Northwest Career Ready streamlining committees and revising work-based learning

The Northwest Career Ready (NCR) education and workforce development initiative for Seneca and Sandusky County has been making progress in the fourth quarter of 2020. Information introducing the initiative was published in October (“Northwest Career Ready enters second year“).

Here are the latest developments in the key goal areas:

1. Leadership & Governance

  • Significant progress is being made here towards the goal identified last year of aligning, streamlining, and coordinating similar efforts.
  • Tiffin City Schools (Business Advisory Committee) – Andrew Gase and Amy Wood presented at the November 24, 2020 Tiffin City Schools Board of Education meeting to share the plans for the merger of the Tiffin City Schools Business Advisory Council into Northwest Career Ready with the NCOESC Business Advisory Council members. Formal action will be considered at the December 15 board meeting. The presentation explaining how the merging will work is available here: https://www.loom.com/share/ce2eac1d52854d818d11f545dd89628a
  • Other Districts – Jobs for the Future will present a similar presentation at the NCOESC BAC meeting on December 8th where formal action is expected to be taken on the merger. Once all mergers are complete, onboarding will begin on January 21.

2. Work-Based Learning

  • The group is active, and foundational work is taking place. The hope for next year is to be able to line up dedicated personnel to assist with coordination.  
  • BRAG (Building Readiness After Graduation) Program – Work-Based Learning subcommittee leads are meeting weekly to revise the current BRAG internal structures in order to improve the experiences for students and employers when the program begins in January. 
  • New Technology – The team met with a vendor that provides a technology platform to virtually engage employers with learners for career development activities. This would allow businesses to track their engagement with students and allow NCR to measure student impact. Grant money has been secured to pilot the program in January with a small group. If successful, it can be scaled to NCR participating entities by fall.

3. Communication & Buy-In 

  • The group has not met over the past few months, but it is anticipated we will start meeting again in January.
  • Internal Updates – The NCR updates continue to go out (this is the fourth), on a regular basis, providing a high-level summary of progress. 
  • Brand Development – The groundwork for brand development has begun. The group should be engaging with this in January, leading into the new publication and a potential annual report. 
  • Strategic Plan – Revisiting the strategic plan draft developed early last year will take place in January.

Jobs For the Future

  • Jobs for the Future, in a recent Nov. 9 policy memo emphasized the importance of work-based learning and highlighted what Pathways To Prosperity is doing. 
  • Quick Definition –  I liked this succinct definition: “In 2012, JFF and the Harvard Graduate School of Education launched the Pathways to Prosperity Network to reimagine how our education system—from K-12 through college—partners with employers and prepares our young people for success. The network develops, implements, and scales college and career pathways to expand economic opportunities for all young people and meet regional talent needs. This forward-looking approach depends on strong cross-sector partnerships among K-12 and postsecondary education leaders, policymakers, and employers, bringing together diverse stakeholders to build a future that works.”
  • Work-Based Learning – The following was their policy recommendation on work-based learning: “Champion a national initiative to expand work-based learning opportunities for every high school and college student. This initiative should include the development of national principles for high-quality work-based learning and the prioritization of work-based learning in existing grant competitions. It should also highlight national exemplars and encourage employer commitments to expand work-based learning participation.”

For additional information, please contact Amy Wood at amy_wood@tiffincityschools.org or David Zak at zak@tiffinseneca.org.

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