Engaging Employers and Industry

Enlisting the employer community as a lead partner to rethink career preparation efforts.

States are working toward making their high school programs more responsive to the labor market. States are interested in a new “demand-driven” system in which employers are working with education to ensure career preparation programs prepare young people for well-paying jobs available in today’s economy. Building partnerships with the employer community gives employers the responsibility for identifying high-demand, high-skill industries and developing authentic work-based learning experiences.

High-quality Career Preparation Programs

Raising expectations for the quality of career preparation programs.

States must significantly raise the bar for quality career pathways in secondary schools. States must develop and make available to all students an array of high-quality career pathways that combine rigorous academics and work-based learning opportunities, supported by career planning and guidance. Career pathways must result in credentials that are valued by employers and aligned with the current and emerging labor market. States must use their funding and accountability models to prioritize pathways that focus on high-demand, high-skill industries and phase out programs that no longer lead to meaningful credentials and careers.

Making Career Preparation Matter

Making career preparation matter for all schools and all students.

Designing and administering accountability systems is a core state responsibility with profound implications for equity. States must expand metrics to emphasize readiness for both college and careers. By incorporating career readiness indicators into state accountability systems, states are making career preparation matter more to schools and students and incentivizing students to earn post-secondary or industry certification credentials in high-skill, high-demand fields. Including career readiness into accountability systems is an important step in ensuring each and every child has quality options for the path they pursue after high school.  

New Skills for Youth

To go farther and faster in advancing the Career Readiness task-force recommendations, select states have received grant funding to increase the number of kids who are prepared to compete for high-skill jobs.

JPMorgan Chase dedicated $35 million of grant funding for CCSSO to lead the New Skills for Youth (NSFY) grant opportunity for states, in partnership with Advance CTE and Education Strategy Group. NSFY gave every state the opportunity to apply for significant grants that will help turn their bold visions for improving career readiness in K-12 education into a reality.

Delaware, Kentucky, Louisiana, Ohio, Oklahoma, Massachusetts, Nevada, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Wisconsin received a $2 million dollar grant to pursue a bold vision for career readiness in their state

States are working with government, business and education leaders to strengthen career education, create pathways to economic success, and to expand and improve career pathways for all high school students.Learn more about Rhode Island and Tennessee's career readiness programs in our States Leading blog.