Two years after the California legislature launched the Career Pathways Trust (CCPT) — a $500 million grant program to finance the development of collaborative regional career pathways — Jobs for the Future released a summary of the program’s success, drawing on interviews and site visits to determine the impact of regional career pathways and to provide recommendations for strengthening the program. The CCPT, first established through AB86 in July 2014, aimed to catalyze local partnerships to develop regional career pathways in high-wage, high-demand industries. The researchers found widespread support for the program and identified common themes across various sites.
Specifically, the researchers found that:
- K-12 students and teachers benefited from the program
- The CCPT strenthened the quality of career pathways and CTE programs
- Leadership at all levels and in all sectors underlies successful implementation
- Systems change is required to dismantle structural barriers
- Flexibility is both a strengthen and a challenge in implementing CCPT pathways
- Intermediary support around all aspects of career pathways implementation is critical, and demand outstrips supply
- Stakeholders understand data as critical to career pathways work, but existing systems are insufficient
The lessons drawn from the evaluation are relevant for other states looking to implement collaborative regional career pathways. In addition to outlining successes in the program, the report further outlines the consortia structure, strategies for engaging key partners, common challenges across each of the CCPT sites and considerations for future sustainability.