Minority youth unemployment is an enduring economic and social concern. This book evaluates two new initiatives for minority high school students that seek to cultivate marketable job skills. The first is an after-school program that provides experiences similar to apprenticeships, and the second emphasizes new approaches to improving job interview performance. The evaluation research has several distinct strengths. It involves a randomized controlled trial, uncommon in assessments of this issue and age group. Marketable job skills are assessed through a mock job interview developed for this research and administered by experienced human resource professionals. Mixed methods are utilized, with qualitative data shedding light on what actually happens inside the programs, and a developmental science approach situating the findings in terms of adolescent development. Beneficial for policy makers and practitioners as well as scholars, Job Skills and Minority Youth focuses on identifying the most promising tactics and addressing likely implementation issues.
Barton J. Hirsch is Professor of Human Development and Social Policy at Northwestern University, Illinois. He has written two previous books on youth programs, A Place to Call Home: After-School Programs for Urban Youth and After-School Centers and Youth Development: Case Studies of Success and Failure (with Nancy L. Deutsch and David L. DuBois), which both received the Social Policy Award for Best Authored Book from the Society for Research on Adolescence.
1. Preparing youth for work; 2. Do youth in After School Matters have more marketable job skills?; 3. A comparison of the strongest and the weakest apprenticeships; 4. Which apprenticeship has the best model for scaling up?; 5. What human resource interviewers told us about youth employability; 6. A program for teaching youth how to do well in job interviews; 7. Guidelines for the future; Appendix 1: the impact of After School Matters on positive youth development, academics, and problem behavior; Appendix 2: the Northwestern mock job interview.