of adolescents from school into lifelong careers. The act will terminate in October 2001. Because state and local resources and other federal resources (e.g., the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Education Act, and the Job Training Partnership Act) would have to be redirected to maintain these efforts after that time, it is important to evaluate current school-to-work programs. An evaluation of the School-to-Work Opportunities Act is under way, but it is unclear whether the evaluation will adequately assess the presence and effectiveness of health and safety training or the safety of work placements under the act. Those program aspects that are found to be successful in connecting school and work and in providing appropriate health and safety training to young people deserve to be continued. There may be a need for a continuing federal role to disseminate information about effective programs.

Recommendation: The Departments of Education and Labor, in their evaluation of the School-to-Work Opportunities Act, should make certain that the evaluation includes comprehensive assessment of the success of different programs in conveying appropriate and effective workplace health and safety information and training. Those practices found to be effective should be continued after the School-to-Work Opportunities Act expires.

Commendable Workplaces for Youth

The committee believes that regulations and enforcement need to be strengthened for the protection of the health and safety of young workers. The committee also believes that commending those who are providing healthy, safe, and beneficial workplaces for young people is important. The committee envisions the establishment of a seal of approval for such workplaces, based on nationally developed criteria, but administered at the local level.

A coalition of leaders from government, industry, labor, education, health, youth groups, and others who have stakes in youth employment, as well as young people and their parents, would develop the criteria for identifying workplaces that are beneficial to youth. Once the criteria and methods for implementing them have been developed at the national level, recognition would be granted locally. Local coalitions with comparable membership would pub-



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement