Career Pathways Lead Low-Income People Out of Poverty

In a new Spotlight on Poverty webcast, Vickie Choitz, senior policy analyst with CLASP’s workforce development team and co-author of Funding Career Pathways and Career Pathway Bridges: A Federal Policy Toolkit for States, discusses approaches to help low-skilled, low-income adults earn postsecondary credentials that lead to good jobs with family-sustaining wages. These approaches, called career pathways, create links between education and training services that enable students, often while they are working, to advance over time to higher levels of education and gain employment in high-demand industries.

For many Americans, the need for education does not end at high school. “[Career pathways] have been around for awhile for high school students but what we’re really talking about is career pathways for the adult students,” said Ms. Choitz. The core elements of career pathways make them ideally suited for adult students with work and family responsibilities and who are often low-income.

Building education and training programs into this integrated framework is essential to ensuring that more adult students are able to achieve postsecondary education, support their families and contribute to their state’s competitiveness. Several states, including Minnesota, Wisconsin, Washington, Arkansas, and Oregon are already adopting this approach, and many more are expected to do so with support from national organizations, the federal government, community-based organizations and others.

Watch the video: