On Tuesday, September 23, the U.S. Departments of Labor, Education and Health and Human Services hosted a National Dialogue on Career Pathways with more than 120 people attending in D.C., and over 600 viewers online from across the country. A recording of the webcast can be accessed here.
The event represented the latest in efforts by the Interagency Working Group on Career Pathways to increase the number of states that are building comprehensive career pathways systems for youth and adults. The day included the announcement of the Pathways to Success Network, a technical assistance resource to strengthen existing and develop new career pathways systems in states, regions, local areas and tribes.
NSC’s Associate Director Rachel Unruh participated in the event serving as a member of the panel, Thought Leaders: Career Pathways and WIOA. Other panelists included Dane Linn, The Business Roundtable; Maria Flynn, Jobs for the Future; Ronald F. Ferguson, The Achievement Gap Initiative, Harvard University Graduate School of Education; and Vickie Choitz, Center for Law and Social Policy.
During the Thought Leaders panel Rachel talked about opportunities and challenges for advancing career pathways under the new act, noting opportunities to align an array of programs under combined state plans to better prepare a diversity of workers with in-demand credentials. She also encouraged broad stakeholder engagement in the development of federal regulations and state plans. Rachel and Maria were asked about best practices for advancing career pathways by states. Rachel noted the important role that legislation has played in helping to advance career pathways efforts in states like Iowa, Colorado, and Minnesota.
The event also featured a panel, Practitioners: Advancing Career Pathways Systems with state leaders from Colorado, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Kansas. A third panel, Innovators: Career Pathways: Partnerships, Promising Practices, and People, featured representatives from Instituto del Progreso Latino, Wider Opportunities for Women, Kentucky Community and Technical College System, and the Virginia Governor’s Office.
Senior officials from the three agencies were joined by David L. Casey, Vice President for Workforce Strategies and Chief Diversity Officer at CVS Caremark, who provided the event’s keynote.