Workforce Development

Courses to Employment Update (Number 1) Beyond Graduation: Promoting Post-Program Engagement and Advancement

September 1, 2001  • Maureen Conway, Linda Dworak & Allison Gerber

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In many parts of the country, nonprofit organizations are partnering with community colleges to improve opportunities and outcomes for low-income individuals by developing and operating sector-oriented workforce development programs. Using the experiences of organizations in the WSI-managed Courses to Employment demonstration, this Update explores why and how some of these partnerships work to maintain relationships with adult participants after they have finished their training. It also presents a number of the challenges to developing and sustaining effective approaches, and provides various points to consider in designing a long-term engagement strategy. One partnership in the demonstration project – Capital IDEA in Austin, Texas – has made a particularly strong commitment to long-term engagement of participants both during and after training; its story is highlighted in the paper.