Area(s) of Interest

December 19, 2017

Jobs For The Future — Workbased learning


Jobs for the Future is a national education building organization.  Working with schools to design and deliver the training that is being required by employers to fill the skills gap while advancing the career opportunities of students in a cost effective ROI.

Our services build on 30 years of experience in designing, implementing, and supporting accelerated pathways that propel at-risk youth and low-skilled adults to entercollege and earn postsecondary credentials with immediate labor market value.

JFF pathways structure education, training, work-based learning, and career advancement in a seamless continuum across K-12, postsecondary, workforce institutions, and employers to enable youth and adults to build academic, technical, and professional skills, attain credentials, and enter into and advance within a specific career, field or sector. They achieve these outcomes:

  1. A degree or credential with real value in the current labor market.
  2. Employment with family/self-supporting wages
  3. Opportunities for further education and career advancement


The vast majority of young people need a postsecondary credential to thrive in today's knowledge-based economy. By 2020, 68% of U.S. jobs will require one. But millions of Americans graduate high school unprepared for college or career success. Only 21% of entering U.S. high school students graduate on time, enter college immediately, and earn an Associate's degree within three years or a Bachelor's degree within six years.


Our best chance of preparing millions more Americans for the jobs of the future is by enabling higher education's most underrepresented populations (i.e., dropouts, minorities, low-income students) to succeed in college and other career training programs. JFF works with public and private partners across the country to design and expand models that: build basic skills, improve high school instruction, increase graduation rates, increase college entry, and provide crucial supports to help college students and job trainees advance toward credentials with high labor market value.

Once such solution working with JFF was with Hayes Performance Systems

IMT Critical to Growth at Hayes Performance Systems

Hayes had a long history as a manufacturer of motorcycle brakes, and it sought to extend that expertise into other automotive markets including agriculture, construction, and defense. For Hayes to diversify successfully, its workers needed to be flexible, nimble, and able to learn new product lines quickly and efficiently. But even as they diversified their product line, Hayes faced an impending wave of retirements among the baby boomers in its workforce, who were highly skilled and experienced. Facing this challenge, they turned to the Industrial Manufacturing Technician (IMT) apprenticeship as a critical solution.

The 18-month IMT apprenticeship trains frontline manufacturing workers to set up, operate, monitor, and control production equipment. Apprentices learn to understand manufacturing as a business system that integrates multiple disciplines, processes, and stakeholders. That knowledge allows workers to efficiently and safely manage time and materials, which helps improve manufacturing processes and schedules.

Approximately 10 percent of Hayes’ workforce is currently enrolled in the IMT apprenticeship—and Timothy Hake, director of human resources at Hayes, has no doubt about the return on investment: “Higher productivity, better quality—I don’t need to quantify it, I can see it every day on the shop floor.

Establishing an apprenticeship program is a significant undertaking, and Timothy attributes Hayes’ successful implementation of the IMT apprenticeship to its partnership with WRTP/BIG STEP, an intermediary organization. 

The IMT offers advancement opportunities that appeal to the workforce of the future—younger workers, women, and others who may hesitate to work in manufacturing. “Millennials,” Timothy notes, “are interested in personal development and growth—these things are as important as working conditions and pay; if you’re going to stay in business, you need to be able to attract a younger, more diverse workforce.”

Interested in learning more about opportunity to partner with Jobs for the Future

For more information on the IMT Apprenticeship, including resources for employers, workforce development organizations, unions, and apprentices, visit

Contact JFF This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Ready To Work Business Collaborative, founded by a collective of Fortune 500 companies, is committed to working cooperatively to develop hiring best practices that target the long-term unemployed, under-employed, people with disabilities, military veterans, and Opportunity Youth. The RTWBC accomplishes this mission through collaboration, thought-leadership, and services that support employers who desire to serve these talent pools better.

Additional Info

  • Industry: Healthcare

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Ready To Work Business Collaborative works cooperatively to help employers develop hiring best practices that target the long-term unemployed, underemployed, people with disabilities, military veterans, and Opportunity Youth.

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