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Career Pathways
Our community has a long history of developing career pathways​ to close skills gaps in targeted industries. Career pathways align education and training programs with industry needs to help individuals develop the skills they need to get in-demand jobs and advance in their careers, while helping employers access the skilled workers they need to compete.  

Career pathways are driven by business-led partnerships among businesses, educational institutions, and community organizations that identify in-demand occupations and skills, and improve and coordinate education and training programs to respond to the needs of employers.

Key Features

> Target Priority Sectors and Occupations
Career pathways target industries that are important to the regional economy, projected to grow and add jobs in the near future, provide opportunities for advancement, and have significant shortages in key skilled occupations. 

> Led by Employers
Employers provide the formal leadership and set the stage for the career pathway process to meet their projected demand for qualified workers. 

> Reduce Barriers to Employment and Advancement
Career pathways integrate “wrap-around? support services, including career assessment and counseling, case management, child care, transportation, financial aid, soft skills training, and job placement. 

> Seamless Educational Pathways
Career pathways develop clear linkages between developmental education, certificate and training programs, and academic degree programs, and easy articulation of credits across institutions and “stackable? certificates to enable students to progress seamlessly from one level to the next. 

> Focus on Institutional and Systemic Change
The career pathways process aims to transform institutions involved in education, workforce preparation and social services in ways that improve their capacity individually and collectively to respond to the needs of local residents and employers. 
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Partners & Roles

> Employers
Identify occupational shortages; articulate training needs; recruit incumbent employees; hire newly trained un/under-employed individuals; provide financial support and policy changes if needed; and lead the overall process. 

> Educational Institutions (Including Adult Basic & Literacy Education, K-12 Education, Career & Technical Education, Community Colleges, and Universities)  
Conduct student assessment; provide developmental education, GED training, certificate and degree programs; provide academic advising; participate in employee recruitment and selection; design innovative curriculum with employer input; provide financial support and policy changes if needed; and align core aspects of the institution to support education and career mobility for students. 

> Community Based Organizations
Provide “wrap-around? support services to students to reduce barriers to employment and advancement; refer clients into the pathway; assist with recruitment of un/under-employed individuals in the community; provide assessment and remediation services; offer tutoring and mentoring programs; and provide job readiness and soft skills training. 

> Workforce Investment Boards
Assist with recruitment of jobseekers through One Stop Centers; and provide financial support for worker training.

> Public and Private Funders
Provide flexible funding to support career pathways planning, management, and technical assistance. 

​Benefits

> For Employers
Access to qualified workers; improved retention; reduced turnover and vacancy rates; increased productivity; increased diversity; and assistance with managing workforce and training resources that are available. 

> For Workers
Access to job opportunities; assistance with career and educational advancement; increased wages; and increased educational attainment. 

> For Educational Institutions
Increased enrollment; improved retention and completion rates; increased academic performance and job placement outcomes; and curriculum that responds to employer needs. 

> For Community Based Organizations 
Help clients access education and career opportunities. 

> For the Community
Increased educational attainment; increased financial self-sufficiency; increased employment rates; improved ability to attract and retain employers. 
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