Illustrates a framework for designing and assessing programs that help disconnected youth access health care jobs and considers what lessons can be drawn from adult career pathways programs when creating this framework.
The report takes lessons learned from programs that successfully enabled “underprepared adults to attain professional credentials and family-supporting earnings” (p.1) and attempts to apply these lessons to career pathways programs in the health care field for disconnected youth. Through case studies from three health career pathways programs for youth and descriptions of adult career pathways initiatives, the report addresses two questions:
  • “Can lessons from adult career pathway initiatives prove relevant to youth and young adults who are off-track or at-risk in their educational and career progress?
  • What approaches are similar, and what adaptations are necessary, given the longer on ramp to education and careers, particularly for those who lack a high school diploma or equivalent credential?” (p.2)

Through an exploration of these questions, the resource creates a framework for youth career pathways in health care that address “the workplace, the learning place, and the community or civic infrastructure” ( and details how all three of these are involved in the development of “promising initiatives for at-risk or off-track youth” ( (Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)

Major Findings & Recommendations

Recommendations for three distinct sets of constituents may be found below: • Practitioners must recognize that “there is no one-size-fits-all model for advancing…youth into career pathways in health care” and “should tailor programming” to meet youth where they are (p.vii-viii). • “For investors, the key is to invest for the long haul. Pathways initiatives take time to emerge and develop. Both the youth and young adult candidates need time in order to reach their fullest potential. Moreover, investors should provide resources to replicate and scale up the best practices from these case studies and other strong examples of career pathways in health care. • On the policy side, in reauthorizing the Workforce Investment Act, Congress should dedicate funding for model pathway programs that target opportunity youth, both in health care and in other sectors with strong labor demand and abundant opportunities for entry-level jobs and career advancement…[they must also] break down silos separating youth from adult workforce development systems and youth services from K-12, postsecondary, and employer stakeholders” (p.viii). (Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)