Pathways provides high school and postsecondary students with the opportunity to gain work-based learning experiences for in-demand careers
WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney on Friday announced a $3.25 million grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies to expand access to economic opportunity for Delaware students. Funding will help bolster the Delaware Pathways program, which provides high school and postsecondary students with the opportunity to gain work-based learning experiences for in-demand careers as well as earn industry credentials and early college credits.
Economists forecast that Delaware will hire or replace 30 percent of its workforce in the next six years. Delaware Pathways, which represents a partnership between Governor Carney’s office, the K-12 education system, higher education, nonprofits, the Department of Labor, and a host of other public and private leaders, aims to tackle that issue by providing students with career exploration, real-world training, and robust postsecondary preparation.
“Thanks to Pathways, education and workforce programs are designed to help young people take active steps to pursue continuing education and competitive employment,” said Governor Carney. “This generous grant will help Delaware continue its focus on in-demand occupations and where there is the greatest potential for our students to enter the workforce in middle- and high-skill occupations.”
The grant, which was announced Friday at the Fourth Annual Delaware Pathways Conference at the Chase Center in Wilmington, will support Delaware as it expands the Pathways initiative to accomplish the following by 2021:
- Expand career pathways, including the creation of a new regional pathway in health care and continued expansion of existing pathways to connect 20,000 students with in-demand careers ranging from manufacturing, finance, information technology
- Launch a series of industry councils in partnership with the local business community to strengthen connections between employers and education and training programs
- Expand the Office of Work-Based Learning at Delaware Technical Community College, with a goal to support 2,500 high school students and another 5,000 postsecondary students in work-based learning experiences in their field of study
- Create instructional supports and teacher professional learning routines for the statewide computer science pathway in partnership with Zip Code Wilmington
- Launch summer learning opportunities for youth interested in coding and computer science in partnership with Zip Code Wilmington
The Bloomberg Philanthropies grant, which will span the course of three years, comes on the heels of similar investments in Colorado and New Orleans in 2016.
“We need to ensure that all students are provided with opportunities to access good jobs and careers that provide pathways to the middle class,” said Howard Wolfson, who leads Bloomberg Philanthropies education programs. “Delaware is showing strong leadership in rethinking ways to create new opportunities for young people, recognizing that this work needs to start with the right preparation in school and continue with strong partnerships with businesses. We are happy to support Delaware’s effort to provide 20,000 students with a head start in their connection to in-demand careers.”
“The world is changing fast, and Delaware Pathways is a shining example of public and private leaders banding together around a common challenge to find solutions,” said Paul Herdman, president and CEO of the Rodel Foundation of Delaware, which shepherded the grant application process and will serve as a lead partner for the project moving forward. “Not only are we ensuring that thousands of young people are pursuing their passions and connecting with family-sustaining careers, we’re helping to build a talented and motivated workforce right here in our own backyard that will drive our economy forward.”
Massive shifts in the economy, politics, and social issues have dramatically altered how states like Delaware are preparing young people for the world they’ll inherit after graduation. Increasingly, the tech-driven, family-sustaining careers of today and tomorrow require some level of postsecondary education or training. To address that disconnect between high schools, colleges, and a rewarding career—and the reality of emerging industries like IT and healthcare—public and private leaders from around the state have banded together to help usher in a new generation of the state’s workforce.
Mark Brainard, president of Delaware Technical Community College, played a key role with the Colonial School District in getting the first career pathway started with just 27 students from William Penn High School working in the advanced manufacturing field.
“It’s been very gratifying to develop the first pathway of 27 students and see it grow to more than 9,000 in just four years. We’re excited to play a role in developing these connections for students,” said Brainard. “As the state’s intermediary on this initiative, we utilize our partnerships with business to connect students to the world of work and higher education. Delawareans have a special way of working together. These pathways have expanded because all of the various partners work together so well to benefit our students and put Delaware on the cutting edge of work-based learning.”
In addition to Delaware Tech, Rodel, and Governor Carney’s Office, key partners in Delaware include its state departments of education and labor, its Workforce Development Board, the United Way of Delaware, plus partnerships with every school district and employers in different industries throughout the state.
Delaware’s strong alignment across sectors has quickly made it a national exemplar and a recipient of targeted supports. In 2017, it was one of just 10 states to receive $2 million in grant funding through the New Skills For Youth initiative led by JPMorgan Chase in partnership with the Council of Chief State School Officers and Advance CTE.
About Delaware Pathways:
Delaware Pathways is an education and workforce partnership that has shaped extensive school reform and the development of regional Career and Technical Education (CTE) pathways that accelerate academic and technical instruction, reflect the needs of the state economy, and purposefully integrate employers. Each pathway offers students the opportunity to earn an industry-recognized credential, early college credit, and relevant work experience. These instructional models are now being scaled across the state in key industry sectors such as: agriculture, education, finance, health care, hospitality and tourism, engineering and science, information technology, and manufacturing. For more information, please visit here or contact Alison May via email at: email@example.com.
About Bloomberg Philanthropies:
Bloomberg Philanthropies works in over 120 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation, and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. In 2017, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $702 million. For more information, please visit www.bloomberg.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter.
Notable Statements of Support
• “At United Way, one of our strategic priorities is ensuring that Delaware has a workforce pipeline of diverse, talented, and well-trained young people. We are investing in efforts to improve literacy rates, and to prepare our youth for college and careers. Pathways is central to our work. We join with the governor and all our Pathways partners to celebrate this grant and to take this opportunity to re-commit to the state’s workforce development goals.” –Michelle Taylor, President and CEO, United Way of Delaware
• “It’s been very gratifying to develop the first pathway of 27 students and see it grow to more than 9,000 in just four years. We’re excited to play a role in developing these connections for students. As the state’s intermediary on this initiative, we utilize our partnerships with business to connect students to the world of work and higher education. Delawareans have a special way of working together. These pathways have expanded because all of the various partners work together so well to benefit our students and put Delaware on the cutting edge of work-based learning.” – Mark Brainard, President, Delaware Technical Community College
• “This grant reinforces the great progress we have made across the state aligning all of our Pathway stakeholders, and pushing the envelope on our strategic plan, objectives from day one at our Workforce Development Board. When opportunity strikes, Delawareans will always roll up their sleeves alongside each other – especially when it comes to supporting our schools, and the young men and women that represent our next generation of business leaders here in Delaware.” – Gary Stockbridge, CEO, Delmarva Power, and Chairman, Delaware Workforce Development Board
• “The world is changing fast, and Delaware Pathways is a shining example of public and private leaders banding together around a common challenge to find solutions. Not only are we ensuring that thousands of young people are pursuing their passions and connecting with family-sustaining careers, we’re helping to build a talented and motivated workforce right here in our own backyard that will drive our economy forward.” – Paul Herdman, President and CEO, Rodel Foundation of Delaware
• “Thanks to Pathways, education and workforce programs are designed to help young people take active steps to pursue continuing education and competitive employment. This generous grant will help Delaware continue its focus on in-demand occupations and where there is the greatest potential for our students to enter the workforce in middle- and high-skill occupations.” – Delaware Governor John Carney
• “When companies and entrepreneurs are deciding where to grow their businesses, the most important factor in their decision making is the talent of the local workforce. In today’s economy it is more important than ever that Delawareans be equipped with the best education and career training available. Our pathways initiative is a key component to that work.” – Cerron Cade, Delaware Secretary of Labor
• “Students who complete a career pathway are actualizing our definition of college and career readiness – they attain a secondary school diploma, earn an industry-recognized credential and complete early college coursework connected to a Registered Apprenticeship program or an Associate or Bachelor’s degree program at a Delaware college or university. We’re excited that this money will allow us to further strengthen and expand Pathways programs.” – Delaware Secretary of Education Susan Bunting
• “Pathways has enabled the Colonial School District to provide its middle and high school students with opportunities and access to the world of work and careers through rigorous course work, while at the same time preparing them for success at the post-secondary level.” – Colonial School District Superintendent Dusty Blakey
• “To truly prepare students to be both college and career ready, we need to do more. For students to have rewarding careers, they must be aware of their options and prepared to take the next step. We want every student to graduate from our schools with the academic and technical skills necessary to pursue postsecondary education or training that is aligned with his or her career interests, and Pathways helps us to meet that goal.” – Woodbridge School District Superintendent Heath Chasanov, head of the Delaware Chief School Officers Association
• “Zip Code Wilmington is excited about the opportunity to grow and partner with Delaware schools to expand the computer science pathway and create new opportunities for youth to develop coding skills. We are excited to engage with teachers and community partners to help grow the next generation of IT talent.” – Tariq Hook, Executive Director of Zip Code I/O