Focuses on the various roles and actions that Workforce Investment Act systems can undertake with other system partners in the development and implementation of successful career pathways systems.

“This paper focuses on the various roles and actions that Workforce Investment Act (WIA) systems, including state and local Workforce Investment Boards, One-Stop Career Centers, and service providers, can undertake with other system partners in the development and implementation of successful career pathways systems. It supplements the Career Pathways Toolkit developed by Social Policy Research Associates for the Department of Labor as part of the broader technical assistance initiative, providing examples of workforce systems that are involved in career pathways activities” (p. ii-iii). (Abstractor: Author)

Full Publication Title: The Promise of Career Pathways System Change: What Role Should Workforce Investment Systems Play? What Benefits Will Result?


Major Findings & Recommendations

"For workforce systems and Workforce Investment Boards in particular, career pathways provide a valuable strategy for organizing and improving the effectiveness of education and training: • Raising skill levels, credential attainment, employment, and career advancement for all students, jobseekers, and workers, but particularly for low-skilled populations; • Meeting employers’ needs for skilled workers, spurring productivity and economic growth of businesses, industries, and regions; and • Building a comprehensive, coherent workforce development system.The design and implementation of effective career pathways systems requires the ongoing participation of all key state and local partners and stakeholders in such efforts. In many instances, Workforce Investment Boards are ideally situated to take up a leadership role for pulling system partners and stakeholders together and certainly for ensuring that career pathways are geared to the needs of the labor market, of high-demand industry sectors, and to employers in those industries important to the state and regional economies. Regardless of who takes on the responsibility for leading the career pathways effort (as other entities or intermediaries may be better positioned to take on the day-to-day management and coordination role), workforce systems should be integrally involved in planning for and carrying out career pathways systems change.There are also more strategic functions that Workforce Investment Boards can perform in the development and implementation of career pathways systems: • Providing support for research, development, and capacity building; • Convening or assisting in the convening of key program partners; • Using labor market information to identify high-demand employers and industry sectors in the state or region; • Working with partners to identify a common vision, mission, and goals; • Comparing the skills requirements of employers to the education and skills levels of the population, and identifying skills gaps; • Coordinating with partners on career navigation and support services; • Helping to identify and pursue leveraged funding and partnerships; and • Continuously reaching out to community stakeholders, including employers, to build support for the career pathways system and initiatives." (ES, p. 6-8) (Abstractor: Author)