In 2017, the Aspen Forum is deepening its investment in the Demonstration Cities through a new Pathways to Careers Fund, a collaborative effort, led and managed by our 100K Demonstrations team. In order for the backbone organizations to effectively align employer demand and career pathways with the supply of trained opportunity youth – it is necessary to pilot and test employer-connected pathways at the local level. There is a need to support public/private innovation with multiple systems, including workforce and postsecondary – in addition to other systems – to create effective pathways for opportunity youth. The Pathways to Careers Fund will make resources available in the 100K Demonstration Cities to support the development and documentation of accelerated pathways that support training, education, and the transition to employment, as well as retention and ongoing career growth and learning for opportunity youth.

Some examples of the kinds of projects that might be funded include:

  • A workforce training organization partners with two employers that agree to interview all youth who successfully complete the training, and a mentoring organization, that will provide on-going career navigation and support to all the youth for a year following the completion of the training, with the expectation that retention of OY will increase by 25%.
  • An existing program that scales to prepare additional opportunity youth for employment in growth sectors.
  • An existing training program that currently has an employer partnership innovates with elements of the program design to improve concurrent education outcomes for vulnerable sub-populations, such as young men of color. The existing program has the data capacity to examine sub-population outcome data.
  • A program that has existing employer partners that wants to scale (either through new partners or to additional locations of current partners) but needs to capture the essential program elements, and evaluate effectiveness; and will create a guide to support scaling and expansion.

The Pathways to Careers Fund has launched in three Demonstration Cities: Seattle, New Orleans and Chicago.

Chicago/Cook County Pathways to Careers Fund Request for Proposals

New Orleans Pathways to Careers Fund Request for Proposals

Seattle/King County Pathways to Careers Fund Request for Proposals

For more information about the Pathways to Careers RFPs in Phoenix and Los Angeles, please check back on this page.

For more information about the Pathways to Careers Fund, please contact Emma Uman, 100K Program Manager, at emma.uman@aspeninstitute.org.