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The Double Payoff from Enhanced Career and Technical Education

By: Jo Kwong, Adam Meyerson

The Double Payoff from Enhanced Career and Technical Education

Last year, The Philanthropy Roundtable published a guidebook that identifies powerful strategies and top organizations that donors can use to help economic strugglers finally get a solid footing in the job market. After explaining how important work is to self-image and social life as well as economic success, that book provides rich practical information about how marginal populations like the homeless, single mothers on welfare, former addicts, former prisoners, the disabled, and high-school dropouts can be drawn into solid entry-level jobs where they can succeed and establish stable lives. Entitled Clearing Obstacles to Work: A Wise Giver’s Guide to Fostering Self-Reliance, the book is available on Amazon or in bulk from the Roundtable offices.

The volume you are about to read is a natural follow-on to that predecessor. This guide will help philanthropists make public contributions toward one of today’s most hotly debated issues—improving the upward mobility of low-income workers. The key to helping entry-level employees gain more responsibility and enough income to support a family is to raise their skill level. The biggest opportunity is in so-called “middle-skill” jobs that don’t require a college education but do require some formal postsecondary training. This training is often capped by a competency test of some sort that makes sure you really do know how to run a computer-controlled lathe, or field customer service phone calls, or weld underwater, or hook up a computer network.

The thrill of using career and technical education to prepare new cohorts of Americans for middle-skill responsibilities is that you can be part of a double payoff. You’ll help unleash economic mobility for marginalized populations. And at the same time you’ll stoke our national economic engine. The quiet secret of industrial America is that many businesses and industries now face crippling shortages of technical workers. Philanthropic alliances with businesses and educators to create new training pathways are one of today’s most promising ways of helping our nation and its people.

We thank the Lenfest, Achelis, and Dr. Phillips foundations for generous funding that made this book possible.

The Philanthropy Roundtable exists to help donors succeed in strengthening our nation in the ways they deem most useful and important. If we can help your charitable efforts to expand economic opportunity and deepen U.S. prosperity, please let us know.

Jo Kwong
Director of Economic Opportunity Programs

Adam Meyerson
The Philanthropy Roundtable

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