Workforce development programs can increase participants’ access to good jobs that improve their economic stability, yet numerous factors may prevent individuals from completing job training and securing stable employment. Job training participants with young children may especially struggle to finish training and obtain a job, given the expense and time commitment associated with raising children and the lack of affordable, quality child care in states across the nation (see Child Care Aware of America 2019). In light of these challenges, some individuals pursuing education and training may want to delay having a family or additional children until they are settled in a job. For those who make this choice, pregnancy prevention services are critical, yet little is known about the extent to which individuals in job training programs have access to these services.
This briefing paper explores the availability of and need for pregnancy prevention services among individuals enrolled in job training in the United States. It begins with a brief discussion of access to contraception in the United States, then examines several studies that shed light on how programs within the workforce development system understand the need for pregnancy prevention services among their clients and strive to help meet this need. Because research on the integration of pregnancy prevention and workforce development services in the United States is limited, the paper also incorporates insights from interviews with five workforce development program leaders and considers how organizations in other countries have linked these services and the lessons they have learned about successful strategies for this integration. The paper concludes with suggestions for research and programmatic changes to better understand and address the need for pregnancy prevention services among job training participants.