The Career Pathways Initiative
Last week, a joint letter of support for the career pathways strategy was issued from the Assistant Secretaries of the Employment and Training Administration, the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (formerly the Office of Vocational and Adult Education), and the Administration for Children and Families.
The letter encourages states and local areas to align resources that support integrated service delivery across Federal and state funding streams, and calls for improved collaboration and coordination to support career pathways systems for youth and adults.
This latest demonstration of Federal collaboration highlights a growing consensus that building effective career pathways systems provides a viable way to connect job seekers and workers to good-paying, high-demand occupations.
Career pathways programs offer a clear sequence of education coursework and/or training credentials that are aligned with employer-validated work readiness standards and competencies. Career pathways systems are also built around sector strategies, ‘stackable’ educational/training options, contextualized learning, accelerated education, industry-recognized credentials and intensive support services to meet the needs of youth and adults who are often working learners.
The Department of Labor’s Career Pathways Initiative offered eleven grantees (nine states and two tribal entities) training, peer-to-peer learning and the latest research and best practices to help create well articulated and sustainable career pathway systems.
The Career Pathways Initiative identified six key elements that state, local and tribal policy-makers can undertake to support the development of successful career pathway systems.
- Build Cross-Agency Partnerships
- Identify Industry Sectors and Engage Employers
- Design Education and Training Programs
- Identify Funding Needs and Strategies
- Align Policies and Programs
- Measure System Change and Performance
More information and resources on career pathways are available through the Career Pathways Community of Practice.
How are you building career pathways in your state or local area?
Which of these six areas do you think your state or local area needs more help to develop?