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JA Workforce Pathways - JAWNY

JA Workforce Pathways 

A US Department of Labor grant to Junior Achievement USA is funding a historic and visionary initiative: the creation of a new program for JA, JA Workforce Pathways. The Federal grant, Workforce Pathways for Youth, will lead to a national rollout over the next three years, expanding JA’s reach into the young adult/workforce space. The initiative targets young adults up to age 21 who are neither in school nor working full-time.

JA USA is developing a three-pillar approach to the workforce space. Those pillars are: Coaching, Credentialing, and Connections to Employment.


The power of coaching can be a critical tool in developing the potential of young adults. In the robust JA program, participants are matched with a coach for a one-on-one, five-phase program that will provide them with education and career development support, as well as new skills to increase their employability and handle their finances. 

Two tracks, Education First and Employment First, are designed to prepare participants to get the education and training they need before entering the workforce, or to transition directly from the coaching program into unsubsidized employment. This could include internship, apprenticeship, gig-based work, or a full/part-time job. 

A partnership with SmartResume provides participants the opportunity to create skills-based resumes. 


The growing emphasis on skills-based hiring informs JA’s credentialing strategy, which seeks to revolutionize how we prepare and credential the workforce of tomorrow. JA will put in place a comprehensive ecosystem of credentials that serve as tangible, portable evidence of a person's competencies, skills, and achievements. 

There are three types of credentialing initiatives: 

    1. Credentials created and issued by JA, e.g. the JA Career-Ready Credential 
    2. Partnerships with third-party organizations that offer pathways to credentialing, including credential prep programs.  
    3. A partnership with Accredible making all badges portable, which is facilitated by the issuance of a digital credential, stored in a wallet. 

A partnership with Accredible allows credentials to be shared in a variety of ways, including digital wallets, social media, and SmartResume.

Connections to Employment

JA Workforce Pathways for Youth features a variety of supports aligned to career readiness, as well as obtaining actual work experiences. The talent marketplace provides a strong mechanism to connect local JA Workforce Pathway participants to internships, apprenticeships, and part-time and full-time jobs.

The local JA Areas’ connections to employers is one of the strongest aspects of JA’s work in this space. Leveraging those relationships will help ensure employment opportunities are available for program participants. 

Learn More

You can learn more about the US Department of Labor Grant and the JA Workforce Pathways initiative here.

If you would like more information or to support the JA Workforce Pathways initiative, please submit the form below.

View JA Workforce Pathway Resources About JA Workforce Pathway Resources


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