Educating the Workforce of Tomorrow Fall 2017 - Page 5
Through the Pathways TN framework, chambers of
commerce, industry partners, middle and high schools, and
postsecondary institutions work together to promote active
business and industry involvement in student exploration
and on-the-job learning, enhance career guidance, and
improve the transfer of postsecondary credits earned in high
school to postsecondary institutions upon enrollment.
Pathways TN - Starting The
“Based on employer feedback, we knew
we needed to address pressing education
and workforce opportunities. The Highlands
Economic Partnership commissioned a study
on student dropout from high school. We also
To build strong education to career pathways, conducted a labor study to understand the skills
regional Pathways TN partners take the gap between the workforce and employer needs.
following actions: These two studies were foundational to creating
1. County and local leaders build interest in the Pathways Committee. Educators and area business leaders
model. Leaders discuss links between K-12, higher
a Workforce Development and Education
serve on the committee.
education, and local business and industry needs.
2. Leaders develop a core team, typically involving
members of chambers of commerce, school district
leaders, and two- and four-year postsecondary
3. Consulting Pathways TN resources, core teams consider
local economic and education data, and if needed,
conduct further study of education and the workforce.
4. Core teams develop a three-year plan to guide collective
action. The plan encourages alignment of middle, high
school, and postsecondary courses with economic
demands, keeping quality of programming and
equitable student access as primary considerations.
Through a collaborative process, we developed
goals based on the education and workforce
data. By having the right people in the room
at the same time, we discovered how much
we could get done. Ideas fly when people get
outside of their silos and come together to solve
challenges! That’s when the magic happens.
Directors of schools get in friendly competition
– they don’t want to miss a Workforce
Development and Education Committee meeting,
because there’s such rich conversation.”
Lillian Hartgrove, Director of Workforce Development,
Upper Cumberland Highlands Economic Partnership, and
Tennessee State Board of Education
As of 2017, seven regional Pathways partnerships have
formed, with four active regions and three regions getting
started. Tennessee continues to expand work to remaining regions and promote
innovation across the state. Through Pathways TN, communities are bridging the gap
between education and career.