Out-of-School Time (OST) can play a critical role in preparing children and youth for their future careers by helping them to build foundational skills like communication, teamwork, and critical thinking. OST can also play a role in giving students the opportunity to learn about and experience aspects of career options they may not have exposure to in their daily lives. For older youth, OST can help to build specific skills that align with career interests and may be a bridge to a apprenticeship or internship to provide real-life experience with worklife goals. This page provides resource links to research and program information pertaining to OST and workforce development.
Afterschool and Workforce: Opportunities for System-Level Alignment - American Youth Policy Forum (AYPF) white paper
Employability skills like communication and critical thinking are among the most desired by employers, but evidence suggests a gap in those skills among young workers. To address this gap, youth development leaders, including those in the afterschool sector, have worked to provide high quality skill-building experiences inside and outside of the classroom. Similarly, the workforce sector has sought to narrow the gap by providing programs and services to help job seekers attain and demonstrate these skills. This white paper explores the ways in which the workforce sector’s goal of developing a better-prepared and highly skilled workforce is aligned with the mission of the youth development field: to prepare young people to succeed. Specifically, this paper discusses the need for and benefits of better alignment across afterschool and workforce systems.
Building Workforce Skills in Afterschool - Afterschool Alliance Issue Brief
Today, the private sector spends more than $164 billion every year on employee education and training to close workforce skill gaps. Currently, more than 1 in 3 workers agree that they do not have the education and training they need to get ahead. These issues beg the question about one of the major challenges facing the country: how do we sufficiently prepare youth to enter the future labor market as adults? Afterschool and summer learning programs are helping to close the gaps that exist between the skills and competencies students possess and the needs of employers—which range from communication and problem-solving skills to proficient technical skills. Afterschool programs are also connecting students to the workforce in other ways, such as helping them discover new interests and professions they may never have considered entering into and providing real-world work opportunities to help them to reach their career aspirations.
Why Employability Skills? - Perkins Collaborative Resource Network (PCRN)
Successful careers are built on solid personal and interpersonal skills. Defining, measuring, and building these skills— even naming them— can be challenging. In an effort to leverage and connect the efforts of policy makers, educators, and employers, the U.S. Department of Education compiled the Employability Skills Framework and developed related tools, media and resources.
Access PCRN site
Worklife Skills Infographic - Casel Competencies information
Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is at the core of building competencies for life and for careers.
Workforce Skills - The Riley Institute
The question of America’s future economic health remains a top national concern, and developing tomorrow’s workforce is a key part of that discussion. There are now numerous publications circulating in the business and education communities that detail the skills today’s children will need to succeed in the future workforce. Afterschool experts have begun to ask how the field of afterschool and expanded learning contributes to the development of these workforce readiness skills.
Access 5 Skills information