Presents promising practices from Milwaukee’s Tech Tern Model, a youth/industry partnership that connected 18 male high school students, most of whom were African American from low-income backgrounds, with employer mentorship and real-world learning opportunities in the health care, architecture, engineering, and construction sectors.

 “As the numbers of young adults disconnected from the workforce continue to rise, the out National Fund for Workforce Solution Young Adult Initiatives [such as the program described in this brief] aim to test and implement new strategies….The practices presented here represent some of those burgeoning successes” (p.1).


“The Young Adult Initiatives are:


  • Identifying effective methods in connecting young adults to industry partnerships;
  • Describing the characteristics of effective partnerships between employers and education and training providers; and
  • Cultivating a network of top employers experienced in recruiting young adults and sharing with them the National Fund for Workforce Solution’s] best practices for young adult recruitment.


The…Young Adult Initiatives ultimately seek to develop a deep understanding of how industry partnerships and employers most effectively engage young adults, and share this information so that employers and workforce development collaboratives across the country can access the potential of and invest in the millions of young adults across the nation” (p.1).


This brief provides an overview of Milwaukee’s Tech Tern Model, a “multidisciplinary career exploration program that provides urban youth workforce readiness, academic skills, hands-on training, and career exploration across multiple disciplines including health care, architecture, engineering, and construction....It was expected to:


  • Help create a pipeline of ready talent for future employment in the region
  • Demonstrate the kinds of careers available ’in industry’
  • Provide real-world experiences of jobs
  • Eliminate stereotypes of both jobs and industries” (p.2).


“The mentorship project [at Bradley Tech high school in Milwaukee] lasted two and a half years and included 11 day-long onsite sessions. There were 18 male students, most of whom were African American of low income, urban backgrounds. Throughout, the students had opportunities to learn how and why things are constructed, how academic education enables that and what, exactly, professionals do in their jobs. They also received mentoring from the partners on a two-to-one basis, so that at any given time outside the classroom, two partner organizations were mentoring a youth” (p.3).


(Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)


Full Publication Title: Promising Practices in Young Adult Employment: Hands-On Multidisciplinary Career Exploration and Mentorships