Launching a High School Career and Technical Education After School and Summer Program
Sade Randall, YouthForce NOLA; Adam Bourne, NOTEP – New Orleans Technical Education Provider; and Lawrence Wagner, Spark Mindset
This country, and especially cities including New Orleans, faces huge racial gaps in wealth and economic opportunity that are only being exacerbated by the pandemic and recession. In 2016, the median wealth for Louisiana’s black families was $17,600, compared to $171,000 for Louisiana’s white families. The pandemic and associated recession is likely only increasing this disparity.
In New Orleans, YouthForce NOLA, an education, business and civic collaborative aims to help close these gaps by helping young people of color prepare for, and gain employment in, industries with high wages and growth opportunities. In September 2019, YouthForce launched a 21st Century Community Learning Center program where high-quality local training providers serve high school students at sites across the city. In this innovative program, New Orleans high school students both participated in career exploration activities and earned industry-based credentials during afterschool and summer activities.
In this participatory workshop, representatives of YouthForce NOLA and two leading training providers in high-wage, high-growth fields (New Orleans Technical Education Provider, skilled crafts and Spark Mindset, cybersecurity) will review the key learnings of launching their program amidst the pandemic.