An alarmingly large number of young adults are disconnected from traditional education (including a high school diploma or credential) or job skill training, diminishing their chances of lifting themselves out of poverty. Past research suggests that these “disconnected youth” face challenges beyond their control, and lack the supports and skills needed to transition from high school to college and employment.
This new brief by The Working Poor Families Project describes the issue, and details policies and strategies for reconnecting young adults (typically 18-24 years old) to education, skill training and employment, with a specific emphasis on state level policies and interventions. The brief notes that by bringing more attention to these young adults, WPFP and its state partners have the opportunity to promote state policies to assist disconnected young adults to effectively support themselves and their families.
Read the Brief (PDF)
While the U.S. economy has shown some signs of recovery—the U.S. unemployment rate has dipped below 8 percent from 10 percent three years ago—the economic outlook for many working families is bleak. New data from the U.S. Census Bureau show that the number of low-income working families in the United States increased to 10.4 million in 2011, up from 10.2 million a year earlier.
This means that nearly one third of all working families—32 percent—may not have enough money to meet basic needs. At the same time, inequality among working families is increasing, as higher-income families receive a larger share of income relative to families at the bottom of the income distribution.
Read the Brief (PDF)
Millions of American breadwinners work hard to support their families. But, despite their effort, almost one in three working families are mired in low-wage jobs that provide inadequate benefits and offer little opportunity for advancement and economic security. Compounding the problem are public policies that do not adequately prepare workers to advance to higher-skilled, higher-paying jobs or promote the creation of quality jobs.
The Working Poor Families Project (WPFP) was launched in 2002 by national philanthropic leaders who saw the need to strengthen state policies affecting these working families. This national initiative is now supported by the Annie E. Casey, Ford, Joyce and Kresge foundations. WPFP focuses on the states because their policies and investments critically affect the lives of working families.
The WPFP is active in 22 states and the District of Columbia. In each state the WPFP partners with one or more nonprofit organizations to strengthen state policies to better prepare America's working families for a more secure economic future.
From Women Employed
Fourth Year Sophomores?: Improving Student Remedial Outcomes In Illinois (September 2013)
Download the report (pdf)