The Learn to Earn Program
The Learn to Earn program is a collaboration between Portland
Adult Education's Street Academy and the Preble Street Teen Center. Since
its inception in 2001, Learn to Earn has successfully placed more than
70 homeless youth on job sites within Greater Portland.In its most basic
form, Learn to Earn is an employment-training program designed to teach
homeless youth the skills necessary to obtain and maintain employment.
Youth involved in Learn to Earn participate in two distinct phases.
Phase one consists of youth meeting with Street Academy staff for a minimum
of two times per week, working on the Learn to Earn job retention curriculum.
During this time, youth are taught the fundamentals of how to get and
keep a job. This may include (but not limited to) the following topics:
searching for a job, application forms, resume and cover letter writing,
interviewing, employer expectations, employee rights, new employee challenges,
survival and advancements skills, and career exploration.
The second phase of Learn to Earn consists of youth participating in a
paid (stipend) work experience. During this time, youth are placed on
a job site that matches their career interests. Youth that are on level
one are eligible to receive a stipend of 100.00 per week for up to 16
weeks. Youth that are on level two may receive a stipend of 150.00 per
week for up to 10.5 weeks. Youth that are on level three may receive a
stipend of 200.00 per week for up to 8 weeks.
Once the Learn to Earn placement is complete, businesses will often times
hire these youth to continue working as a direct employee. If the youth
is not hired upon completion of the Learn to Earn program, they receive
ongoing support in finding employment from the Learn to Earn team.
The Learn to Earn program provides youth with an excellent opportunity
to gain new perspectives about the world of work. Their placements have
the potential to be life changing experiences that can be carried into
the future. At the same time, Learn to Earn provides our business partners
with an opportunity to train youth in their specific field of interest,
gaining an employee without an immediate financial obligation.
If you would like additional information on the Learn to Earn program,
please do not hesitate to contact the Street Academy.