Career Learning for Adult Self-Sufficiency (CLASS)


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What’s all this talk about the importance of occupational credentials?  Well, we know that attaining postsecondary and occupational credentials is critical for youth to be successful in the 21st century economy.  Good-paying jobs in high demand industries generally require postsecondary education or training.  Plus, the increase in earnings that accompanies postsecondary credentials is well established.  To help workforce professionals identify promising occupations for youth served by the workforce system, and the credentials that help youth attain them, The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) has developed the Credentials for Youth tool.  This tool, available at, provides a step-by-step process for helping youth attain credentials in high demand occupations.  First, it connects users to resources that can help them find high demand occupations in their local area using labor market information.  It then helps practitioners identify promising occupations for youth and determine which of those occupations have pathways to career advancement.  Finally, the tool helps discover the credentials required for the identified promising occupations and provides certification information about specific occupations, including links to certifying organizations.

 In addition to the step-by-step process, the Credentials for Youth tool also provides local examples of programs that help youth attain credentials:  allied health in Los Angeles, California; warehousing and distribution, and supply chain management in Clayton County, Georgia; and IT in Marion County, Indiana.  We know there are many other workforce programs out there that help youth attain these important occupational credentials and get them on the right career pathway. 

How does your program connect youth to promising occupations through credential attainment? 

What are those critical program elements needed to help youth enter and succeed in the workforce?

What occupational credentials and training does your program offer youth?

Respond to this blog with your thoughts and program experience. 

Also, join us in a our WIA Youth Chat on November 15th at noon Eastern to engage in a conversation with your peers out in the field about how they help youth succeed in attaining credentials and entering the 21st Century Economy.


Entrepreneurships and small business development have been identified as an important employment option for populations including youth who have barriers to employment. 


Specifically, youth can benefit from leadership and financial management skills provided by entrepreneurship work experiences, particularly in a labor market where traditional jobs for youth are scarce. 


Share your ideas and thoughts about entrepreneurships for youth people and resources that self-employment and developmental activities for at-risk and out-of-school youth.