These Job-Training Programs Work, and May Show Others the Way – The New York Times

by | Oct 3, 2022 | Jobs

For Amber Mitchell Ikpe, learning computer software skills was only part of the experience at Year Up, a nonprofit job training program.The coursework, followed by a six-month internship at a company, included classes on speaking in public, teamwork, professional behavior and attire. There was a closet with men’s and women’s business clothes, and an ironing board.Year Up also arranged help with basic needs including subsidized child care, medical insurance and food assistance. When her car broke down, she got a grant to get it fixed.“Without all that, I would never have finished,” Mrs. Ikpe recalled.After graduating from Year Up, Mrs. Ikpe landed a technology job with a near six-figure salary. Five years later, she is a homeowner in suburban Atlanta and considers herself upper middle class. She now works for an education and networking nonprofit for Black technology managers.The Year Up program is one of a relative handful of nonprofits that have established track records of lifting low-income Americans into jobs that can be ladders to the middle class.They share a holistic approach to work force development. They foster close relations with employers. They offer training for in-demand work skills and coaching in “soft skills,” like communication and teamwork. And they provide or arrange help with daily life challenges, like child care and transportation.But while growing, these programs are small. Even larger ones, like Year Up, reach only a few thousand students a year.The Biden administration is trying to prod often ineffective local and regional training programs to adopt the comprehensive model of the successful nonprofits. The administration has allocated $500 million in grants for its Good …

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