The mission of Pathways TN is to ensure all Tennesseans are prepared for high-quality, in-demand careers by promoting education-to-career learning pathways that are seamless, collaborative, and regionally relevant. By combining economic and labor perspectives and input from secondary and postsecondary leaders, Pathways TN operates on a framework that provides seamless entry and exit ramps in education to prepare all Tennesseans for careers in their communities.
Tennessee was one of the first states to join the multi-state Pathways to Prosperity Network in 2012. Pathways to Prosperity aims to address the "skills gap" that threatens young Americans entering the workforce. Although key industries like advanced manufacturing, health care, information technology, and more are expected to see job growth, many Tennesseans lack the necessary postsecondary credential and work experience to fill these openings. This creates a dilemma for industry leaders who want to hire new employees but cannot find workers with the right skills. Pathways TN has expanded since 2012, serving seven regions and 33 counties, and in 2016, the initiative received a New Skills for Youth grant to extend and expand the work further.
Our work directly connects to the Drive to 55, Governor Haslam's initiative to ensure 55 percent of Tennesseans earn a postsecondary credential by 2025. This work is essential, because by 2020 over 65 percent of jobs in Tennessee will require some form of postsecondary education. Pathways TN takes this push toward postsecondary one step further, recognizing that it is through the right education and experience that citizens will be prepared for a career in their community.
Meeting the needs of our state's citizens and growing economy requires participation from educators, industry leaders, nonprofits, and government partners. The Pathways TN framework depends on these stakeholders at the state and regional level to provide Tennesseans with seamless entry and exit ramps in education. You can be involved, too. Please use the links on the left to learn more about Pathways TN.
Don't forget to follow us on Twitter @Pathways_TN!