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Career Pathways

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Welcome to the career pathways page at the Resource Center. Career pathways is an important component of both workforce development and access to postsecondary education. At the state and local levels, local programs, state agencies, government organizations, community colleges, and employers are developing new strategies to fill the need for a better educated or more currently trained workforce. This section will be updated regularly with information on career pathways and postsecondary transitions. In the Links and Resources sections are tools and information that are helpful in facilitating career pathways for our adult learners.

PluggedinVA
PluggedInVA prepares adult learners for successful transition into high-demand careers and postsecondary education and training. Go to the site to learn more.

You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader in order to view archived copies of Progress; Acrobat is a free download that will allow you to view and print PDF documents.

Planning Tools

Bridging Business and Education for the 21st Century Workforce: A Strategic Plan for Virginia's Career Pathways System
Building Basics
Building Basics is a multi-level curriculum for teaching students that have expressed a need to learn English within the context of the construction trades.
Bureau of Labor Statistics
The Bureau of Labor Statistics is the principal fact-finding agency for the Federal Government in the broad field of labor economics and statistics. Click on "Publications" for the most recent Occupational Outlook Handbook.
Career Pathways
As defined in the state’s first strategic plan for a career pathways system, Bridging Business and Education for the 21st Century Workforce, career pathways are connected education and training programs and support services that enable individuals to secure employment with a specific occupational sector and to advance over time to successively higher levels of education or employment in that sector.
NEW: College and Career Readiness Standards for Adult Education
These College and Career Standards have been developed to build stronger links between adult education, postsecondary education, and the world of work. This is a starting point for raising awareness and understanding of the critical skills and knowledge expected for success in colleges, technical training programs, and employment in the 21st century.
Community College Locator
Find a community college in Virginia. 
Employment Resource Guide
The Virginia Workforce Network's published guide for identifying work related resources in the community, working with one-stop centers, and finding employment. (.pdf)
Jobs for the Future
This useful website developed by Jobs for the Future, posts significant research and innovative programs for educational and economic advancement and provides links to other findings.
MyMnCareers Website
MyMnCareers is a website designed to help low-literacy job seekers and English language learners find career planning information, and explore their career options, set goals and create a plan, and get training.
National Career Readiness Certificate
The National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) is an industry-recognized, portable, evidence-based credential that certifies essential skills needed for workplace success.
New web-based career search tool geared for adult learners
Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis unveiled My Next Move, a new, free, and easy-to-use online career search tool. 'By leveraging technology in a user-friendly tool, My Next Move will help those seeking career guidance learn more about work opportunities in fields that are of interest to them and that are likely to have job openings today and well into the future.'
VA Employment Commission
Promoting workforce development in the Commonwealth
Virginia Employment Commission
Site contains jobseeker services and provides information on Workforce Centers, labor market, and unemployment benefits.
Virginia Workforce Network
Virginia Workforce Network (VWN) features one-stop career centers known as Virginia Workforce Centers, which provide access to workforce, employment, and training services of various programs and partner organizations.

Research and Reports

21st Century Requires More Skilled Workers
The new workplace requires more from its employees than proficiency in reading, writing, and arithmetic, traditionally the entry-level threshold to the job market.

To read the press release on the P21 web site.
To read to theExecutive Summary. (.pdf)

Career Pathways Report
This 2009 report looks at how career pathways systems work in several states. (.pdf)
From the Center for American Progress
This paper details both the inadequacy of the career navigation assistance now available and why the United States needs a new approach.
The Economic Mobility Corporation (Mobility)
A non-profit organization focused on programs and policies that increase economic opportunities for lower-skilled workers, is pleased to share its new report, Sound Investments: Building Immigrants’ Skills to Fuel Economic Growth.
The Economic Imperative for More Adults to Complete College
Today, CLASP has released two new resources to demonstrate how several of the proposed cuts targeted under deficit reduction will disproportionately harm nontraditional and underserved students, and set the nation on the wrong course for reducing unemployment and strengthening our economic recovery.
MDRC
The Employment Retention and Advancement Project: How Effective Are Different Approaches Aiming to Increase Employment Retention and Advancement? Final Impacts for Twelve Models
Mobility Report Highlights
The Economic Mobility Corporation (Mobility), a non-profit organization focused on programs and policies that increase economic opportunities for lower-skilled workers, is pleased to share its new report, Sound Investments: Building Immigrants’ Skills to Fuel Economic Growth. This report identifies a number of innovative initiatives around the United States that are investing in low-skilled immigrant workers to increase their opportunities for economic advancement.
New England Learner Persistence Project
The New England Literacy Resource Center (NELRC) published the findings of action research done by 18 New England adult education programs that investigated persistence strategies in their varied contexts over the course of a semester.
A Portrait of Low-Income Young Adults in Education
Current and future economic conditions necessitate a greater demand for post-secondary education. Learning beyond high school has become a basic requirement for individual success in the labor market (Institute for Higher Education Policy 2005; Perna 2007) as well as a driver for workforce development (Carnevale and Desrochers 2002) and social mobility (Goldrick-Rab and Shaw 2005). (.pdf)
Reach Higher, America Overcoming Crisis in the U.S. Workforce
Report of the National Commission on Adult Literacy, June 2008 (.pdf)

Training Resources

ONET Resource Center's Career Exploration Tools Free resources for career aptitude, ability, and interest for adult learners. System includes and ability profiler, a computerized and paper-based interest profiler, and a work importance profiler. Registration required to download materials. (NEW)
Well Fargo sponsors this free site on financial literacy that includes lessons, handouts, links to financial literacy information, and Instructors' Guides. The two sections for Adults and Entrepreneurship are particularly relevant for adult practitioners. (NEW)
Adult Career Pathways Training and Support Center
These programs are designed to help low-skilled adults succeed in postsecondary education and employment.
Career Pathways Instructional Materials Library
This Library includes materials to help educators develop and implement work-based education programs and career pathways for adult learners in their Adult Basic Education and General Educational Development programs.
Career Readiness
What Is ‘Career Ready’? this paper outlines three broad sets of skills students need to be career-ready: core academic skills, employability skills and technical skills.
The Core Skills Mastery (CSM) Program
The Core Skills Mastery (CSM) Program is web-based instruction and assessment that is free for individuals, schools, and non-profits. The concentration areas are Secondary School, Higher Ed, Workforce, and Business. The Workforce section is appropriate for GED students.
The Discovery Channel en Espanol
The Discovery Channel en Espanol and the Department of Labor join forces to develop a new website to raise awareness about career opportunities in the Hispanic community.
Introducing a new free resource for ESOL learners!
A new free resource is available for your use: THE LIFE SKILLS, COLLEGE, AND CAREER READINESS GUIDE FOR ESOL LEARNERS. The Guide was developed by the Massachusetts Dept. of Adult and Secondary Education, the System for Adult Basic Education Support, and several Mass practitioners, with technical assistance from the Center for Applied Linguistics. (.pdf)
GED Career Bridge to Health Care Curriculum
The guide includes GED as Project Inquiry Activities adapted to health care contexts, current health care vocabulary lists, a variety of career briefs in the health care field, health care-related lesson plans and reading material, guidelines for implementation, and a complete student handbook.  
GED Career Bridge to Hospitality Curriculum
The guide includes GED as Project Inquiry Activities adapted to hospitality contexts, current hospitality industry vocabulary lists, a variety of career briefs in the hospitality field, hospitality-related reading material and lesson plans, guidelines for implementation, and a complete student handbook.
Shifting Gears
This website provides information about state policies that work across the nation and to highlight innovative approaches in these states.
Virginia's CTE Resource Center
The CTE Resource Center supports career and technical and occupational-technical preparation programs by providing resources for curriculum development and program design and implementation in response to the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act.

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The VALRC, located at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU School of Education), is funded primarily through the VA Department of Education.