April 29th, 2020
Propel America Partners and Supporters,
Amidst this global pandemic, we are reminded of the particular impact on our country’s teenagers and young adults. With high schools and colleges closed, and with unemployment on a steady rise, youth from urban and rural communities alike face an economy that stands to leave them behind, straining the American dream for a generation.
Our mission is to connect recent high school graduates with good first jobs (you can read about one of those graduates, Che’Quai Abney, here). We feel a particular urgency at Propel to adapt and meet our students’ needs in this trying time and are thus making important and urgent adjustments to our model.Today and tomorrow:
All 16 of Propel’s high school partners and all but one of our eight community college and training partners have closed for the remainder of the school year. We have therefore shifted our Core high school curriculum, typically taught in partner high school classrooms, to a virtual format, delivered directly by Propel staff. We feel deep gratitude to those teachers who had been delivering our curriculum before this moment. Their great work established a strong foundation from which to close out the year.
Our training partners are still assessing when they will be able to fully re-open. That said, we have received nearly 90 applications to Specialization, the training portion of Propel’s program, and we look forward to placing fellows with our partners as soon as possible.
A long-term view:
We continue to believe that a powerful Core experience, customized one-on-one recruitment, skilled coaching, and strong employer relationships are critical to the success of our fellows. This moment has also highlighted the potential of blended learning, in which students receive the benefits of both online content and in-person coaching.
We are shifting our longer-term strategy to include the possibility of students following Core with a blended model of credentialing, student support, and job placement. By moving online, training will become more accessible and flexible, allowing students to learn at their own pace while simultaneously getting regular, in-person support from Propel staff.
This summer, we will launch a blended healthcare training pilot as we test, design, and ultimately develop a future state of Propel that leverages online content at a more significant scale.
Our nation is now confronting an uncommon and tragic need to generate jobs and help skilled individuals access them. We are building a model that bridges the education-to-work divide, even and especially in a time when students cannot gather with their teachers, classmates, or prospective employers.
We are committed to connecting those students with the pathways they deserve. Please know we are more grateful than ever for your continued support.
All our best,
John & Paymon