Research-To-Practice Brief

Strengthening "Soft" Skills for Workforce Success

MDRC partnered with JPMorgan Chase to promote continual improvement among their Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) grantee organizations through research. SYEPs are a workforce development model predicated on promoting socioeconomic advancement for young people ages 14 to 24 who often inhabit marginalized identities, such as being from low-income backgrounds, being young people of color, or being disconnected from school or the labor market. MDRC collected data in the form of interviews and metrics aggregated and interviewed six SYEP providers to share specific insights about a particular program component—soft-skills training. “Soft skills” refer to the general habits and competencies that make for an effective employee, such as arriving at work on time, cooperating with coworkers, taking and giving direction, communicating clearly, dressing appropriately for the workplace, and so forth. This MDRC brief presents findings that showcase ways that soft-skills training, as a workforce development intervention, can put young people on the path to high-paying jobs and socio­economic advancement.
Partner Resources
Summer Youth Employment
Special Populations
Youth in Transition
Publication Date
Section/Feed Type
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