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Building Equitable Pathways

Author: Jobs For The Future (JFF)

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It’s no secret that our nation’s education and workforce systems don’t work the way they should. As a result, there are deep and persistent inequities in how people access information, opportunity and the support that is critical to their economic and career advancement. In the Building Equitable Pathways Podcast by Jobs for the Future (JFF), host Kyle Hartung speaks with leaders from across the country working at the intersection of education, training and workforce development. Together, they discuss the work their organizations are doing to create equitable pathways systems so that more Black and Latinx youth and young people experiencing poverty succeed in college and their future careers. We hope you will learn with us as we seek to increase our individual and collective capacity to transform and center racial equity in our education and workforce development systems.
14 Episodes
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In the season 2 finale of the Building Equitable Pathways podcast, host Kyle Hartung and guests look back at the learning arc of the Building Equitable Pathways initiative to date, consider the evolution of intermediary positioning across the nation, and take stock of the work ahead to centering equity in education to career pathways at scale. This episode features Isa Ellis, Senior Program Officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Amy Loyd, Assistant Secretary of the Office of Career Technical and Adult Education at the U.S. Department of Education.  Learn more about the resources referenced in this episode: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation US Pathways Education Program Equitable Futures, Supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation  Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) US Department of Education Initiative: Unlocking Career Success
In this episode of the Building Equitable Pathways podcast, host Kyle Hartung and guests reflect on how their practices in the education to career pathways space, individually and organizationally, have evolved over time in response to durable inequities in educational and career outcomes for youth. They share what they’ve learned along the way, what keeps them accountable to their learning, and their commitment to continued growth. This episode features Jennie Niles, president & CEO of CityWorks DC and Marie Mackintosh, president & CEO of EmployIndy.Learn more about the resources referenced in this episode: CityWorks DCCityWorks DC Systems ChangeEmployIndyAccelerate Ed “Blueprint for Cybersecurity” Pilot
In this episode of the Building Equitable Pathways podcast, host Kyle Hartung and guests explore the champions we need in pathways systems—who they are, how we find them, and what it means to champion something or someone in pathways work. This episode features Maud Daudon, executive leader at Career Connect Washington, and Sarah Bell, chief of industry exposure and experience at Youthforce NOLA, who discuss the importance of tapping into the passions—and elevating the voices of youth, community members, policymakers, and industry leaders to support change at scale. Learn more about the resources referenced in this episode: Career Connect WashingtonVirtual tour of Career Connect Northeast Programs – January 6, 2023YouthForce NOLAEmployer Engagement Opportunities Annual Report 
In this episode of the Building Equitable Pathways podcast, host Kyle Hartung and guests confront the challenge of trying something new—and the vulnerability needed to do explorative work in inequitable education and workforce systems. This episode features Obinna Onyeali, Director of K-12 Partnerships at CareerWise Colorado; Mark Tapy, Senior Talent Management Manager at Pinnacol Assurance; and Emily Takimoto, Manager of Launch Internships and Youth Apprenticeships at Denver Public Schools. Zooming in on their collaboration scaling modern youth apprenticeship in Denver, Colorado, together these leaders offer a multisector perspective of their journey introducing and championing a model that was outside the norms of their local ecosystem.  Learn more about the resources referenced in this episode: CareerWise ColoradoWhat is a Youth Apprenticeship?How do Youth Apprenticeships Work? Equity First EmployersPinnacol AssurancePinnacol Assurance Apprenticeship ProgramSix ways apprentices can strengthen your workplaceDenver Public Schools Youth Apprenticeship Program
In this episode of the Building Equitable Pathways podcast, host Kyle Hartung and guests explore the purpose of their work and the role of employers in addressing systemic inequity. They examine the positionality of employers in pathways systems, highlight possibilities for deeper engagement, and share examples of how building trust and learning together changes outcomes for young people and communities. This episode features Stephanie Peete, director of workforce development at Say Yes Buffalo, and Rukiya Curvey Johnson, executive director of the Rush Education and Career Hub (REACH) and vice president of community health equity at Rush University Medical Center.  Learn more about the resources referenced in this episode:  Say Yes Buffalo  Careerwise Greater Buffalo Scholar Mentoring Program The Rush Education and Career Hub (REACH)  Rush in the Community  Interactive Career Pathways Tool  Perspectives on Building Racial Equity in STEM, Health Science and Workforce Systems  MedSTEM – Youth Internship Program 
To kick of Season 2 of the Building Equitable Pathways podcast, host Kyle Hartung and his guests unpack how racism is baked into our current education and workforce systems and discuss tangible examples of what it looks like to push for change. They explore ways of strengthening racial equity practices through meaningful co-creation, challenging power dynamics, and building community. This episode features Joshua Johnson, director of Jobs for the Future’s National Innovation Hub for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in Registered Apprenticeship and Natasha Harrison, Founder, President and CEO of Community Build Ventures.   Learn more about the resources referenced in this episode: JFF's Program Design Framework for DEIA in Registered Apprenticeships Brave Space Building Key Skills to Move Towards Racial Equity Noticing Strengthening Curiosity Practicing Accountability Holding Space
Advancing a vision and practice for racial equity in education to career pathways systems demands new types of collaboration, agility, and intentionality. In season 2, host Kyle Hartung from JFF and his guests explore the necessary conditions for transformative change and the stories of those working to realize them. Together, they will interrogate the role of intermediary organizations in advancing equitable outcomes, identify opportunities to change the rules of engagement in our current systems, and sketch out a roadmap for establishing and upholding the conditions for change. We hope you will join us in this work of Building Equitable Pathways. Tune in this April.
In the final episode of Building Equitable Pathways, Season One, host Kyle Hartung sits down with Amanda MacTaggart, the Director of Strategic National Partnerships, Network Engagement and Innovation for the Student Success Center at CSCU, Elizabeth Lindsey, CEO of Urban Alliance, and Dr. Kenyatta Lovett, the Managing Director of Higher Education, Educate Texas. They reflect on what experiences called them to this work, the commitments they hold about what needs to change, and how together we can collaborate differently to advance a vision for and of equity. Learn more about the resources referenced in this episode: CSCU Student Success CenterEducate TexasNpower Urban Alliance
In this episode, host Kyle Hartung is joined by two policy experts and members of the JFF community of practice to discuss how equitable and data-informed practices become codified in our system’s policies to drive economic advancement, close equity gaps, integrate systems, and catalyze innovation. He sits down with Erica Cuevas, Associate Director at Jobs for the Future, and Luke Rhine, Director of Career and Technical Education (CTE) at the Delaware Department of Education, to hear about the work of developing equitable policies that are practical, aspirational, and imperative in this moment.  Learn more about the resources referenced in this episode:Three Ways Intermediaries Can Keep Equity at the Center of Their Policy Work by Erica CuevasIntermediaries’ Role in Policy to Develop and Scale Equitable Pathways from JFFToday’s Students CoalitionDelaware PathwaysDelaware Department of Education’s Higher Education Office Student Ambassador ProgramDelaware PoliciesSEED+ InspireElevate
In this episode, host Kyle Hartung sits down with guests Angela Freeman, Impact Analyst at the Rush Education and Career Hub (REACH), and Jenee Myers Twitchell, Chief Impact Officer at Washington STEM in partnership with Career Connect Washington, who are both focusing on innovations in data work and practice in Building Equitable Pathways. They discuss key metrics they focus on in their work, how they engage partners in the process of measuring, sharing, and acting on data, and how qualitative data in particular sheds light not only on what is happening in our pathways programs, but how they can be improved so that youth have a clearer path to educational and economic advancement.
When it comes to racial equity work, it’s important that we continue to unpack the narratives that have influenced our systems today so we can craft a better story for tomorrow. In this episode, host Kyle Hartung and his guests explore the theme of storytelling, how it informs the work of Building Equitable Pathways and how data contributes to these narratives overall. As thoughtful leaders who have spent their careers thinking critically about these issues, Kyle’s guests Derek Niño, Associate Director at JFF, and Cate Swinburn, Co-Founder and President of YouthForce NOLA, share several key insights about the relationship between data and storytelling, centering people in our data practices, and shaping better equity solutions.  Learn more about the resources referenced in this episode:YouthForce NOLAYouthForce NOLA’s Founding ValuesMHA Labs’s Working ImpactCentering People in Our Data Practices by Derek NiñoProject Evident’s Actionable Evidence Toward Equitable Outcomes
In this episode, host Kyle Hartung and his guests continue to explore the themes presented in episode one in a discussion about the imperative to enter the work of racial equity and systems building with both intentionality and patience. To make progress, our education and work systems need to reorient themselves to better engage in the collaborative design of strategies, and to also seek and listen to the voices of youth who live and work in our communities about what they need. The episode features Jon Furr, the Founder and Executive Director of Education Systems Center, and Michele Jacobs, the Senior Director of Youth Development at the United Way of Greater Atlanta who are both focusing on the racial equity work of Building Equitable Pathways.   Learn more about the resources referenced in this episode:United way of Greater Atlanta - College and Career ReadyUnited way of Greater Atlanta - Unite for Child Well-BeingEducation Systems CenterIllinois Education and Career Success Network 
In this episode, Kyle and his guests discuss the distinction between the fruit and roots of racial inequity in the U.S., and how they manifest in our education to career systems. They also explore what tackling these complex problems looks like in action and ideas for how to center racial equity in both process and outcome. Special guests in this episode include Clair Minson from Sandra Grace Consulting, and Josh Poyer from HERE to HERE in NYC, who are both members of the Building Equitable Pathways Community of Practice.  Learn more about the resources referenced in this episode:-Identifying the “Fruit and Root” of Systemic Racial Inequity from the Building Equitable Pathways Community of Practice-Racial Equity Prime from HERE to HERE-Language Guide from HERE to HERE -Key Distinguishers from HERE to HERE 
Centering racial equity in our education and career systems requires changing the way we do our work, the way we make decisions, the way we talk about those we serve and support, and the way we name and frame challenges faced by youth . In this podcast series, host Kyle Hartung from JFF speaks with leaders from across the country working at the intersection of education, training, and workforce development. Together, they discuss the work their organizations are doing to reimagine and transform our systems in a way that advances a vision and practice for racial equity. We hope you will join us in this work of Building Equitable Pathways. Tune in this April. 
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