K-12 Pathways is a program to align high school and college curricula with the foundational and specialized skills necessary for a career in Cybersecurity, Networking, and Data Management. Jobs in these pathways are not only in high demand by employers in the region; they also offer opportunities for entry-level workers who do not have a bachelor’s degree.
To accomplish this important goal, the Partnership has engaged its employer network to develop an Employer Signaling System [link to subhead] that communicates employer skill and credential requirements to educators from five pilot communities: Baltimore City, MD; Fairfax County, VA; Montgomery County, MD; Prince George’s County, MD; and the District of Columbia.
The Education Strategy Group (ESG), as a key partner on this program, will support participating K-12 and higher education leaders in using this information to scale high-quality career pathways that are more tightly aligned with employer needs. Students who participate in the pilot will also be connected with work-based learning opportunities.
The partnerships developed through this initiative will connect more young people—particularly those from underrepresented populations—to economic opportunities, provide employers with the talent they need to thrive, and strengthen the broader regional economy.
This investment will lead to:
Increased student enrollment in demand-driven IT pathways that extend from high school through postsecondary education
More regional employers hiring youth with credentials from educational institutions in the Capital Region
An Employer Signaling System that empowers educators to design and scale career pathways aligned to current, regional workforce needs
Greater capacity to support industry-aligned work-based learning experiences for students in the region
A regional collaboration network that enables initiative members to build stronger partnerships and design solutions to common challenges
This program is made possible through generous support from JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Employer Signaling System
The Employer Signaling System (ESS) provides detailed labor market information to educators about the competencies and credentials needed for high-demand tech jobs that do not require a bachelor’s degree. The ESS currently presents information on jobs in Cybersecurity, Data Management, and Networking.
Work-Based Learning Opportunities
The most coveted work-based learning experience – internships—provide students with means to make money (and/or earn credits), gain valuable experience, develop a competitive resume, and solidify commonplace work practices. Unfortunately, those are often the most difficult to scale given the commitment required by employers and educators and the inherent need for structure, organization, and explicit intern expectations to ensure success. In partnership with the Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC) and ESG, the Partnership will develop and scale a regional work-based learning model for career pathways.