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Employer-Driven Pathways
New Skills for Youth states formalized and expanded their approaches to partnering with employers and using labor market data to inform pathways work.
State Leadership
Established Processes for Gathering Industry Input
Five states established councils in industries corresponding to state economic development priorities or partnered with existing workforce or economic development agencies. Through these groups, employers reviewed labor market information and identified industry trends; prioritized pathway fields; vetted industry-recognized credentials; and expanded work-based learning.
Improved the Use of Labor Market Information
All 10 states expanded or established state and regional processes for accessing and reviewing labor market information to prioritize pathways. To encourage objective reviews, state teams included employers from businesses of varied sizes and fields; created agreements among stakeholders on data sources and review schedules; and tapped third parties, such as university researchers, to assist with data analysis.
Committed Staff to Employer Engagement
Recognizing the need for dedicated staff time to connect educators and employers, five states established new state-level positions at least partly focused on employer partnerships. Three states hired staff at the regional level to broker connections between local employers and school districts.
Local Innovations
Everett High School, Massachusetts
Beginning in the 2019-20 academic year, all of Everett’s grade 10-12 students enrolled in one of the comprehensive high school’s four career academies. Within an academy, students select from state-funded career and technical education programs, state-designated Innovation Pathways, and locally-developed pathways.
Industry Guidance and Support
Each career academy has a lead employer partner and engages other employers to serve on the academy advisory committee, host students for work-based learning, and participate in the school’s annual career expo.
Pathway Priorities
Everett selected eight career pathway fields aligned with state economic development priorities and based on regional labor market information from the Greater Boston Planning and Development Board.
Dedicated Employer Engagement Staff
Everett’s executive assistant principal for business engagement and innovation coordinates employer partnerships and provides a single contact familiar with employers’ interests and logistical needs, such as providing six weeks of advance notice for employer events.