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Creating Meaningful Career Pathways

A recent consumer survey showed that just half of college alumni felt it was worth it to take out student loans to attend college, but they were eight times more likely to feel those loans were worth it if they felt supported by their college with resources and support to get a good job.

Across the region, MBEP and higher education partners are finding innovative ways to connect higher education to jobs that provide liveable wages, opportunities for growth and that contribute to a more robust regional economy. 

As part of CA FWD’s 2021 Roadmap to Shared Prosperity, MBEP participates in the Providing Meaningful Career Pathways workgroup with the goal to advance the implementation of a regional, scalable, data-driven prototype for employer engagement with community colleges to address specific barriers students face in accessing work-based learning and job placement opportunities.

Career pathways can be environmentally sustainable: California Stewardship Network members in the North State (Sierra Business Council, Redwood Coast Rural Action, Tahoe Prosperity Center, 3CORE, and MBEP) are working to enhance and build upon existing efforts to expand the talent pipeline of workers into forest industry jobs by filling information gaps, improving accessibility of data being gathered, linking stakeholders, and increasing private sector engagement in policy and legislative advocacy. This project is in alignment with California Economic Summit’s bipartisan network of business, equity, environmental and civic organizations and is unique in championing solutions that meet the triple bottom line — balancing equity, environmental sustainability, and economic growth. The project is funding through the Morgan Family Foundation grant. Funds were awarded mid-March 2021 and the project will be further developed with outcomes this year; among them, MBEP is contracting a Modern Forestry and Wildlands Management —  Drone, Automation and Robotics Technology (DART) Career Pathways Report.

“You can’t have solutions in silos,” explained Lisa Downey, spokesperson for the Morgan Family Foundation. “Jobs are linked to place, to all the different components that make a region thrive, and forest management is one of those. (CSN members) are all working together to come up with solutions, making sure all the stars are in alignment, that jobs happen in Califonia that take care of forests. It is the intersection of stewardship and environment.”