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Strategy 1

Create Pathways to In-Demand Jobs
through Talent Development

SEP creates pathways to local opportunities by strengthening connections between education and workforce. We will enable Stark County Residents to pursue their futures in our community by identifying the most in-demand workforce needs, developing awareness of local careers, equipping educators to support students with developing the hard and soft skills necessary for success, promoting the scaling up of credential-earning opportunities so that every student has an opportunity to earn an industry-recognized credential, and fostering partnerships between businesses and our schools and colleges. Priorities include:

  • Identifying workforce needs by routinely convening workforce leaders. This may include meetings to identify technical and soft skills, incorporating skills into curriculum, aligning K-16 pathways with local workforce by leveraging programs like New Skills for Youth and Learn to Earn, and promoting engagement with Business Advisory Councils (BACs).

  • Promoting awareness of local career pathways by fostering collaborations between employers and educators. This may include supporting BACs in adopting quality practices, such as those described in the Awards for Excellent BACs, promoting employer visits at schools as early as middle school, promoting educator visits to businesses, and coordinating professional development for teachers.

  • Increasing student exposure to career opportunities. This may include expanding access to career counselors, piloting afterschool or summer enrichment, intentional exposure to career exploration, promoting summer employment opportunities, preparation, and training, including job shadowing, internships, mentoring programs, and soft skills sessions.

  • Growing the next generation of business leaders by fostering entrepreneurship. This may include facilitating Stark Tank, aligning with Junior Achievement, and supporting initiatives like the Minority Business Association’s middle school entrepreneurship program.

  • Supporting educator effectiveness. This may include piloting career counselors or champions in high schools and universities, providing educator professional workshops, providing credit for educator license renewal tied to externships, incorporating needed workforce skills into classroom instruction, and providing recognition and/or incentives for exemplary BACs.

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