Earn It Action Ideas

On this page you will find specific Action Ideas that rural communities are using to help families plant their feet firmly on the Earn It road toward family economic success. Each Action Idea Profile details useful information about how the Idea works, what it takes to mount it—including a degree-of-simplicity index—and some key resources to help you along the way. Always remember: One size does not fit all. Which RuFES Action Ideas make sense vary by community. Something that is difficult in one place might be relatively easy in another. So start where you are: Learn about the low-income working families in your community, the barriers and opportunities they face, and the resources you have in place to build on before you decide which ideas to pursue.

Please check back regularly for more Earn It Action Ideas. Or click here to view all Action Ideas.

Mentorship Programs for Immigrants

The Basic Idea: Help immigrants and refugees in rural communities learn – in an informal setting – about cultural practices, language, and resources available in the U.S. so they can successfully integrate into schools, workplaces, and communities. How it Works: Establish the scope and goals of the mentoring program Designate volunteer mentorship coordinator(s) Recruit long-term […]

Recruiting College-Level Classes to Rural Places

The Basic Idea: Make college-level courses available in rural areas that lack a local community college, so people can access the education and skills they need to find and land higher-paid jobs.

Public-Private Partnerships

The Basic Idea: Bring business and public (government) or nonprofit resources together to develop and offer workforce training that meets a business’s specific needs and provides workers with good career opportunities.

Workplace English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) / Occupational English

The Basic Idea: Teach English to workers or potential workers who don’t speak English as their first language — tailored to a specific workplace’s tasks and needs.

Employer-Sponsored Child Care

The Basic Idea: Reduce the cost of child care by encouraging businesses to support child care for their workers – or the broader community. How it works: Businesses provide supports such as: Tax-free Flexible Spending Accounts for their employees to set aside pre-tax dollars for dependent care Cash support or in-kind subsidies to child care […]

Contextual Vocational Education

The Basic Idea: Provide youth entering the job market with the opportunity to learn a job skill—on the job—while completing their education. How it works: A school or other organization partners with industry to train youth for the skills in a specific job, while they are in high school or just after graduation—often in conjunction […]

Job Coaching

The Basic Idea: Provide individuals with one-on-one coaching – before and after they get a job – to help them meet employers’ expectations. How it works: The Job Coach assesses the worker’s basic skills and helps address any skill deficit that reduces employability, especially by helping the worker learn appropriate workplace behavior and communications skills, […]

Mapping Career Pathways

The Basic Idea: Map out paths families can follow to advance in a career and gain better jobs in their area. How it works: Identify fields in your region offering good jobs with advancement opportunities. Figure out the specific progression of jobs for each field, starting at the most basic and progressing to the most […]

Car Purchase Programs

The Basic Idea: Help low-income rural families purchase new or late-model, fuel-efficient, reliable cars. How it works: A nonprofit organization creates a car dealership to sell cars to low-income families – or partners with another nonprofit that already has a dealership to obtain cars. The dealership buys late-model, fuel-efficient, reliable cars at auction or buys […]

RuFES is a project of the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group.
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