In 2013, the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County committed to building on the success of the 2012 Commitment to Action by helping six cities replicate the Schools to Careers Plus project. Marlena Sessions, the chief executive officer of WDC has leveraged her role as the president of the United States Conference of Mayors' Workforce Development Council to develop partnerships with the cities of San Diego, Portland, Spokane, Nashville, St. Louis, and Louisville, all of whom have committed to implement the project. Partner cities in this effort will utilize the expertise of Ms. Sessions and the groundbreaking work of Schools to Careers Plus in the Seattle area to replicate, customize, and expand the model in their local communities.
The expansion will be done in two tiers:
The cities of San Diego, California, Portland, Oregon, and Spokane, Washington are already implementing connections to their K-12 systems through a variety of innovative approaches, and will expand their efforts by adopting and leveraging Schools to Careers Plus tools and strategies in their districts through their pre-existing contacts and work.
The cities of Nashville, Tennessee, St. Louis, Missouri, and Louisville, Kentucky have agreed to join the effort later in the first year of this commitment. Each city seeks to utilize the Schools to Careers Plus model but require a planning period to customize their approach in their local areas as they will be starting from scratch.
The WDC will: (1) provide tools, strategies, and technical assistance to first stage cities to quickly implement Schools to Careers in these areas; (2) provide technical assistance to stage two cities during their planning phase and implementation assistance once they are ready to launch; (3) monitor the impact the model across both tiers of cities; and (4) coordinate best practices and innovation sharing across the entirety of the network so that all sites get the benefit of each sites' expertise and experience.
Share the WDC's Schools to Careers Plus model and tools with partner Cities, through agenda items at USCOM meetings and mailings between the cities - Begin July 2013
Implement a MOA/MOU with partner cities that clearly outlines their commitment, activities, and involvement in the project - Sept. 2013
Develop a reporting mechanism for partner cities to report their implementation progress, including numbers served, and leveraged cash and in-kind resources, and best practices - September 2013
Utilize bi-annual reporting from the sites; aggregate this information into an overall 'national impact' report - December 2013, June 2014
Coordinate Schools to Careers Plus National Expansion presentations and reports at upcoming US Conference of Mayors' Workforce Development meetings
In 2012, the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County (WDC) committed to connect industry and youth on a regional scale through a career readiness pilot project that would create new and multiple career pathways for youth in all 19 K-12 public school districts in King County, Washington.
Over the past year, the Schools to Careers Plus Project has linked the workforce development system and its tools to students, parents, and teachers in the K-12 system. Overall, the project hoped to increase the relevance of K-12 education, linking it directly to local career pathways and helping youth make informed decisions about how education can lead them directly to such careers.
Schools to Careers Plus gives K-12 partners the tools that they need to provide career pathway information to students so that districts can better provide 'career and college' plans that keep students on a pathway to graduate, transition to postsecondary training, and ultimately the world of meaningful work that leads to self-sufficiency. In this first year, the Schools to Careers Plus Project has made significant progress, including 830 youth who began career planning during their freshman year of high school; 700 seniors who completed career assessments; 50 Career and Technical Education staff trained to increase their understanding of high-demand careers; and over 2400 students and parents who participated in events that highlight career pathways so that they can make informed decisions on post-secondary education.