Springboard jobs

Why This Matters

Job quality is critical for all workers, but many participants need intermediate steps on their path toward a quality job. Important strategies include transitional employment, paid internships, apprenticeships and work experiences for key populations (e.g., youth; new Americans; individuals experiencing homelessness, transitioning from the justice system or in active recovery). Designing these interventions as a stepping stone rather than an end point isn't easy.

The Problem

Out of millions of low-wage entry-level jobs, some are dead-end and don't facilitate upward career mobility whereas others are "springboard" jobs that build skills and the workers' network and experience to get a better quality job. Lightcast, a leading labor market data and analytics company, found that 52% of entry-level workers (no bachelor’s degree, less than two years’ experience) reached better paying jobs in five years whereas 48% remained in a cycle of dead-end jobs.

The Solution

This job quality intervention outlines how workforce agencies can establish or advance “springboard” strategies that increase the chance that entry-level low-wage jobs will become stepping stones rather than end points for clients. This intervention will help your agency if:

  • You fund or operate programs that place youth or young adults, individuals experiencing homelessness, individuals transitioning from the justice system, new Americans, individuals in active recovery or other populations that need to build essential work skills and work histories

  • You are interested in helping these workers get placed in entry-level jobs most likely to be a stepping stone or a springboard toward a quality job