Grads2Careers – Summer Bridge

Building a Path to Successful Workforce Training Programs


Many students graduate from Baltimore City high schools; however, the performance of these students often falls below statewide standards. As a result, many are unprepared for high-demand workforce training programs. In fact, more than 60 percent of Baltimore City graduates have math and reading skills at or below middle school levels.


Grads2Careers is a program that helps Baltimore City graduates enter free job training and find employment in careers of interest. In addition to boosting math and reading scores, Grads2Careers also improves soft skills so that students can better succeed in their workforce training programs.


Grads2Careers identified 68 students that needed intensive academic and employment training before starting their programs. The barriers to success for these students included the following:


  • An overall lack of college- or career-readiness, low self-confidence, and limited family support to successfully complete the training program;
  • A lack of awareness of the value of post-secondary options to attain a sustainable career;
  • Minimal to no financial literacy or planning skills; and
  • Poor attendance often attributable to family demands and complicated lives.

How It Works


In an effort to help students pass their workforce entrance requirements and learn the necessary skills to be successful employees, Grads2Careers turned to BridgeEdU. The result is the Grads2Careers Summer Bridge Program, a rigorous seven-week summer program that offers a coaching and academic solution to strengthen math and English skills and provides workforce-related training to sharpen soft skills such as communication, teamwork, professionalism, attendance, and financial planning.


The goals of the program include:


  • To build confidence, social capital, and a community of learning resources through workforce experience and skill-development courses, and reduce learning anxiety and practice using support resources;
  • To reflect on workforce experience to set career-minded educational goals and boost agency throughout the learning journey; and
  • To provide financial aid and financial literacy training so that students can create personal budgets, develop a relationship with a banking institution, and save for their future.

Results and Outcomes


Of the 68 students who participated in the inaugural 2018 class of the Grads2Careers Summer Bridge Program, 75 percent met entrance requirements upon completion. These students were then allowed to access Grads2Careers tracks in the automotive, biotechnology, construction, health care, information technology, information and communications technology, distribution and logistics, and surveying fields.


Tyrese Sampson is a member of that inaugural cohort of Baltimore City high school graduates who completed the Grads2Careers Summer Bridge Program. He plans to pursue cabling, the above- and underground wires and cables that are the backbone of telecommunications networks.


“I will continue to educate myself on certain things and other fields to get into,” said Sampson. “I want to get into flipping houses. Cabling will help me save money for real estate. I don’t want to pay everybody to do the work. I want to do something for myself.”

Case Studies

CCBC and BridgeEdU have created an innovative curriculum that allows for early academic success and stronger retention.

The Mayor’s Scholars Program (MSP) is a College Promise Initiative offering scholarships for high school students to attend Baltimore City Community College.

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