Springfield WORKS spearheads the Economic Pathways Coalition whose goal is to create pathways to fulfilling careers for people in Western Massachusetts. We do this by focusing to careers that pay a living wage and creating pathways that lower the barriers to achieving an individual's ultimate career goals.
We accomplish this by working with our business partners to create opportunities at every level of educational attainment and encouraging them to offer transitions from lower to higher positions within their own organizations.
Additionally, we have partnered with Skill Smart to develop a skills-based job-posting website that aligns an individual's existing skill set with the job opportunities that might be available to them. To learn more about the Skill Smart Seeker / Springfield WORKS job posting site, visit the link here.
Economic Pathways to Living Wage Careers
Economic pathways make sense. With the soaring cost of education, now more than ever, people are looking for ways to advance their careers incrementally without taking on debt. Career pathways offer workers opportunities to achieve a living wage and a fulfilling career.
Employers also want to create economic pathways to help them develop and retain talented employees. Through the use of skills-based credentialing, career ladders, and pay-to-train programs, employers will be able to find skilled labor and workers will benefit by building their personal skill sets and earning a living wage.
The Nursing Career Pathway
One example of a career pathway is in the nursing profession. Nursing involves a skills ladder that builds with experience, training, and education. Nurses and build their way up the ladder throughout the course of their career by achieving progressively higher certifications. The nursing pathway can begin at the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) position. Then, with more education a CNA can become a "Licensed Practical Nurse" and eventually a "Registered Nurse."
Pathway Step 1: CNA to LPN
The two charts above were created using the Cliff Effects financial planning tools developed by Springfield WORKS in collaboration with the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. The tools are publicly accessible for anyone to use. Click the link here.