CLASP and Ten States Partner in New Alliance to Define Quality Career Pathways
Jul 17, 2012
This week, ten states, in conjunction with CLASP, are launching the Alliance for Quality Career Pathways, a national effort to create a framework of benchmarks and measures of success for adult career pathway initiatives. Career pathways are a promising solution to ensure America remains globally competitive, and that all workers—regardless of initial skill level—can have access to postsecondary credentials and economic opportunities.
Career pathways are a coordinated sequence of education and training services that enable students, often while they are working, to advance over time to successively higher levels of education and employment in a given industry or occupational sector. They typically target low-skilled adults and out-of-school youth to help them earn the postsecondary credentials they need to compete for higher-skilled jobs. Career pathways could help the nearly 48 million workers in the U.S. that are in need of better skills and wages to advance economically.
Career pathways have been gaining popularity across the country for a number of years, but until now, there has been little research on what constitutes a high quality initiative and how to best measure program success. The Alliance will identify benchmarks that signal high-quality systems and programs, drawing on the lessons learned from more mature systems and programs.
Ten states will form the core of the Alliance, meeting several times over the course of the two-year project, using a consensus-building model, to develop this national framework. These states are: Arkansas, California, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oregon, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. CLASP will also engage a group of high-level experts from national policy and research organizations in the framework development process.
CLASP is excited to lead this state-driven effort to advance the field of career pathways into the next phase of implementation and development, particularly as the economy recovers and more low-skilled adults and youth must seek out postsecondary education and training opportunities to help them obtain career and economic advancement.