Career Pathways and Clusters

While it’s difficult to say that the American workforce development system is “world-class,” we do a few things right.  The development of career pathways programs is one of our strengths, and colleagues from around the world are seeking to learn from innovative programs here in the US.  A recent report from the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD),”Career Pathway and Cluster Skill Development:  Promising Models from the United States,” profiles some of the US’ best state and local programs.  Among the profiled programs are:

  • Fresno (CA)/PG&E PowerPathway:  Trains workers for positions in the utilities industry
  • Pennsylvania’a Mechatronics Partnership:  Trains workers for key industrial maintenance and related positions in manufacturing.  This statewide initiative was begun in Berks and Lancaster counties.
  • Oregon’s State Career Pathways program that covers a variety of industries.

The report also profiles a host of state industry cluster programs and concludes with some useful and common-sense tips such as remaining closely engaged to business and providing a diverse array of wrap-around support services along with training and education.   It’s a refreshing sign to see effective US programs receiving attention from our overseas colleagues.   Someday, maybe our own politicians will start to pay attention too!!!



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