Career Pathways: A Way Forward

Philadelphia, PA, USA, January 19, 2022

Jamece Joyner, senior policy associate at Philadelphia Works, reminds us of the important role of career pathways in our workforce development strategies. 

Career pathways are a workforce development strategy that supports individuals entering an occupation and moving along a trajectory that increases wage earnings over time. As the region continues to find itself in the economic recovery phase from the impacts of COVID-19, it is critical to have a renewed focus on career pathways, as they have proven to be an effective workforce development strategy that delivers for career seekers and employers alike.

Fortunately, Philadelphia has a robust and integrated workforce system comprised of partners who champion career pathways. These partners are able to identify the skill gaps that exist between individual talent and employer needs and address them with innovative workforce solutions, and strategic education and training opportunities. This is particularly important now as the nation focuses on rebuilding through investments in infrastructure and jobs, offering many opportunities to engage individuals who have been both historically marginalized from economic opportunities and/or deeply impacted by the ongoing pandemic.

Many individuals are utilizing this current labor market as a time to reset, taking stock in their lives and rethinking their career options. Some are choosing to upskill and grow in their current careers, while others have decided to change careers altogether. Related, there has been an increase in startups and entrepreneurial ventures, which serve as the very backbone of our national economy. Given these changes, all workforce stakeholders, especially employers and training providers, should re-examine their outreach and recruitment strategies and talent development programs, focusing on access, diversity, equity, and inclusion, to grow skills and strengthen talent pipelines, fully supporting both individuals and businesses as we look to the future of work, post-pandemic.

To connect with Philadelphia’s career pathways system, visit



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