The mission of The Pathways Fund is to strengthen the bridge between education and workforce development, so that more low-income youth have opportunities to build sustainable livelihoods. The cross-sector initiative has been a central part of one of the nation’s foremost social investment experiments – the Social Innovation Fund (SIF) – since July 2010, as one of its inaugural cohort of grant winners.
By 2018, two-thirds of all jobs will require a postsecondary degree or certificate. However, while education remains the most direct pathway to economic self-sufficiency, access to the education needed for sustainable employment remains elusive for a critical mass of America’s youth, particularly those from low-income communities. Only 60% of America’s low-income youth graduate from high school. More than 6.7 million young adults ages 16-24 are “Opportunity Youth” who are not attending school, not working and have no credential beyond high school. Over the course of the five-year initiative ending in 2016, The Pathways Fund is on track to help over 250,000 people gain the skills, knowledge and networks to lead healthy lives and engage in meaningful work. Organizations being supported through The Pathways Fund include College Advising Corps, College Summit, iMentor, Single Stop USA, Year Up and YouthBuild USA. For more information, please download the Pathways Fund prospectus here.