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ERIC Number: ED517506
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Feb
Pages: 22
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Pathway to Prosperity
Hilliard, Thomas
Center for an Urban Future
Even before the Great Recession prompted policymakers to take a closer look at public programs designed to help unemployed Americans re-enter the workforce it had long been clear that federal, state and local government workforce development programs have not always effectively prepared low-income individuals to obtain decent-paying jobs. Job training and workforce preparedness programs are far from a bust: they have moved countless out of work individuals into jobs and, in recent years, many local workforce development systems--like the one in New York City--have clearly improved. However, the workforce systems in New York and across the United States have been far less successful in helping individuals develop new skills or upgrade their skills to be better-positioned over the long term to access the kinds of jobs that offer decent wages and clear opportunities for advancement. In response to these shortcomings, a number of states have developed creative approaches to improve training of adult workers. In Illinois, the state economic development agency has launched a system of community-business partnerships that develop job-linked training initiatives. In Washington State, community colleges have built a team-teaching system to provide integrated adult literacy and vocational instruction. And in several states--most notably Oregon, Kentucky and Arkansas--state leaders have adopted a model called "Career Pathways," which integrates education, workforce development employment and supportive services in a way that keeps workers moving forward to achieve family supporting wages. While these models are diverse in structure, they all focus on providing deeper and more diverse skills training informed as directly as possible by employer needs. New York has also begun the process of remaking its workforce development system, with an unusually strong commitment to the most disadvantaged adults. In 2008, New York launched the Career Pathways program, a joint initiative of the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) and Department of Labor (NYSDOL). Over the last three years, New York has invested over $22 million in federal public assistance and workforce dollars in Career Pathways--a small portion of the state workforce training budget, but substantially more than most states have committed to new approaches. This study provides the first assessment of how New York's foray into Career Pathways is working. The author finds that while New York's Career Pathway program falls short of similar efforts in other states in critical ways, the program represents a significant step forward for workforce development in New York City and, with the right support and a few adjustments, could provide the cornerstone for a new, better integrated workforce system. [This report was edited by Jonathan Bowles, Andrew Breslau and Lydia Wileden.] (Contains 4 tables, 2 charts and 17 endnotes.
Center for an Urban Future. 120 Wall Street 20th Floor, New York, NY 10005. Tel: 212-479-3341; Fax: 212-344-6457; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Center for an Urban Future
Identifiers - Location: New York