Career Pathways Initiative


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By Kathy Chernus, Director, Adult Education, MPR Associates, Inc.

Since 2001, our research staff have been examining ways to address the needs of millions of adults lacking the literacy, numeracy, and technical skills required in today’s workplace through partnerships among adult education providers, employers, and workforce organizations. With support from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Vocational and Adult Education, MPR created Working Together: A Guide to Business and Adult Education Partnerships to help employers learn about the advantages of partnering with adult education providers.

The Guide has two strands—Corporate Philanthropy in the Community and Expanding the Employee Pipeline—reflecting two important reasons that businesses get involved in adult education. The philanthropy strand provides information on ways to support local education programs, encourage employee volunteerism, and contribute to adult education nationally. The pipeline strand describes how adult education can help employers improve the skills of incumbent and future employees...

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By Marlena Sessions , Chief Executive Officer, Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County

I was honored to serve as a “Subject Matter Expert” at the CPI in December at the Frances Perkins DOL building. As I raced through the day from pink corridor to blue corridor, meeting with state teams from Kansas and Virginia and Kentucky, I was struck by two main themes:

1) Role clarity matters.

2) Once you get role clarity, you can do anything with commitment.

These teams definitely had a lot of the latter and were, I sensed through the course of the Institute, looking for more of the former. The teams were like mini replicas of local systems, comprising WIB directors, community colleges, business and chamber leaders, United Way and sometimes other community philanthropic organizations. Their commitment was palpable, as was their willingness to roll up their sleeves and get to work. What they were searching for, however, was more clarification around who should do which functions for the greatest impact...

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