A new brief from CLASP asserts that advancing equity is the purpose of federal investments in education and workforce development.

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) drives services to underserved populations across all core programs. WIOA requires localities to report on the racial and ethnic characteristics of their participants. They must also report on all people served with 14 detailed barriers to employment (e.g., low income, low levels of literacy, English language learner, long-term unemployed). Along with that, the law promises a performance accountability system to reward states for serving people with the most need.  

Career pathways can help people with educational and economic barriers build skills over time to achieve lasting success. As such, we need to reward education and workforce practitioners for taking a long-term approach to serving individuals with limited basic skills or other barriers to employment. An equitable system removes providers’ incentive to offer only short-term services.

This is the final brief in a series called Maximizing the Power of Career Pathways, which focuses on strategies to better define, develop, and promote career pathways.