Propel America helps young adults move from high school into a career and higher education. We connect high schools, job-training organizations and community colleges, local employers, and experienced mentors to build a clear path forward for students.
Propel bridges these institutions together in three phases: Core, a class held in high schools or postgraduate “bootcamps,” Specialization, in which students–now “fellows,”–train for specific career paths, and finally Transition, applying for and moving into jobs with Propel’s employer partners. Throughout it all, Fellows receive ongoing support and coaching from their local Propel team.
Importantly, the cost of training for fellows is affordable, and they receive financial assistance or stipends to help meet basic needs and address the “opportunity cost” of not working while they train.
Propel America’s support for young people has three phases:
Propel’s “Core” curriculum prepares students to transition into a career pathway after they graduate. Students explore their job interests, select a high-demand local career path, and develop their professional skills. The course also helps students map their short-and-long-term career journey.
Core is taught in two settings: Core-High School and Core-Bootcamp. Core-High School is taught within Propel’s partner high schools, by full-time teachers of those high schools. It is offered to students the spring of their senior year. Core-Bootcamp is led by Propel team members. It is open, also by application, to high school graduates who are 24 years-old or younger.
Fellows enroll in a 6-week-to-9-month training program to earn career credentials from a higher education institution or private training provider. Fellows can earn their credentials in-person or through a “blended” (part-virtual, part-in-person) model, depending on the pathway. Since students are out of high school but not yet drawing a paycheck, Propel America provides them with a stipend to minimize opportunity cost. Propel also provides them with a cohort coach to help them develop the skills they will need to succeed in their careers, as well as ongoing “peer cohort meetings” with a group of other Propel fellows in their pathway.
With the support of their Program Directors (and/or other coaches), fellows apply for jobs at Propel’s employer partners. Fellows may receive support on everything from preparing a resume to coordinating references or other job requirements. Once they earn their job, Propel continues to provide support in navigating the workplace and they become Alumni with further opportunities to engage with Propel.
Propel’s coaching is integrated throughout the program to support fellows on a pathway to upward mobility.
Help students to build a professional and peer network that can support them over the long term
Support development of career and life planning
Ensure students have access to supports and resources that they need to successfully transition to work
Students participating in Propel as high school seniors will identify a pathway of interest. The pathways are based on the opportunities within a community and will leverage existing public funding streams to cover costs where possible. For more information on our Pathways, please visit People and Places.