CareerForce Spotlight: Adult Career Pathways Partnership in South Central Minnesota

CareerForce Spotlight with CareerForce logo and spotlight graphic

This week, the CareerForce spotlight is on the South Central Workforce Council! Staff at this Leading CareerForce partner collaborate with local organizations to develop an annual event and a referral system to bring workforce partners throughout their area together to serve residents with barriers to employment.

The Adult Career Pathways (ACP) program helps those over 18 with barriers to employment improve their basic skills, learn about high demand occupations, build their self-confidence, attend college, earn industry recognized credentials and obtain employment in demand occupations.

The ACP partnership in South Central Minnesota, which is made up of over 20 local organizations in  workforce development, education, community based organizations and industry partners, is key to making sure ACP programs meet the needs of participants and employers in the local area. The partnership oversees feedback from participants through surveys and focus groups, implements feedback and encourages agencies to work together for effective participant outcomes. The partnership promotes working together across agencies to provide wrap around services to support job seekers to overcome barriers and achieve their career goals.

The Adult Career Pathways Networking Day was launched in 2018 with the objective to strengthen the collaboration between organizations that serve job seekers throughout the area. This annual event educates new and incumbent staff on the variety of services and programs available through area organizations, enhancing communication between the organizations and strengthening the referral process.

South Central Minnesota ACP partners have developed a referral map modeled on one used by the Mayo Clinic. The referral map allows partners to track where referrals come from, provides a strategy for outreach and identifies where recruitment efforts could be strengthened.

South Central Minnesota ACP partners are working on a reverse referral strategy with area employers. Employers can refer job applicants who do not meet qualifications to ACP programs to gain the skills necessary to obtain the position they seek. Employers can also refer individuals from their current workforce with low skills who are looking for career advancement.

The ACP Networking Day and other work of the ACP Partnership were recognized as a promising practice early this summer by the Minnesota Association of Workforce Boards.

Learn more about the South Central Minnesota ACP Partnership.