More Students Earning More Diverse, Rigorous Credentials

When YouthForce NOLA launched in 2015, only a small handful of New Orleans public high school students were earning industry-recognized credentials. If our network of collaborators was going to fulfill our promise to prepare students for the tens of thousands of high-wage, high-demand jobs that will come available in the greater New Orleans region in the next ten years, then we knew that had to change. So we partnered with families, schools, training providers, and institutions of higher education, not only to increase the number of students earning credentials, but to offer more diverse and rigorous credentials. Since then the credentials students are earning have grown from three Basic credentials to a mix of sixteen Basic and Advanced credentials across the three skills clusters where YouthForce NOLA focuses: Skilled Crafts, Health Sciences, and Digital Media/IT.


So far, in just four years, the YouthForce network has helped Orleans parish students earn 821 industry-based credentials – up from only 45 in 2014. In fact, we’re already halfway to our goal for the Class of 2019, and we’re well on track to meet our goal of having 20% of the Class of 2020 earn industry-recognized credentials.


Armed with industry-recognized credentials, students are better prepared with real-world skills to enter college with a leg up or start well-paying jobs in a career with growth potential- right out of high school.

Jasmine Henderson