Relationships Come First: How Four Career Development and Workforce Readiness Programs Prepare Young People for Work and Life
This report presents a study by the Center for Promise that examines how relationships help keep young people in school and on the path to adult success. In this study, the research team explores how relationships nurture employment and economic success for the young people at four career development and workforce readiness programs across the country. The four programs--located in Dallas, the Bronx, Washington, DC, and the San Francisco Bay Area--are part of a group of Youth Opportunity Fund community partners supported by the Citi Foundation’s Pathways to Progress initiative, a three-year, $50 million investment to give 100,000 low-income youth in the US the opportunity to develop the workplace skills and leadership experience needed to compete in today’s economy. Research findings include the following: 1) Relationships, including supportive relationships with program leaders, potential employers, volunteers, and program participants, come first; 2) Webs of support are integral to the program design; 3) Relationships endure and extend beyond the program; and 4) Relationship-building approaches differ depending on who the program serves.