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ERIC Number: ED498170
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Jul
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
Afterschool Programs: Helping Kids Compete in Tomorrow's Workforce. Afterschool Alert. Issue Brief No. 25
Afterschool Alliance
Preparing youth for success in tomorrow's workforce is of increasing concern to American schools, communities, policymakers and businesses. After-school programs are uniquely situated to help youth develop the skills needed in the 21st Century workplace. The after-school setting provides additional time for learning, and allows for engaging instructional methods, such as project-based learning, real world application and smaller group sizes. In 2000, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reported that increased competition on a global scale was giving rise to a trend of "high-performance workplaces" in which flexible, decentralized work practices are carried out by multi-skilled workers. NCES acknowledged that, at the time of the report, these types of workplaces were in the minority and were clustered in a few industrial sectors. However, NCES predicted that, in the near future, the skills required of front-line workers may increase to include proficiency using a variety of machines and technology, and personal skills such as flexibility, problem-solving, responsibility, teamwork, and initiative. NCES also predicted that in an increasingly service-based economy, the need for critical-thinking and social skills would also increase. More recently, the Department of Education has asserted that "today's flexible workplaces rely on people who can handle multiple tasks, interact well with colleagues, respond to varying customer needs, identify problems and make quick decisions on how to fix them." The afterschool field recognizes that preparing the future workforce to be competitive in the global economy is something that quality programs can contribute to. In fact, they have been helping young people develop such skills for decades. The genesis of today's afterschool program can be traced back to the turn of the century and the desire of 'boys clubs', settlement houses and churches and other religious organizations to provide safe, supervised environments for children during the after school hours. As afterschool grows, a range of practices are being refined and in turn these practices are being replicated in programs throughout the nation. Since 2000, numerous afterschool evaluations and studies of promising programs continue to identify practices that help children and youth succeed, both in school and out. In addition, the skills gained in afterschool go beyond those that can be measured by grades and test scores. The extra learning time, and time to develop leadership, teamwork and problem-solving skills, are essential to ensuring that today's youth are prepared for tomorrow's workplace. (Contains 19 endnotes.)
Afterschool Alliance. 1616 H Street NW Suite 820, Washington, DC 20006. Tel: 202-347-1002; Fax: 202-347-2092; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - General
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Afterschool Alliance, Washington, DC.