Factors that are making this transition increasingly difficult are examined including demographic trends, changes in the American family, poverty, and economic factors, including employment availability and hiring practices. School-based options, aimed at building an effective first-chance system for all students are discussed, including drop-out prevention strategies and alternative instructional methods. Methods for improving the transition from school to work emphasize a mix of action programs. These include monitored work experiences, such as cooperative education, internships and apprenticeships, pre-employment training, and youth-operated enterprises; community and neighborhood service; redirected vocational education; training and work incentives; and career information and counseling services. Focus is on ways to tap community resources, including workplaces. Employment training opportunities for youth who have not completed high school also are considered, including job corps, State and local youth corps, the Armed forces, and programs under the Job Training Partnership Act. The need to develop equal access to lifelong learning is examined; and options for financing recurrent education, such as training accounts, educational employment benefits, and subsidies and entitlements, are described. The costs of neglecting educational and training needs are discussed, and principles to guide increased funding of youth programs are provided. 3 appendixes and chapter notes.