Summarizes the accomplishments to date of 12 states participating in a network focused on creating career pathways for youth in high-growth, high-demand occupational fields. 
“In 2011, the Harvard Graduate School of Education released Pathways to Prosperity: Meeting the Challenge of Preparing Young Americans for the 21st Century,” which “argued that our current education system was too narrowly focused on the goal of preparing all young people to pursue a four-year college or university degree after high school, while other postsecondary routes to careers might suit significant numbers of students far better” (p.2).  In 2012, the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Jobs for the Future (JFF) created the Pathways to Prosperity Network with the goal of ”increasing the numbers of young people who complete high school, attain a postsecondary  credential with value in the labor market, and get launched on a career in a high-demand, high wage occupations that can  also provide the basis to pursue further education and career advancement” (p.1-3).  “The unique stories of the developments in each state are included in this report as well as observation and description of key aspects of this work across the states in the Network as a group” (p.2).

Major Findings & Recommendations

“From its work in eight states, the Pathways Network has begun to identify some key lessons that may be useful to states and communities that seek to expand options for young people” (p.25). • “Lack of opportunity for young people is not only an urban problem, it is a national challenge that affects every community” (p.25). • “Schools and young people are typically disconnected from the labor market” (p.25). • “Career exploration that begins in middle school is beneficial but not widely available” (p.26). • “Effective programs emphasize adolescent development, flexibility, application of knowledge to real-world problems, and develop [science, technology, engineering, and math] STEM competencies and work skills” (p.26). • “Community colleges can be strong local partners to build pathways to college as part of their efforts to reduce the cost of remediation” (p.26). • “We need to replicate or expand the most effective career and technical education programs” (p.26). • “The best approach to engaging employers is working sector by sector, starting in those field where employers are already committed to strengthening the pipeline of new entrants to the labor market” (p.26). • “High school students who seek to learn about careers are a true asset in the workplace and often become more engaged and hardworking in school” (p.26). “The Pathways to Prosperity Network has identified key policy actions that can facilitate the expansion and success of state initiatives to increase career and postsecondary options for young people” (p.27). • “Encourage better coordination of resources across state agencies to provide funding for scale up of Pathways programs” (p.28). • “Support acceleration of learning through dual enrollment/dual credit” (p.28). • “Better integrate academic and career and technical education (CTE) programs” (p.28). • “Expand the mission and purview of workforce development organizations and other economic development nonprofits” (p.28). • “Establish more robust career information and advising systems” (p.28). • “Develop policies that incentivize business involvement and work-based learning” (p.28).