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Building Tomorrow's Workforce

 

In 2015, The Pathways to Prosperity Network* conducted an asset mapping of Rutherford County that provided baseline data to enable the development of a strategic plan to support the identified high growth, high demand jobs that are projected through 2025.  The asset map revealed that stakeholders in Rutherford County from across education, business, and government are working to build grades 7-14 career pathways, aligned with the Pathways Tennessee framework and strategic plan, that support young people in the county in attaining their educational and career goals. Key sectors for building pathways aligned with labor-market demand were also identified and include the following 5 STEM fields; advanced manufacturing, construction, health care, information technology and supply chain management.

This work is guided by 5 strategic levers:

CAREER EXPLORATION

CAREER EXPLORATION

Students in the middle grades, supported by teachers, counselors and advisors, are exposed to a wide range of career options and the correlating courses of study in high school and local post-secondary education. Employers support career exploration activities at school facilities.

EMPLOYER ENGAGEMENT

EMPLOYER ENGAGEMENT

Employers are committed to providing a continuum of learning opportunities at the workplace throughout the 7-14/16 pathway. Employers and educators commit to sharing resources, such as equipment, expertise, and tuition assistance. Employers support students’ transitions into the workforce by providing a range of activities such as tours, career events, onsite training opportunities and mentoring. Employer engagement activities take place on or around the worksite.

WORK BASED LEARNING

WORK BASED LEARNING

Students are translating classroom theories into practical application on the Job through relevant work experience provided by employers in our focus sectors. Experiences such as internships, apprenticeships, paid work experience and a high school capstone course, allow students to develop employability skills that prepare them for success in the workplace. Activities take place in both the school and workplace.

CAREER PATHWAY DEVELOPMENT

CAREER PATHWAY DEVELOPMENT

With leadership provided by focus sector councils, secondary and post-secondary education partners are working to establish seamless 7-14/16 career pathways with clear structures, timelines, costs, and requirements linking and integrating high school and post-secondary curriculum and aligning both with labor market requirements. The pathways include multiple entries and exit points along the way. Post-secondary partners are providing dual enrollment opportunities for the focus sector pathways and seamless articulation to post-secondary education, facilitating the opportunity for students to graduate from high school with an industry credential and some college credit.

CONTINUOUS LEARNING

CONTINUOUS LEARNING

With leadership provided by focus sector councils, Rutherford Works is supporting the Drive to 55 initiative by working with post-secondary education partners, industry and non-profits to develop a plan of action to support TN Promise students and remove barriers and empower adults to return to, or enter higher education for the first time. Rutherford Works will also develop a platform to provide industry specific, non-credit training for adults. This will include pre-employment and entry level as well as front line supervisor and mid-level management courses and programs. To support employability training, Rutherford Works will make application to be the lead entity on Rutherford County becoming an ACT Work Ready Community. This will include promotion of and funding for the National Career Readiness Certificate. The goal of these non-credit offerings is to provide adults, who may be unemployed or underemployed or have other barrier to employment, with the opportunity to gain industry credentials that lead to employment with family-sustaining wages and provide employers with a more rapid response to workforce needs. This non-credit training initiative will help pave the way for adults to gain confidence in the ability to learn and successfully complete a post-secondary certification or degree.

 

Rutherford Works Workforce Development serves as the intermediary for work aligned with Pathways Tennessee and the Pathways to Prosperity Network in addition to directing the strategic plan highlighted in the graphic below.

Click here to read the full strategic plan including projected outcomes.