Prior to Phase One, Washington State had developed two innovative career preparation models. The Core Plus curriculum draws on industry expertise to identify core knowledge, skills and abilities in related career pathways and the Integrated Basic Education Skills Training (I-BEST) model is a postsecondary program that integrates basic education with workforce skills. Washington’s approach to the Phase One early implementation and planning grant period was to draw upon these and other employer-led initiatives to design high-quality career pathways in high-demand industry sectors that could be scaled statewide. The state leveraged the opportunity through New Skills for Youth to lay the groundwork for building a statewide career preparation system, honing in on challenges related to data, career advisement and local implementation.
Phase One of JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s New Skills for Youth grant extended from May to October 2016. With bold visions for improving career readiness in K-12 education, each Phase One state spent the grant period performing a diagnostic assessment of their career preparation system and preparing for implementation of a new action plan. This snapshot describes Washington’s experience and progress in Phase One, including promising practices and innovations. Additional snapshots from other Phase One New Skills for Youth states are available here.