Pipelines and Pathways Program Off and Running in Windham High Schools
The Pipelines and Pathways Program (P3) is working with all four Windham County high schools to help students develop career pathways, some right here in their own backyards! P3 is an innovative, five-year pilot connecting educational pathways to employer pipelines and improving outcomes for every young person growing up in this region. Those are some aspirational goals. But we’ve got a plan and it involves you.
Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation (BDCC) launched P3 with support from the Agency of Commerce and Community Development, the Vermont Community Foundation, and the McClure Foundation. BDCC raised and matched funds to hire a full-time educator and workforce development specialist to build new connections between the classroom and local employers. Working with an advisory committee of retired and current administrators, guidance counselors, and curriculum experts, the P3 program launched last fall.
So, what has happened over the last 365 days? Quite a lot, we’re happy to report! Last year was busy with best practices research and resource development. P3 continued BDCC’s existing high school programming; field trips, resume workshops, and the Sophomore Summit. The program coordinators also worked on building new relationships with educators and connections with employers, parents, and students. This fall we hit the ground running with enhanced career awareness activities. It’s barely October, and we’ve already worked with more than 90 students.
This is just the beginning. October is National Manufacturing Month and P3 is taking students from three schools to participate in six worksite tours to connect interested students with real life opportunities in our community. At the annual Southern Vermont Career Expo students will explore exciting local careers, network with top employers, apply for jobs, and get advice on career and education plans. Throughout this school year, BDCC will partner in each school to fill gaps with hands-on, engaging, and relevant classes and experiences, mock interviews, 21st Century soft skills workshops, resume writing, and more, in partnership with subject experts from recruiting professionals to healthcare training specialists.
P3 is designed for every student, whether they are college-bound or entering a local family business, academically focused or practical learners. A key finding from last year was the tremendous desire among educators for a clear framework for career pathway development across the board. Terrific career education activities are happening in each school. But there are opportunities for more career programming that benefits everyone.
The goal of P3 is to improve post-graduation outcomes for all Windham youth. To coordinate the many partners in this effort, BDCC created a new tool to help students reach their postsecondary goals; P3’s “8 Steps to your Future Success,” a scope and sequence of career awareness and preparedness. It helps students chart their unique path toward career readiness by developing career-ready skills, building the knowledge to make meaningful choices, and creating a carefully thought-out postsecondary plan. The student navigation tool and accompanying educator guide can be accessed online https://brattleborodevelopment.com/engaging-with-high-school-students/. Copies will also be available in each school’s guidance office.
This region was one of the first to identify and understand our shrinking workforce and population problems. Working together, BDCC and Southeastern Vermont Economic Development Strategies (SeVEDS) have been building strategies to create a healthy economy and opportunities for people. P3 builds on a suite of programs in BDCC’s Workforce Center of Excellence, from paid internships and Southern Vermont Young Professionals, to special training partnerships with employers and recruitment efforts to increase the local workforce immediately. Employers need people, and people, including our youth, need opportunity in order to thrive here.
The goals of BDCC’s P3 are aspirational, but achievable through innovation and collaboration among employer partners, educators, parents, and students. When our community comes together, we are a force! Stay tuned. We will be sharing stories about programs and student successes.
Adam Grinold, Executive Director Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation (802) 257-7731
The Pipelines and Pathways Project provides employment oriented career-planning for the region’s high school students. It brings training in 21st Century skills, work-based learning, and personal learning plan (PLP) engagement opportunities to all four public high schools in Windham County. The program assists in developing workforce-oriented curricula, expanding classroom relationships, and growing work-based learning with opportunities with local employers. It will also support teachers working face to face with students to implement personalized learning plans and seize the myriad opportunities presented by Vermont’s Flexible Pathways Initiative under Act 77. Pipelines & Pathways is a BDCC Workforce Center of Excellence program based on SeVEDS strategies to increase the size and quality of the workforce. For more information please visit https://brattleborodevelopment.com/workforce/
Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation is a private, nonprofit economic development organization that serves as a catalyst for industrial and commercial growth throughout Southeastern Vermont, including Windham County and the towns of Readsboro, Searsburg, Winhall and Weston. BDCC serves as the State of Vermont’s certified Regional Development Corporation (RDC) for the greater Windham County area. BDCC is one of 12 RDCs throughout Vermont. This BDCC activity was made possible in part by a grant from the State of Vermont through the Agency of Commerce and Community Development. For more information visit: https://brattleborodevelopment.com/
Southeastern Vermont Economic Development Strategies (SeVEDS) is an affiliate of BDCC that grew from a 2008 grassroots effort, initiated by BDCC, to understand and create long term strategies needed to reverse the economic decline of the Windham Region and plan for the economic impacts from the closure of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. In 2014, after multiple years of regional input, education and data gathering, SeVEDS received federal approval for the Windham Region’s federally recognized S.M.A.R.T. Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS). SeVEDS partnered with Bennington’s Regional Economic Development Group in 2018 to develop the 2019 Southern Vermont Zone CEDS. For more information visit: www.seveds.com