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November 19, 2020

YouthBuild USA Publishes White Paper on the Benefits, Challenges, and Best Practices for Building a Work-Based Learning Model

YouthBuild USA is delighted to announce an important new white paper resource entitled “Connecting Opportunity Youth and Employers through Work-Based Learning: The benefits, challenges and best practices for building a work-based learning model.

Developed with generous support from Citi Foundation, this paper incorporates current research and best practices informed by YouthBuild USA’s collaboration with YouthBuild programs that participated in the YouthBuild High-Demand Career Pathways Initiative. The insights captured in this paper emphasize work-based learning (WBL) as an essential tool for partnering with opportunity youth to build the skillsets and mindsets that lead to lifelong learning, livelihood and leadership.

Connecting Opportunity Youth and Employers through Work-Based Learning defines the elements and continuum of work-based learning, with a focus on the strategies, practices, and partnerships that programs and industry experts have developed and how these elements can be integrated in a YouthBuild model.

While the guiding principles and underlying themes of this paper are relevant in both virtual and in-person settings, adjustments to this white paper were made to account for virtual and remote programming needs stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. Useful references are embedded throughout the paper to show how some of these adjustments for virtual learning and working can be implemented at YouthBuild programs and at other opportunity youth-serving intermediaries.

Questions about this resource or work-based learning strategies? Please contact the YouthBuild USA Career Pathways Team at

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