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What do We Know about Career Pathways, and How Can We Fill in Key Knowledge Gaps?

Abt Global will Synthesize Knowledge, Design Evaluation of Career Pathways under Department of Labor Contract
Career pathways are education and occupational training approaches with articulated steps targeted to locally in-demand jobs, combined with support services and strong connections to employers. They have been widely adopted across the United States.

The rapid rise of career pathway approaches, including an emphasis on them in the new federal workforce law (the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act), creates an urgent need for sound evidence that shows what works well and why. Abt was recently awarded a $428,000 Career Pathways Design Study by the Department of Labor to address these questions.

As part of the award, Abt will design a study of career pathways approaches that fills critical gaps in knowledge related to program design, implementation and overall success. To shape the study, Abt will provide a synthesis of existing approaches and evaluations, as well as the potential to expand career pathways approaches in early childhood education.

“Abt has an exceptional understanding of career pathways approaches and a trusted history of providing rigorous evidence, from design to implementation to effectiveness studies,” said Cindy Taylor, principal associate and vice president, Social and Economic Policy. “That blend of experience and insight will be critical as we assess what is known in career pathways and what gaps future evaluations must address if we’re going to create strong, successful programs.”
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