Connections: The newsletter of the National Career Pathways Network

Volume 29, No. 3: Leveraging the Power of Career Pathways

Welcome to Volume 29, no. 3, of Connections, the newsletter of the National Career Pathways Network. Don't miss the 2019 NCPN Conference at the Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld, October 11–13. With over 85 breakout sessions and a full day of preconference events, the NCPN conference is an excellent professional development opportunity. Significant discounts are available for early registration, first-time attendees, and team registrations.




June 10–11, Las Vegas, Nevada
June 24–25, Nashville, Tennessee

If you are involved in career technical education, adult education, counseling, corrections, or workforce development and your duties have expanded to include Career Pathways, you and your team are invited to join NCPN for an introduction to Career Pathways and an evaluation of where you are and what your next steps should be.


Employer Engagement

Manufacturing Day & Month: Opening Young Minds to Opportunities in Advanced Manufacturing

Marilyn Barger, Executive Director, Florida Advanced Technological Education Center (FLATE)

Manufacturing (MFG) Day & Month is one of the blockbuster events of the year. Manufacturers across the country open their doors to welcome their communities and showcase their impressive facilities, products, and process innovations. They also highlight the skills required to be part of manufacturing’s high-tech, high-skilled workforce. In Florida, MFG Day & Month involves hundreds of students and educators from school districts across the state.


Adult Career Pathways

Don’t Be Humble! Share the Success of Your Adult Education Students

Melissa Lachcik, Continuing Education Development Coordinator, Joliet Junior College, Joliet, Illinois; Michelle Lyman, College & Career Transition Specialist, JJC Adult Education; Libby Budd, Manager, JJC Adult Education

Joliet Junior College’s Adult Education program was recently faced with challenges that put us in crisis mode. Lack of a state budget was causing reductions in services and staff, our enrollment was declining, and we lacked the support of our internal and external stakeholders. One of the underlying reasons was that adult education was one of the best-kept secrets in our community. People didn’t fully understand the value and impact that our programs have on our students, their families, and the local economy.


Assessment as a Coaching Tool

Monica Stansberry, Dallas County Community College Board and AEL Dallas Consortium, Dallas, Texas; Kenneth Goffney, Dallas County Community College District, Dallas, Texas

In August of 2017, the Texas Workforce Commission unveiled a new set of content standards developed by experts in math, reading, and English as a Second Language (ESL). Those standards established the learning objectives for adult education classes in Texas. Implementation has presented challenges. How can instructors be trained, coached, and observed using the standards? For smaller programs, one-on-one coaching is practical and effective. However, in larger programs it is especially difficult to assess implementation of the standards.



Career Pathways in the Age of Technology and WIOA

Mitch Rosin, Aztec Software

In a country where Walmart is now the largest private employer in 22 states and unemployment is at an all-time low, employers are looking for new ways to upskill the national labor force to make job applicants “career ready” and existing employees upwardly mobile. Layered on top of this is the fact that the Internet now dominates how we conduct our lives. More than half of the world’s 7.6 billion people use the Internet daily. More than 5 billion people access the Internet on mobile devices. These factors have created a new landscape for Career Pathways development and delivery.


Resource Spotlight

The Changing Nature of Work

World Bank Group, 2019

From the Foreword: "'Machines are coming to take our jobs' has been a concern for hundreds of years—at least since the industrialization of weaving in the early 18th century, which raised productivity and also fears that thousands of workers would be thrown out on the streets. Innovation and technological progress have caused disruption, but they have created more prosperity than they have destroyed. Yet today, we are riding a new wave of uncertainty as the pace of innovation continues to accelerate and technology affects every part of our lives."


News and Views

Why the High-Achievers Have Moved to "Shop" Class
Catherine Gewertz, Education Week, May 1, 2019. "A new breed of students has flooded into career-technical education, and they’re transforming a slice of the K-12 world that’s long suffered from stigma and disrespect."

Is Career and Technical Education Good News or Bad?
Peter Greene, Forbes, Mar 10, 2019. "[It] is finally occurring to some folks that A) college is not necessarily the best choice for all students and B) the world needs people who do what Mike Rowe always called the jobs 'that make civilized life possible for the rest of us.'"

Advice for the Next Generation of Women in STEM
Moira Forbes, Forbes, March 29, 2019. "As women remain dramatically underrepresented across all STEM studies and careers, how do we make strides to close the gender gap and fuel the next generation of female innovators? At a time when technology continues to transform the way we live, work and learn, the need to close the STEM gender gap is more critical than ever."

Controlling a Career in Robotics
Grace Chen, Community College Review, March 12, 2019. "Robotics is an exciting, dynamic field that utilizes robots in a variety of industries. Today, robots can be used in manufacturing, transportation, safety research, mass production, and even surgery. This field offers a wide range of employment opportunities to those who are properly qualified to work in robotics. Fortunately, many community colleges are now recognizing the importance of this field of study and providing their own programs in robotics to train students for a lucrative career in the industry."

Orlando Conference


Friday–Sunday, October 11–13

The 2019 NCPN conference will be held at the Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld. The NCPN conference is one of the best professional development opportunities in the country, offering 85+ breakouts, preconference workshops, keynote speakers, networking opportunities, and an exhibit hall showcasing the latest products and services supporting Career Pathways and CTE.

Conference HOME   Program Strands   Registration   Preconference Workshops   Schedule   Hotel/Travel   Orlando: Things to Do  

©2019 CORD. Connections is published by the National Career Pathways Network (, an organization of CORD ( NCPN assists educators, employers, and other stakeholders in planning, implementing, evaluating, and improving workforce education programs. Questions? Mark Whitney, 254-741-8315,