, in college, or enlisted in the military.
Built on a research review and consultation with youth policy experts, this paper makes the case for developing a menu of approaches for the heterogeneous population of disconnected youth, building knowledge about mature programs (to better understand whether they work, for whom, and why), and creating new programs that address areas of unmet need. This framework may be particularly relevant for the Administration’s newly proposed Youth Innovation Fund.