Youth and Career Pathways

High-quality postsecondary education is an economic necessity, an anchor of democracy, a moral imperative and a fundamental civil right. The United States needs a highly educated workforce to remain competitive in the global market. Apprenticeships and technical training certificate programs are forms of postsecondary education and should be supported to at least to the same extent as two- and four-year colleges. Education policies and programs must recognize that students and workers are not two separate populations with distinct needs. Many high school and postsecondary students work while attending school, and many workers take classes during their time off to develop new skills or simply enrich their lives. Indeed, there are many paths to becoming skilled. The AFL-CIO Working for America Institute advocates that the federal government launch a concerted, national initiative to inform parents, young people, and new workforce entrants about the availability of vocational, technical and apprenticeship training and education opportunities that lead to good jobs, with clear career pathways to future opportunities, while contributing to the competitiveness of the American economy and enhanced national security. Such a campaign is consistent with a greater recognition that there are multiple career pathways to employment security.


PDF icon Working for our Future: Policies for a New Generation of Work

PDF icon Multiple Career Pathways to Family Sustaining Jobs

PDF icon Multiple Career Pathways: Emerging Context for Workforce Development Policy

PDF icon Reclaiming the Promise of Career and Technical Education: Address by American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten

PDF icon American Educator: The Benefits of a Reimagined Career and Technical Education

PDF icon Pathways to Prosperity

PDF icon Learning for Jobs