Other Youth Topics

Workforce Development

A high-quality workforce is essential to providing afterschool programs that lead to positive outcomes for children and youth.

The afterschool workforce is comprised of a diverse group of afterschool workers, youth workers, credentialed teachers, social workers and other professionals, with varying levels of education and experience.

  • The workforce is generally well-educated. Two-thirds of afterschool staff have a 2-year college degree or higher and 55 percent have a 4-year degree or higher (Yohalem, Pitman, and Moore, 2006).
  • Many afterschool staff work part-time and hold multiple jobs. Twenty-seven percent of full-time and 53 percent of part-time staff hold a second job (Yohalem, Pitman, and Moore, 2006).
  • 80 percent of afterschool staff report that they are happy with their job and find the work fulfilling (Yohalem, Pitman, and Edwards, 2010).
  • Many see a job in afterschool as supplemental or temporary, and yearly turnover may be as high as 40 percent (Yohalem, Pitman, and Edwards, 2010).
  • Pay is the primary factor that causes afterschool staff to leave the field (National Afterschool Association, 2006).

States and communities have worked to build and strengthen professional development systems for the afterschool workforce by providing scholarships for education and training, establishing training registries, defining core knowledge and competencies for afterschool workers, and offering credentials and certifications for staff that further their education (Afterschool Investment Project, 2007). Additionally, websites such as the Department of Education’s You for Youth site provides online training and resources to afterschool professionals.


Afterschool Investments Project (2007). Building professional development systems for the afterschool field. Washington, DC: Afterschool Investments Project.

Yohalem, N., Pittman, K., & Edwards, S. (2010). Strengthening the youth development/after-school workforce: Lessons learned and implications for funders. Washington, DC: The Forum for Youth Investment and Cornerstones for Kids.

Yohalem, N., Pittman, K., & Moore, D. (2006). Growing the next generation of youth work professionals: Workforce opportunities and challenges. Houston, TX: Cornerstones for Kids.

Other Resources on this Topic

Feature Articles

Youth Topics

Youth Voices