It’s time we develop strategies that serve all of our youth.

Skills Building

The concept of “college for all” sounds wonderful. But it isn’t a reality, it isn’t suitable for many young adults, and it isn’t a requirement for a great career.


We know that 80% of 10th graders expect to get a bachelor’s degree. The reality, however, is that just 30% of 25-29 year olds have bachelor’s degrees.


There are 29 million openings for “middle skills” jobs that require more than a high school education, but less than a four-year degree.

There is a trend among employers to look for “skills” and not just degrees. Wages are often higher for workers with technology certificates than they are for those with liberal arts bachelor’s degrees.

“Post-secondary education and training for all” is now a realistic goal. TeenForce actively promotes alternative pathways for teens and young adults who are unlikely to enter the traditional four-year college track. These paths include community college programs, adult education programs, and “boot camp” skills training and credentials (often combined with community college credit). Examples of these are Year Up, McKinsey Social Initiative, Trade Unions, and Silicon Valley Adult Education.

We also support Career Technical Education in high school. We don’t present it as an alternative to college, but as a program that will spark many students to connect education with career aspirations, motivating them to succeed in post-secondary education and training.

Two of our branches focus on students who are enrolled in CTE classes. In addition, our strategies for high school foster youth encourage them to enroll in CTE classes and Linked Learning programs as a way of “discovering their spark.” We are particularly proud that our main office is located on the campus of Silicon Valley Career Technical Education, the leading center for career training in San Jose.


"My experience with TeenForce has provided me a very good learning experience. Through TeenForce I was able to learn how to develop better interview skills and also get an internship with the City of Morgan Hill. While interning with the city I have learned valuable skills that I will be able to apply to my professional career later on in life."


"TeenForce has helped me a lot in my life. I was able to work 3 different jobs that really gave me a lot of experience in working in different environments and with different people. With TeenForce, I was able to find a good job that fits my schedule, and helps me pay for school."


"TeenForce provided me with skills that helped me secure my first job, including resume building and how to handle interviews. TeenForce Staffing Specialists helped me gain confidence in what I can provide in a work environment."