The Departments of Education (ED), Health and Human Services (HHS), and Labor (DOL) continue our exciting work together around career pathways – both systems building and programs. In April of 2014, we issued a joint Request for Information (RFI) to get information and recommendations about career pathways from stakeholders in the public and private sectors.
A diverse group of 141 respondents from across the nation commented. We received information about existing career pathways systems, roles and responsibilities of career pathways partners, connections to economic development strategies, how pathways systems are funded, how participant outcomes are measured, and how providers ensure that pathways stay current with labor market trends.
An interagency team has been reviewing and analyzing the responses and is pleased to share a summary report with overarching themes from the RFI. The report includes facilitators and barriers to career pathway(s) development and implementation. It also includes promising practices and recommendations for what federal, state, tribal, and local agencies can do to support the successful development of career pathways systems in light of recent developments such as the passage of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The report concludes with an overview of key opportunities, including:
- Service to Diverse Populations
- Increased Funding
- Technical Assistance
- Greater Flexibility
- Support for Research
Career pathways are a required activity for state and local workforce development boards, and WIOA encourages their implementation throughout the new law. This increased support for career pathways is guiding a comprehensive update and enhancement to the existing career pathways framework and Career Pathways Toolkit.
Yesterday, as part of the enhancement process, DOL, in partnership with the interagency team, hosted a Champions meeting, with those recognized as a champion in the implementation of a Career Pathways System in their state, locality, or tribe, to get valuable input on draft revisions to the Career Pathways Toolkit. The champions provided their feedback as well as any innovations, creative approaches, and evidence-based practices they have developed since the publication of the last version of the Toolkit in 2011.
Please know that the information shared through the RFI and yesterday’s Champions meeting will be used to inform technical assistance efforts, funding opportunities, policy discussions, and other activities to support the development of career pathways systems. So, stay tuned by staying engaged with the Moving Forward with Career Pathways project.