Seattle Jobs Initiative Releases Report on Career Pathways

July 15, 2009 by Emsi Burning Glass

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A new report, called “Charting a Path: An Exploration of the Statewide Career Pathway Efforts in Arkansas, Kentucky, Oregon, Washington, and Wisconsin,” has been put out by the Seattle Jobs Initiative. Supported by the Working Poor Families Project and Seattle Office of Economic Development, the study defines career pathways as: “… a series of connected education and training programs and support services that enable individuals to secure employment within a specific industry or occupational sector, and to advance over time to successively higher levels of education and employment in that sector.” (Jenkins, Davis. Career Pathways: Aligning Public Resources to Support Individual and Regional Economic Advancement in the Knowledge Economy. Workforce Strategy Center, August 2006.)

Further, the “Seattle Jobs Initiative (SJI) has sought to advance career pathways in its own work and believes that a broader adoption of this framework within the community colleges would be of significant benefit to low-income, low-skill adults.”

The report is useful and direct — real examples are given on state-level strategies for engaging employers, supporting and retaining pathway participants, and measuring outcomes. For those who aspire to create or re-shape career pathways efforts in their own states, the last third of the report will be a lot of help. The challenges of implementing a statewide model are discussed: establishing partnerships, funding, and shifting from planning to actual implementation.

For more information please contact Mark Beauchamp.