Opportunity Works was a three-year effort led by Jobs for the Future (JFF) to help young people ages 16 to 24 who are not in school or meaningfully employed access postsecondary and career pathways.

Based on the Back on Track framework, seven cities across the country provided supportive, enhanced preparation and postsecondary/career bridging.

Study Goals:
The study evaluated JFF’s Opportunity Works program and Back on Track model to assess:
  • The impacts of the Back on Track model on the educational and career outcomes of participants.
  • Whether, after completion of the program, participants were less likely to be disconnected from work and education and/or less likely to be looking for work.
The impact study found that:
  • When pooling the sites together, twice as many Opportunity Works participants enrolled in both postsecondary institutions compared to their matched counterparts.
  • Young men of color enrolled in postsecondary education at even higher rates compared to the comparison group.
  • Program participation was associated with higher postsecondary enrollment at all sites.
  • Program participants were more likely to get a high school credential than individuals in the matched comparison group.
  • Program participants were more likely to apply for an associate degree and to apply to training programs than individuals in the comparison group.

For more information, download the final report and the report brief.

Further information

Opportunity Works Program - Back on Track Intervention
Implementing Organization
Boston Private Industry Council; Capital Workforce Partners; The Administrator of the Tulane Education Fund; Philadelphia Youth Network; Bay Area Community Resources; Planned Parenthood Mar Monte; United Way of King County

Jobs for the Future, Inc

AmeriCorps Program(s)
Social Innovation Fund
Age(s) Studied
18-25 (Young adult)
Study Type(s)
Study Design(s)
Quasi-Experimental (QED)
Level of Evidence
The Urban Institute
Published Year
Study Site Location (State)