Upskill America: U.S. Department of Education Launches the Career Pathways Exchange

Published oct. 21, 2014

As discussed in previous blogs, there is a storm of activity following the passage of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and the release of the Vice President’s Ready to Work: Job-Driven Training and American Opportunity report. Last month, I had the privilege of attending the National Dialogue on Career Pathways that was hosted by the U.S. Departments of Labor, Education and Health and Human Services and had the opportunity to discuss the opportunities that WIOA brings for career pathways. Through these and other related efforts, it is clear that the national effort to advance economic opportunity through career pathways is more important than ever.

Jobs for the Future was recently selected by the U.S. Department of Education as a partner in its new three-year career pathways initiative: Moving Pathways Forward: Supporting Career Pathways Integration. Throughout the next two years, we will contribute to the project’s free information service—the Career Pathways Exchange.

JFF views streamlined college and career pathways, which accelerate attainment of secondary and postsecondary credentials with strong labor market value, as a core strategy toward helping us meet employer needs for skilled workers and enabling people to find good jobs. Career pathways are an essential part of many of our initiatives, for example:

  • Our Pathways to Prosperity Network enables high school students to transition smoothly from graduation to attaining postsecondary credentials with labor market value through the introduction of career pathways in high school. 
  • Accelerating OpportunityAccelerate TEXAS, and Breaking Through help low-skilled adults enter and succeed in occupational and technical degree programs that lead to family-supporting careers. These initiatives give thousands of students a clear pathway from Adult Basic Education or developmental education—which sometimes never lead to credit-bearing coursework—to quality credentials with strong labor market value.

Launching in October, the Exchange consolidates and distributes career pathways-related resources, events, and information from federal and state agencies and partner organizations. Subscribers can select to receive email digests on their topics of interest, including: Building Cross-Agency Partnerships, Identifying Industry Sectors and Engaging Employers, Designing Education and Training Programs, Identifying Funding Needs and Sources, Aligning Policies and Programs, and Measuring System Change and Performance. Jobs for the Future will continue to post new publications and events exploring topics related to career pathways throughout the year. 

For continued information about JFF’s participation in this nationwide federal initiative, please contact Nate Anderson at or tweet us @jfftweets with #CPExchange. Also, be sure to find and follow the Exchange on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest to stay current on all the latest career pathways events and resources, as well as adult education and WIOA updates.