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The funding is to be used to implement a simplified, streamlined, and comprehensive process, along with customized support services, to enable eligible participants to acquire effective academic and employment training to secure gainful, quality, in-state employment.
Projects eligible for funding for the pathways for academic career and employment program shall be projects that further the ability of members of target populations to secure gainful, quality employment. Target population includes:
- Persons deemed low skilled for the purposes of attaining gainful, quality, in-state employment.
- Persons earning incomes at or below two hundred fifty percent of the federal poverty level as defined by the most recently revised poverty income guidelines published by the United States department of health and human services.
- Unemployed persons.
- Underemployed persons.
- Dislocated workers, including workers eligible for services and benefits under the federal Trade Adjustment Act of 2002, Pub. L. No. 107-210, as determined by the department of workforce development and the federal internal revenue service.
Projects eligible for funding for the pathways for academic career and employment program shall be projects that further partnerships that link the community colleges to industry and nonprofit organizations and projects that further PACE program outcomes. PACE eligible programs should further the following program outcomes:
- Enabling the target populations to:
- Acquire and demonstrate competency in basic skills.
- Acquire and demonstrate competency in a specified technical field.
- Complete a specified level of postsecondary education.
- Earn a national career readiness certificate.
- Obtain employer-validated credentials.
- Secure gainful employment in high-quality, local jobs.
- Satisfaction of economic and employment goals including but not limited to:
- Economic and workforce development requirements in each region served by the community colleges as defined by regional advisory boards.
- Needs of industry partners in areas including but not limited to:
- Information technology.
- Health care.
- Advanced manufacturing.
- Transportation and logistics.
- Any other industry designated as in-demand by a regional advisory board.
PACE programs will include the following components:
- measurable and effective recruitment, assessment, and referral activities designed for the target populations.
- Integration of basics skills and work-readiness training with occupational skills training.
- Combining customized supportive and case management services with training services to help participants overcome barriers to employment.
- Providing training services at times, locations, and through multiple, flexible modalities that are easily understood and readily accessible to the target populations. Such modalities shall support timeless entry, individualized learning, and flexible scheduling, and may include online remediation, learning lab and cohort learning communities, tutoring, and modularization.
A community college may use moneys for the pathways for academic career and employment program to employ pathway navigators to assist students applying for or enrolled in eligible pathways for academic career and employment projects.
Pathway navigators shall provide services and support to aid students in selecting pathways for academic career and employment projects that will result in gainful, quality, in-state employment and to ensuring students are successful once enrolled in pathways for academic career and employment projects. Services the pathway navigators may provide include but are not limited to the following:
- Interviewing and selecting students for enrollment in pathways for academic career and employment projects.
- Assessing students' skills, interests, and previous academic and work experience for purposes of placement in pathways for academic career and employment projects.
- Working with students to develop academic and career plans and to adjust such plans as needed.
- Assisting students in applying for and receiving resources for financial aid and other forms of tuition assistance.
- Assisting students with the admissions process, remedial education, academic credit transfer, meeting assessment requirements, course registration, and other procedures necessary for successful completion of pathways for academic career and employment projects.
- Assisting in identifying and resolving obstacles to students' successful completion of pathways for academic career and employment projects.
- Connecting students with useful college resources or outside support services such as access to child care, transportation, and tutorial assistance, as needed.
- Maintaining ongoing contact with students enrolled in pathways for academic career and employment projects and ensuring students are making satisfactory progress toward the successful completion of projects.
- Providing support to students transitioning from remedial education, short-term training, and classroom experience to employment.
- Coordinating activities with community-based organizations that serve as key recruiters for pathways for academic career and employment projects and assisting students throughout the recruitment process.
- Coordinating adult basic education services.
Each community college receiving funding for the pathways for academic career and employment program shall develop a pipeline program in order to better serve the academic, training, and employment needs of the target populations. A pipeline program shall have the following goals:
- Strengthen partnerships with community-based organizations and industry representatives.
- Improve and simplify the identification, recruitment, and assessment of qualified participants.
- Conduct and manage an outreach, recruitment, and intake process, along with accompanying support services, reflecting sensitivity to the time and financial constraints and remediation needs of the target populations.
- Conduct orientations for qualified participants to describe regional labor market opportunities, employer partners, and program requirements and expectations.
- Describe the concepts of the project implemented with funds from the pathways for academic career and employment program and the embedded educational and support resources available through such project.
- Outline the basic skills participants will learn and describe the credentials participants will earn.
- Describe success milestones and ways in which temporal and instructional barriers have been minimized or eliminated.
- Review how individualized and customized service strategies for participants will be developed and provided.
Each community college receiving funding for the pathways for academic career and employment program shall develop a career pathways and bridge curriculum development program in order to better serve the academic, training, and employment needs of the target populations. A career pathways and bridge curriculum development program shall have the following goals:
- The articulation of courses and modules, the mapping of programs within career pathways, and establishment of bridges between credit and noncredit programs.
- The integration and contextualization of basic skills education and skills training. This process shall provide for seamless progressions between adult basic education and general education development programs and continuing education and credit certificate, diploma, and degree programs.
- The development of career pathways that support the attainment of industry-recognized credentials, diplomas, and degrees through stackable, modularized program delivery.
A community college may use moneys for the pathways for academic career and employment program to provide staff and support for the development and implementation of regional industry sector partnerships within the region served by the community college.
Regional, industry sector partnerships may include but are not limited to the following activities:
- Bringing together representatives from industry sectors, government, education, local workforce boards, community-based organizations, labor, economic development organizations, and other stakeholders within the regional labor market to determine how pathways for academic career and employment projects should address workforce skills gaps, occupational
- shortages, and wage gaps.
- Integrating pathways for academic career and employment projects and other existing supply-side strategies with workforce needs within the region served by the community college.
- Developing pathways for academic career and employment projects that focus on the workforce skills, from entry level to advanced, required by industry sectors within the region served by the community college.
- Structuring pathways so that instruction and learning of workforce skills are aligned with industry-recognized standards where such standards exist.