Friday, June 17, 2016

Career Pathways is for EVERYONE!

Nancy Dischinat, Executive Director, Lehigh Valley Workforce Development Board, Inc.

The  Lehigh Valley Workforce Development Board Inc. (LVWDB) and the Lehigh Valley Business Education Partnership (LVBEP) hosted the 2016 Lehigh Valley Career Pathways Consortium.  Many of you have heard of Career Pathways before but like many initiatives and programs its need to be updated to keep up with today's fast paced world.   Career Pathways is an initiative to change the way students learn.  It is intended to benefit all students, whatever their career goals. Career Pathways presents well-structured curriculum which students may follow to move from their schools to post-secondary education, technical schools and to successful careers. Academic requirements are rigorous and coupled with an emphasis on employ-ability skills and application of their academic learning.

Why is this important to employers?  These pathways will help your future workforce have a better understanding of careers in your industry, the skills needed in your industry and also the 21st century skills needed in our workplaces.

Why is this important to our community?  These pathways could prevent students from attending a four year college with very little vision and understanding of the careers and jobs available after the four, five or six years they spend in college.  After four to six years of college many of our students have incredible debt with unsustainable wages to pay them off.

Lehigh Valley school districts, career and technical schools, local community colleges and the LVWDB/LVBEP are working collaboratively to develop, support and promote the future workforce in the Lehigh Valley.  We have developed a seven point regional leadership framework for collaborative career pathways programming, goal setting and action planning.
But really our employers really need to focus on 5 and 6--take a look.......
  1. Defining the essential elements of career pathway programming
  2. Self-assessing your organization
  3. Identifying potential partnerships and collective impact relationships
  4. Increase the capacity to counsel and serve students
  5. Supporting opportunities: job shadows, internships, externships and employment in key LV sectors.  Employers can offer work-site mentoring, job shadowing, internships, co-op placements employment.
  6. Investing directly in individual students by Lehigh Valley businesses.  Employers could develop college tuition assistance programs- with a special model development for small employers that will fund a minimum of an associates degree at local community colleges.
  7. Establishing articulated certificate and debtfree options for students.
If you are interested in learning more about how your business can contribute to Career Pathways please contact Clyde Hornberger at 610-657-1345.

If you are interested in learning about how a child can benefit from Career Pathways please contact Cindy Evans at 60-841-1004

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