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CALPRO: Defining On-Ramps to Adult Career Pathways

Posted on 09/15/2017

As part of CALPRO’s monthly updates on research-based practices, featured below is a report that highlights a menu of career pathways ‘on-ramp’ services and partnerships that can be used to develop program models. Although the focus of the report is on Minnesota, it illustrates how a state can move its low-income, less-educated adults into education, training and the workforce and provides a blueprint that could be used by agencies in California to evaluate and fortify service gaps in their career pathways programs. The report was written by Judy Mortrude for the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) with the Minneapolis Saint Paul Regional Workforce Innovation Network and the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota New Futures Institute.

Defining On-Ramps to Adult Career Pathways

Until recently, career pathways have focused on postsecondary level students. Recognizing the current workforce challenges, the Minneapolis St. Paul Workforce Innovation Network (MSPWin) commissioned the Center for Law and Social Policy’s (CLASP) Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success to define career pathways on-ramp services to develop program models that work. For the purpose of the report, “on-ramps” were defined as those services address the individuals whose goal is postsecondary credentials, but have immediate needs that should be addressed first: stabilization, upskilling, and income. The study used interviews, surveys, and a research review to describe these three areas that are key to on-ramps:

  1. Stabilization and Supportive Services – diminish crisis and connect individuals to resources
  2. Integrated Education and Training – build foundation, employment and occupational skills in context and simultaneously
  3. Employment, Retention and Re-Engagement – gain work experience, remain connected and gain further education and training

The study found that successful “on-ramp” models require intentional and meaningful collaboration among all community stakeholders (employers, government agencies, CBOs, school districts, and postsecondary institutions) and identifies best practices.

Sources: CALPRO External link opens in new window or tab and CLASP External link opens in new window or tab