Building State Career Pathways Systems

States can build career pathways to advance racial equity and economic mobility through human service agency and community college partnerships. 

Career pathways integrate holistic supports that address people’s basic needs while they train for a quality career that offers opportunity for economic mobility. Career pathways can contribute to an inclusive economic recovery when they intentionally address the needs of workers who have been most impacted by COVID-19, as well as by structural barriers of discrimination or limited opportunity – specifically workers who earn low wages and workers of color. And, Career pathways can help small and medium businesses – those most impacted by the pandemic – train and hire workers in a changing economy. 

States have a real opportunity to advance racial equity and economic mobility by increasing access to high quality skills training & building out career pathways using funding from SNAP E&T and TANF block grants to support career pathways system development and partnerships. Yet, not enough states are using these resources in this way, meaning that states, community colleges, human service agencies and workforce development agencies are missing an opportunity to use millions of dollars to transform career pathways that could benefit people and businesses  

Building State Career Pathways Systems is a toolkit designed to help states create career pathways systems that integrate and expand partnerships between state human service agencies and community and technical college systems and institutions so that more people have the opportunity to train for a quality career. 

The toolkit includes recommendations for how SNAP E&T and TANF can support high-quality career pathways system development and partnerships with community colleges and illustrates model career pathways frameworks from Arkansas and Oregon 

This toolkit was funded with generous support from Lumina Foundation and ECMC Foundation.