Even in good economic times, workers with limited education may need help getting or regaining a foothold in the job market. Effective career training programs exist. Approaches that target in-demand industries and closely involve employers can get results, benefiting high school students, adults without diplomas, and long-term unemployed workers.

Even in good economic times, many adults — particularly those with just a high school education — struggle to get and keep jobs that pay enough to support their families and permit upward mobility. At the same time, some employers report difficulty finding people with the right skills to meet their needs. Programs that target in-demand industries or sectors and heavily involve employers in training and work-based learning are effective when well implemented. These approaches can be used for different populations at different stages of their education and employment trajectory — from high school students to the long-term unemployed — and help them build pathways to careers. They can assist dislocated workers and those without 21st-century skills to (re)gain a foothold in the job market, while helping employers find the skilled workers they need.