• 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.
  • Here in Ohio, CEO of Columbiana Boiler Company, Michael Sherwin, was quoted as saying he turns down 25% of qualified applicants due to their inability to pass a drug screening.

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,.

Finally, Afterschool programs recognize that drug awareness and education is not enough. Young people must build skills and resilience to avoid the use and misuse of drugs. These skills, sometimes called “social-emotional skills” or “character development,” include emotional regulation, self-awareness, and responsible decision-making. In Afterschool programs youth can build skills and practice failure with an adult mentor there to support them.


Building Workforce Skills in Afterschool – Afterschool Alliance Policy Brief

Building Workforce Skills in Afterschool – Afterschool Alliance Afterschool Snack Blog

America’s Workforce is Paying A Huge Price for the Opioid Epidemic – Forbes Magazine

Providing real-world work experiences that help build students’ familiarity with and capabilities in the workforce – Afterschool Alliance Spotlight Brief: Sunrise of Philadelphia

Building students’ foundational skills and competencies that will help them in the workforce and in life – Afterschool Alliance Spotlight Brief: Minneapolis Beacons

Experts discuss Afterschool’s role in opioid prevention – Afterschool Alliance Afterschool Snack Blog

Are you a local elected official who wants to know more?