Connections: The newsletter of the National Career Pathways Network

Volume 29, No. 5:
Preparing for Life Beyond the Classroom

Welcome to Volume 29, no. 5, of Connections, the newsletter of the National Career Pathways Network. Thanks to all who made the 2019 conference in Orlando a success! Make plans now to attend the 2020 conference at the beautiful Atlanta Marriott Marquis in Atlanta, Georgia, on October 15–17.




Advancing Credentials in Equine and Human Health

Unique pathways in equine business and therapy

The health benefit that horses have on people is monumental. Studies are being released daily on the positive impact of horses on many aspects of human well-being—mental, physical, social, and cognitive. Horses are being used in therapies designed to address developmental delays, traumatic brain injuries, post-traumatic stress disorders, and even dementia.


Middle School / Secondary

Inspiring Tomorrow’s Manufacturing Workforce through Summer Camps

Cindy Day, Senior Manager, Nuts, Bolts & Thingamajigs, the Foundation of the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association

Industry studies continue to sound the warning that the manufacturing industry will be faced with a skilled worker shortage that will only get worse over the next decade. Manufacturing employers, community colleges, and trade schools have responded to the crisis by resurrecting apprenticeship programs, developing skilled training curricula, and creating career pathways through industry credentials.


Celebrating Exemplary Pathways

Florida Pathways to Apprenticeship

FMAEF's pipeline of talent in masonry

By providing continuing options for articulation from pre-apprentice training into full masonry apprenticeship programs, the FMAEF has developed a pipeline of talent for participating contractors and companies feeling the strain of a limited skilled labor pool. The commitment to using nationally recognized curriculum with stackable credentials provides for a growth model where employers can continue to educate and develop leaders in their respective fields.


2019 NCPN Award Winners

NCPN's Career Pathways Partnership Excellence Award emphasizes the importance of career guidance and advising, professional development for educators and employers, and the employer role in providing work-based learning opportunities for students. Follow this link for information on three exemplary programs recognized in 2019.


Resource Spotlight

The Skilled Technical Workforce: Crafting America’s Science & Engineering Enterprise

Prepared by the National Science Board, September 2019

From the Executive Summary: “To grow our nation’s science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) capacity and ensure that Americans nationwide can participate in a science and engineering (S&E) intensive economy, the United States must foster its Skilled Technical Workforce (STW)—individuals who use S&E skills in their jobs but do not have a bachelor’s degree. Rapid changes in the nature of work, education, technology, workforce demographics, and international competition have led the National Science Board to conclude that our competitiveness, security, and research enterprise require this critical, but often overlooked, segment of our STEM-capable workforce.”


News and Views

The 7 Biggest Technology Trends In 2020 Everyone Must Get Ready For Now
Bernard Marr,, Sept 30, 2019. We are amidst the 4th Industrial Revolution, and technology is evolving faster than ever. Companies and individuals that don't keep up with some of the major tech trends run the risk of being left behind. Understanding the key trends will allow people and businesses to prepare and grasp the opportunities.

Teaching Our Way to Digital Equity
Justin Reich, Educational Leadership, Volume 76, Number 5, February 2019. How can educators ensure that technology-rich learning experiences aren't restricted to the most privileged students? Two major findings stand out from the past 50 years of research on educational technology.

Technology Is Changing Jobs. Here’s How Community Colleges Are Responding
Daniel Newman,, Aug 1, 2019. As we all know, the only thing constant in digital transformation is change. So, how have digital transformation trends in education changed as we move toward the coming decade? And what, if anything, has stayed the same?

Upcoming Events


February 10–11, Las Vegas, Nevada

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.


©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,