The Promise of Career Pathways Systems Change

The resources in this section contain both evidence-based research and practice-based materials that can help guide the development, implementation, and continuous improvement of ACP programs.

Mary Gardner
Ray Uhalde
Author(s) Organizational Affiliation
Jobs for the Future
Texas Workforce Commission
Employment and Training Administration at the U.S. Department of Labor
Publication Year
Resource Type
Key Words
Number of Pages

This policy paper, prepared by Jobs for the Future, supplements the Career Pathways Toolkit developed by Social Policy Research Associates as part of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Career Pathways Technical Assistance Initiative. The paper provides examples of state and local workforce investment systems that are centrally involved in the development of career pathways; discusses the benefits for workforce boards that can come from such an investment and the value of having workforce systems at the table; and describes specific investments of resources, time, and leadership that state and local workforce boards have committed to build effective career pathway systems.

The paper suggests that workforce systems should be integrally involved in planning for and carrying out career pathways systems change by:

  • Collecting, analyzing, and sharing labor market information;
  • Providing skills assessments, skills matching, and career navigation functions, including the identification of skills gaps where training is needed;
  • Providing counseling and support services;
  • Providing access to and funding for training; and
  • Providing job search assistance.
Benefits and Uses

The report focuses on the roles that workforce systems can play in carrying out career pathways systems development and implementation.

Resource Notice

This resource was reviewed and vetted through the Designing Instruction for Career Pathways initiative of the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education under Contract No. ED-CFO-10-A-0072/0001.