Educating for Tomorrow’s Needs & Opportunities
Whether a student will pursue a career after receiving a two-year, four-year, or advanced degree, is interested in a career that requires other types of post-high school training, or will enter the workforce directly upon graduation, there are a variety of professional and technical skills needed in today’s evolving economy. Too often, education, job creation, and economic development operate and exist in silos without the close collaboration necessary to truly position students for post-K-12 success on the path of their choosing. Keystone has a long history of supporting education system and programmatic changes at the district and state level that CFEP continues to build upon. Our Career Ready Initiative is designed to create coalitions, whose members will work together to better align public schools’ courses, programs of study and partnerships with local opportunities and needs. Coalitions will be comprised of local stakeholders, including state or district education officials, state or local economic development and workforce government offices, leaders from the public and private sector, educators, and communities.
The Initiative is designed to be a three-phase effort that allows coalitions to create actionable recommendations and opportunities for students as follows:
- Phase 1: Coalitions undertake an examination of the workforce needs to better understand the career opportunities for students, associated knowledge or skill needs and the outlook for future opportunities;
- Phase 2: CFEP works with members of the coalition to examine the courses and programs available to K-12 students and their alignment with the skills and knowledge identified as requisite or beneficial to success;
- Phase 3: coalitions develop recommendations for government officials, education leaders, employers and communities for next steps to better prepare students to succeed on the career path of their choosing.
Through this work, participating members of each coalition created through the Career Ready Initiative, will identify:
- New course offerings that will benefit students based on local and global opportunities (or updates to existing courses);
- Partnerships between K-12 schools, colleges and universities, public and private sector employers, trade associations, and other local leaders for students to engage in work-based learning and other skill development and knowledge acquisition;
- Strategies for ongoing collaboration between elected officials, education leaders, employers, professional associations, and communities to ensure students have access to the education and opportunities that prepare them to thrive on the path of their choosing.
To accomplish this work, we convene, support and facilitate discussions among members of a statewide Career Ready Coalition with membership based on each state’s unique context.