In 2017, Tennessee was awarded $2 million in funding through a New Skills for Youth (NSFY) grant to aid in career readiness initiatives. The Roundtable was pleased to serve on the grant team which secured this funding and worked with those partners to create long and short term goals for the following year. This week, Advance CTE, one of the organizers of the NSFY grant, released snapshots of the progress made by each of the 10 state recipients.
Tennessee’s NSFY 2018 snapshot highlights:
- the establishment of a career pathways certification program;
- the addition of regional career pathways coordinators;
- and the alignment of career pathways across state departments.
The career pathways certification program emphasizes employer partnerships and requires EPSOs/work-based learning and alignment with labor market needs, while the new pathways coordinators act as the main points of contact between education and industry. In an effort to eliminate inefficiencies and reduce fragmentation, a statewide reorganization of disparate Dept. of Education, Economic Development, and Labor regions occurred, resulting in 9 coordinated regions.
These three focuses connect to the following TBR education and workforce policy priorities:
- Accelerate alignment between the K-12 and post-secondary curricula that supply the high-skill, living-wage occupations in greatest demand in Tennessee’s economy.
- Better-coordinate Tennessee state government’s workforce-development efforts, make them more transparent to those served, and open them up to input from and involvement by our state’s job-creators.
As we enter the third and final year of this grant, the Roundtable will continue to work with the Department of Education as a partner to help build pathways for students into Tennessee’s workforce. If you would like to learn more about the work currently being done by the state, or if you would like to get in touch with your Pathways regional coordinator to find out how you can get involved in career awareness in your area, contact Cassie Foote at firstname.lastname@example.org.