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Ready for the Workforce

Engaging Strategies for Teaching Secondary Learners Employability Skills

Learn how to utilize the Youth Employability Skills (YES!) framework to foster confident, well-rounded, career-ready students. This resource helps educators teach 21st century skills, such as problem solving and critical thinking, to ensure that each learner is prepared for the workplace or higher education.


  • Consider nine essential employability skills and how to foster each in students.
  • Benefit from a comprehensive framework that includes activities, instructional strategies, and resources.
  • Align with the mandates of the Every Student Succeeds Act to prepare students to succeed in college and careers.
  • Gain an understanding of educators’ roles in connecting students to the vast possibilities and opportunities ahead of them.
  • Examine real-life examples as well as supporting research and evidence that the YES! framework is effective.

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The New Pillars of Modern Teaching

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Chapter 1: Communication
Chapter 2: Teamwork and Collaboration
Chapter 3: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
Chapter 4: Workplace Relationship Building
Chapter 5: Resource Management
Chapter 6: Growth Mindset, Resilience, and Grit
Chapter 7: Ethics, Values, and Integrity
Chapter 8: Networking and Interview Know-How
Chapter 9: Career-Pathway Preparation


Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9



  • Jensen, E. (2019). Poor students, rich teaching: Seven high-impact mindsets for students from poverty (Rev. ed.). Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.