Building Equitable Pathways Webinar Series

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Episode 5

Reimagining What it Means to Engage Employers

In this final episode of JFF's Building Equitable Pathways Webinar Series, the national experts at HERE to HERE and City University of New York (CUNY) will share how they engage with employers and educators to encourage new thinking, and embrace a concurrent approach to education and work.

We will explore how HERE to HERE:

  • Works with employers, educators, and students to build out the vision of CareerReadyNYC to better prepare young people for their future careers
  • Unifies employers, reframes student success outcomes, and demonstrates strong work and learning models
  • Partners with students to co-create strategy, design programs and opportunities, and contribute to policy and advocacy
  • Innovates to achieve their mission by launching a NY Job CEO Council focused on hiring CUNY students, expanding CUNY's approach to career success strategies, and developing new approaches to youth apprenticeships and work-based learning

Join Abby Jo Sigal, the founding CEO of HERE to HERE; Joshua Poyer, director of the HERE to HERE Hub and student voice; and Angie Datta Kamath, the university dean of continuing education and workforce development at CUNY, in reimagining employer engagement and applying these lessons to different local, regional, and state contexts.

Episode 4

Building Capacity for the Workforce of the Future

As a major employer serving Chicago's West Side, Rush University System for Health takes a contemporary approach to ensuring equitable access to education and employment opportunities. For over 30 years, the Rush Education & Career Hub (REACH) has worked to support underrepresented youth in reaching their academic and professional potential and to increase diversity in STEM and health care careers. REACH partners with local K-12 schools, postsecondary institutions, and community organizations to impact over 4,000 youth, parents, and educators each year.

In this episode, Rukiya Curvey Johnson, executive director of REACH, and Natalia Gallegos, manager of strategic initiatives, share lessons about supporting collaboration and capacity building across sectors to positively impact young people and the community.

Join JFF and REACH's Rukiya Curvey Johnson and Natalia Gallegos to learn:

  • How to identify local, state, and federal resources that can inform and be leveraged for workforce development within your ecosystem
  • Techniques to foster cross-sector partnerships and community engagement to benefit young people
  • Strategies to build capacity for the workforce of the future

Episode 3

From Policy to Practice: Creating Impact at Scale

Hear from the national leaders at Career Connect Washington and learn:

  • How they’re building and scaling a statewide system that connects learning with careers, creates pathways to jobs that are high wage and in demand, and is accessible to all young people.
  • How they’ve moved from vision to creation to implementation to realizing the intended impact.
  • How they’ve leveraged policy to support their success.

Maud Daudon, executive leader of Career Connect Washington, and her colleague Marc Casale, CEO and founder of the social impact consulting firm Kinetic West, share lessons learned from the first year of implementation, including the progress and strategic decisions made along the way as they have scaled their approach across Washington State. They also offer policy recommendations to drive similar work forward nationally.

Episode 2

Leveraging Data for Equity in a COVID-19 Economy: Next Generation Labor Market Information

This episode considers new approaches to the use of labor market information (LMI) to ensure equity in the design and outcomes of ​college and career pathways. Pathways developers have come to rely on the best LMI to inform regional pathways. Now, COVID-related unemployment has upended the economy.

In this session, Sara Lamback and Julia di Bonaventura of JFF, Isa Ellis of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Joel Simon of Burning Glass Technologies explore what recession-informed workforce data is, how we make it useful to pathways that are already in place, and where immediate pivots are needed for the future. Looking through an equity lens, we explore the current best thinking and advice experts have for job seekers, especially young people still in school, planning for college, or getting ready to graduate. We also highlight several organizations that are leveraging LMI data in innovative ways to drive career pathways development.

This episode was also part of the It Started at Horizons Web Series.

Episode 1

Intermediary Functions and Features: Leading With and Designing for Equity

During this session, JFF's Amy Loyd and Kyle Hartung introduce and elevate the efforts and learning of leading local-, regional-, and state-level intermediary organizations who were in the first cohort of the Building Equitable Pathways initiative. We explore the core work, functions, and design features of intermediary organizations that are essential to develop, organize, and mobilize stakeholders for equitable college and career pathways in the communities they serve. Additionally, we raise questions about and consider the imperative for intermediaries to design and lead with equity and the critical role they play in transforming systems and outcomes to better meet the needs of Black and Latinx youth and young people who are experiencing poverty.

About the Series

Launched in 2019, the Building Equitable Pathways initiative brought together JFF and seven leading intermediary organizations to support Black and Latinx youth and young people experiencing poverty in exercising self-determination and building rewarding and engaging futures. Together, these organizations committed to testing six hypotheses about how to effectively guide the development of more equitable college and career pathways.

Intermediaries are essential to driving cross-sector collaboration required for building equitable pathways systems and scaling work-based learning. They play a key role in bringing together leaders in K-12 and postsecondary education, industry, and government to forge partnerships, craft strategies and innovative solutions, and source funding to develop truly equitable college and career pathways systems.

Critical to our work is an explicit inquiry about the challenges we face as a field to embed equitable values, policies, and practices at the heart of an intermediary’s work to build pathways systems:

  • How might we ensure that Black and Latinx youth and young people who are experiencing poverty have access to the information, support, and experiences they need to make informed choices for their futures?
  • How might we dramatically increase the number of young people who have the agency, social capital, skills, and credentials needed to thrive in the workforce and in life?
  • What does a deep commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the design, process, and outcomes of education to career pathways look like in policy and practice?

This webinar series is designed to share what we have learned, and provoke a national conversation, with pathways ecosystem stakeholders about what it will take to bring about a true reimagining of how we prepare youth for careers in today’s world. The content of these webinars are relevant and engaging for intermediary and community-based organizations, K-12 and postsecondary education leaders, employers, governmental and elected officials, and policymakers and advocates.