Career pathways are the connective tissue of workforce development. Colleges teach. Workforce One-Stop Centers place people in jobs. Employers attract and retain employees. But without linking all of the components together, each tends to function in a vacuum, and entire industries and regions fall short of their potential.

One might think an overarching approach to workforce development would be standard practice in the United States, where high performance is expected. It isn’t, though. That’s why some of Thomas P. Miller & Associates’ most effective work focuses on creating connections to enable the parts to operate seamlessly.

Think of career pathways as two major components: mapping and systems. Mapping organizes the job titles, competencies, average wages, and credentials and education requirements. Systems makes the most of everything on the map by enabling it work together.

When TPMA is asked to undertake a career pathways project, we begin by building a map. We work with employers to determine the extent to which the right jobs and skills are in place, particularly with high-demand positions.

Next, TPMA goes to providers, workforce boards, education providers and community-based organizations to determine the resources available to job seekers and employees. Finally, TPMA brings industry and education and training providers together to fill any gaps and streamline the system.

The solar industry benefitted from a TPMA career pathways project when a gap was discovered between classrooms and job sites. TPMA created a step-by-step toolkit for solar employers to build apprenticeship programs stressing hands-on learning. In Ohio’s Mahoning Valley, TPMA worked with education providers to develop a standardized curriculum aligning with industry credentials in manufacturing.

Thomas P. Miller stands ready to guide employers in your area through a career pathway project. Contact us.