The WIC convened this multi-agency and community stakeholder Task Force to create a strategic plan and then implement a career pathways system in the District, ensuring all residents have access to the education, training, and career services necessary to gain economic independence. The Task Force was established by DC legislation (Mayor’s Order 2014-232) in order to better align adult basic education programs with workforce development to ensure all District residents can access career pathways in high-demand fields. The Task Force has a strong focus on addressing the needs of DC residents with high barriers to employment, particularly those with low literacy levels. Read the Career Pathways Task Force Strategic Plan.
The Task Force also makes recommendations for the use of the Career Pathways Innovation Fund, to be used to design, pilot, and scale best practices in the implementation of adult career pathways. With initial funding, the WIC is creating a Career Pathways Community of Practice, in-line with the Strategic Plan and recommendations from the Task Force. The Community of Practice (COP) will provide the opportunity for District adult education and workforce providers and partners to work collaboratively on improving the quality and coordination of services to District of Columbia residents through facilitated professional development and technical assistance, in alignment with WIOA and the Career Pathways Task Force Strategic Plan. Projected outcomes of the COP include:
- Increased expertise in subject areas, greater knowledge of evidenced-based practices, and ability to implement expertise and knowledge at the program level
- Development of stronger linkages between program design/curriculum and business needs, informed by LMI data and employer relationships
- Clear understanding of where providers fit into a sector pathway and relevant career maps
- Create relationships between providers for troubleshooting, sharing of promising practices, leverage partnerships
- Enhance performance outcomes due to implementation of best and evidenced-based practices
- Readying providers for future funding opportunities, including future Innovation Fund Grants
On January 25, 2017, the WIC and OSSE announced the release of a joint Request for Applications (RFA) for approximately $4.3 million in Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA) and WIC career pathways grant funds. The WIC will fund innovative sector-based partnerships to serve District adults with high-barriers to employment, including low levels of literacy and basic skills. This consortium model is based on national best practices, such as Maryland EARN and Minnesota FastTRAC, and is in alignment with WIOA, the DC Unified State Plan, and Career Pathways Task Force recommendations.