Connections: The newsletter of the National Career Pathways Network

Volume 29, No. 4: Strengthening America's Future Through Career Pathways

Welcome to Volume 29, no. 4, 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. The NCPN conference is consistently one of the best professional development opportunities in the country.



Employability Skills

Necessary Skills Now Takes Integrated Approach to Teaching Employability Skills

Teaching necessary skills within the context of problems that students will encounter in the workplace

The 2019 Job Outlook from the National Association of Colleges and Employers highlights the top 10 attributes employers are currently seeking in new graduates. You might guess that the list features a host of new technology skills. But it doesn’t. Nine of the top 10 skills are employability, or "professional," skills. Only #10 consists of technical skills. If you’re a faculty member of a career-technical program, you’ve heard similar sentiments from advisory committee members and local business partners, particularly in the STEM fields.


STEM Pathways

LCCC SHINE: A Solution for STEM Engagement

Rachel Strucko, Director of SHINE; Terri Keefe, Dean of Employee Engagement, Community and Technical Education, Lehigh Carbon Community College, Schnecksville, Pennsylvania

We are all challenged when considering how to engage next-generation workers in developing the skill sets needed for the jobs of the future. One Pennsylvania after-school program is providing a remarkable solution. The SHINE model allows students to prepare for success at an early age. The characteristic that separates SHINE from other after-school programs is the unifying of schools and homes to achieve a holistic social and academic foundation.


Reseda Charter High School’s Police Academy Magnet Proves Itself to be “STEMworthy”

Alise Cayen, Coordinator

When you think of education in today’s world, one of the first acronyms that comes to mind is STEM, which stands for the four disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and math. As work becomes more technologically advanced, the need for STEM proficiency becomes more urgent. Educators believe that by integrating these four disciplines and using a more hands-on approach to teaching, they can improve students' ability to problem-solve and think critically.


Employer Engagement

Joliet Junior College Partners with Industry to Bridge the Skills Gap

Melissa Lachcik, Continuing Education Development Coordinator; Amy Murphy, Dean, Applied Arts, Workforce Education & Training, Joliet Junior College, Joliet, Illinois

Industry growth and anticipated retirements in coming years are creating a need for highly skilled workers in industries such as nuclear, petrochemical, and manufacturing. With the invaluable help of industry partners, Joliet Junior College’s Operations Engineering and Technician (OET) program is meeting that need in Illinois and beyond.


Resource Spotlight

The Gender Gap in Tech and How to Fix It

Published by the Women Tech Council

From the Welcome: "[H]aving women in technology has direct economic impacts. Companies with women on teams and in leadership positions alongside their male counterparts see higher productivity and profitability, including revenue and profit, and increased overall collective intelligence. But attracting and retaining talented, qualified women requires more than broader recruiting efforts or competitive pay. This research was commissioned to specifically identify the areas that are making real impact in creating and accelerating diverse and inclusive workforces for women in technology companies with the goal of enabling all organizations to adopt and implement these behaviors."


News and Views

Universities Are Expanding Cybersecurity Education to Meet Broad Demand
Betsy Foresman, EDSCOOP, July 26, 2019. "The cybersecurity needs of organizations are becoming more interdisciplinary and, according to experts, so are the educational programs that prepare students for careers in the emerging field."

What Every Educator Needs to Know About Artificial Intelligence
Alyson Klein, Education Week, July 25, 2019. "C3PO from Star Wars. HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey. The Terminator. And now Apple’s SIRI and Amazon’s Alexa. Artificial Intelligence has always been part of our collective imagination. But it’s now becoming part of our everyday lives. . . . It’s too early to say how much of [the hype] will end up bearing out. But it’s a good idea for educators to get familiar with AI, whether they are the chief technology officer of a large urban district or a 1st grade teacher in a rural community."

Why Tech Has a Shortage of Skilled Workers, and How to Fix This
Christine McDonnell, EDTECH DIGEST, January 16. 2019. "A massive skills gap in the technology industry is making it very difficult for companies who need workers. . . . [R]esearch from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that by 2020, there will be a million more jobs available in computing than qualified applicants who can fill those roles."

National Robotics Week, April 4-12, 2020
"National Robotics Week (RoboWeek) is a series of grassroots events and activities during the month of April aimed at increasing public awareness of the strength and importance of the U.S. robotics industry and of the tremendous social and cultural impact that robotics will have on the future. Activities come in all shapes and sizes from a robot block party [to a] university open house, or a robotics competition. The mission of RoboWeek is simple — to inspire students in STEM-related fields and to share the excitement of robotics with audiences of all ages. Celebrate RoboWeek by hosting an event in your community, sponsoring or attending a local event, or spreading the word on social media."



Friday–Sunday, October 11–13

The 2019 NCPN conference will be held at the Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld. Offering 100+ breakouts, preconference workshops, keynote speakers, networking opportunities, and an exhibit hall showcasing the latest products and services supporting Career Pathways and CTE, the NCPN conference is a must attend!

Conference HOME   Program Strands   Registration   Preconference Workshops   Concurrent Sessions   Keynotes   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,