The U.S. school-to-career system is highly developed in some ways and underdeveloped in others. The Pathways vision is that young Americans from all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds, and from all parts of the nation will complete secondary school, receive post-secondary preparation and certification for entry into viable careers, and then transition successfully into the adult world of work. Strong evidence shows that sagging labor demand in recent years has depressed employment for adolescents and young adults. However, the Pathways challenge is a longer-term phenomenon. Structural gaps and systemic inefficiencies in the systems that prepare young people for employment and connect them to jobs are major reasons that many become lost in the transition from school to career.
Ferguson, Ronald, and Sara Lamback. "Creating Pathways to Prosperity: A Blueprint for Action." The Pathways to Prosperity Project, Harvard Graduate School of Education, and the Achievement Gap Initiative at Harvard University, June 2014.