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"Our workforce and our entire economy are strongest when we embrace diversity to its fullest, and that means opening doors of opportunity to everyone and recognizing that the American Dream excludes no one." ― Thomas Perez, Secretary of Labor

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, adult education programs, state agencies, government organizations, community colleges, training providers, and employers are working to develop new strategies to fill the need for a more highly educated and currently trained workforce. Under WIOA, career pathways systems are required components of adult education within a statewide workforce system.

Spotlight Resources

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PluggedInVA is a career pathways program that prepares adult learners for successful transitions into high-demand careers and postsecondary education and training. It is an industry-driven, flexible framework that prepares motivated adult learners with a contextualized High School Equivalency curriculum integrated with industry-specific technical training as a means to develop essential workplace skills for entry-level jobs in targeted industries.

Making Skills Everyone’s Business: A Call to Transform Adult Learning in the United States
Released by OCTAE in February, 2015 this guide offers seven evidence-based strategies that hold great promise for improving the conditions that create and perpetuate poor literacy, numeracy, and problem solving. These strategies are based on the principle of shared responsibility between public and private agencies and organizations across federal, state, regional, and local levels and acknowledge that America’s skills challenge is too large to address by any stakeholder group independently.

Employability Skills Framework, a project of the U.S. Department of Education
Employability skills are general skills that are necessary for success in the labor market at all employment levels and in all sectors. These skills have a number of names— soft skills, workforce readiness skills, career readiness skills— but they all speak to the same set of core skills that employers want. The Employability Skills Framework is a one-stop resource for information and tools to inform the instruction and assessment of employability skills.

Career Pathways Toolkit: A Guide for System Development
This Toolkit, developed by the U.S. Department of Labor, is designed to assist state level and regional leaders who represent one of the core partners under a Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Combined State Plan to provide the workforce system with a framework, resources, and tools for the development, implementation, and maintenance of career pathways systems and programs. The Toolkit utilizes the Career One-Stop competency model as a building block for creating career pathways programs and references the Career One-Stop credentials Toolkit as an easy way to search existing industry-recognized credentials.

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