Job Opportunity Investment Network (Join), Philadelphia – Sector Partnerships & Training
JOIN, which stands for Job Opportunity Investment Network, is a Philadelphia-based public-private partnership whose goal is to increase the number of Philadelphians earning family-sustaining wages by investing in industry-supported partnerships that train low-wage workers for high-demand, mid-skilled positions.
JOIN does not connect Philadelphia residents to jobs, but rather invests in workforce partnerships, career pathways, and skills training that will provide residents the training they need to secure employment. JOIN’s investment is split into three categories – workforce partnerships (70% of investment), evaluation (10%), and tools & collaboration management (20%). This means that JOIN not only helps creates workforce training programs but also evaluates their effectiveness.
JOIN brings in community partners and best practices to ensure they are continuously improving their programs. Besides job training, JOIN has created a program to establish themselves as thought leaders on sector partnerships in Philadelphia through a program called JOIN(T) Action, which is a collaborative network of over 100 community leaders who create and implement best practices for workforce development.
JOIN has been successful for partners, job-seekers, and the community. JOIN has helped over 100 Philadelphia-based employers hire or train workers and has created or improved 13 workforce sector partnerships. JOIN has taught nearly 4,300 low-skilled adults and helped 1,350 low-skilled adults gain degrees or industry-recognized credentials for a Philadelphia target industry. Overall, JOIN has facilitated a 717% return on investment for the community
Northeastern University, MA – Cooperative Education Programs
As many colleges and universities across the United States explore new ways to connect students with real world experience and better support local employers, Northeastern University in Boston has done exactly that for over one hundred years through its Department of Cooperative Education & Career Development. Through Northeastern’s Cooperative Education (Co-op) program, students alternate between classroom studies and full-time work in career-related jobs for six months.
While receiving practical experience and skills, students are also paid by their employers, which allows them to offset their education costs. Employers in turn are able to evaluate potential future employees while getting necessary work done. The system has been tremendously successful in preparing students for careers and finding gainful employment upon graduation while also providing employers with a cost-effective way to find, train, and hire quality new employees.
Before they graduate, approximately 94% of Northeastern students complete at least one six-month co-op assignment. As they continue to learn and explore careers, many students will complete two or three co-ops while attending Northeastern. Students are currently in companies spread across 136 countries. According to the university, upon graduation over 50% of students get job offers from an employer where they spent a six-month co-op and 89% had full-time employment in their desired field within 9 months of graduation.
he success has been noted, and Northeastern continues to receive high rankings for the services it provides to students and employers, and applications for limited freshman spots become more and more competitive.
The Tennessee Promise – Free Community College for Adults
In May 2017, lawmakers in Tennessee approved legislation that would make community college free for all adults starting in the fall semester of 2018. This was an expansion of a preexisting program, the Tennessee Promise, that made tuition and fees free for recent high school graduates pursuing a degree at a Tennessee community college.
Now the Tennessee Promise is also open to all adults without a degree or GED. Students in the Tennessee Promise program must have been a state resident for one year before applying, keep at least a 2.0 GPA, apply for the FAFSA, and enroll in enough classes to be considered a part-time student in order to remain eligible for the program. Community college students in the program will save around $3,700 each year, and even if they already receive financial assistance, the Tennessee Promise program will cover the rest of their costs.
Expansion of the program was proposed by Governor Bill Haslam and was a major part of his initiative to increase the number of Tennessee residents with college educations to 55% by 2025. When the expansion was announced in 2017, fewer than 39% of Tennessee residents had a college degree.
The Tennessee Promise program will cost around $10 million each year – funded by money from the state’s lottery. In the first two years of the program, more than 33,000 students benefited, and Tennessee saw its enrollment rate of first time freshmen rise by 30%.
ince implementing free community college for adults in Tennessee, other communities have followed suit. Oregon, San Francisco, New York, and Amarillo, TX have implemented some form of free or reduced cost community college.