What Works: BridgeConnect Stories from the Field
Bridge programs have emerged as an effective strategy for preparing low-wealth, low-skilled individuals for jobs that require more education. By providing the necessary academic, employability, and technical skills, these programs help participants enter and succeed in postsecondary education and training and, ultimately, the labor market. Building upon the BridgeConnect National Survey conducted by the Workforce Strategy Center (WSC) in 2010 that documented the proliferation of bridge programs throughout the country, What Works: BridgeConnect Stories from the Field focuses on bridge programs that help low-income adults attain post-secondary credentials leading to further education or careers. Each of the programs highlighted in the report are organized around five identified criteria:
- Offer postsecondary credentials to low-income adults to help them enter and advance in further education or career track employment;
- Serve people of color, single heads of household, low-wealth individuals, or immigrants;
- Work with employers in industry sectors important to the region’s economy;
- Involve employers in significant ways; and
- Design programs that include a series of courses and services (not just a single course).
This report is aimed at bridge program practitioners whom will learn from documented successful practices. It is also believed that policymakers will benefit from learning how these programs are working on the ground to effectively bridge individuals into post-secondary credentials that lead to careers. This report includes video clips that capture practitioner and participant emotions and personalities, utilizing “digital storytelling” to bring the report to life.