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P2C Practice and Application

Labor Market Exploration System

Supporting students’ path to employment success can be challenging. The journey requires multiple steps, including opportunities to explore careers, develop focused career plans, and engage in learning experiences that support the acquisition of valued workplace skills. Within each of these steps, there are multiple factors that contribute to employment success. Labor market information (LMI), as one of these factors, has the ability to inform students, parents, and educators of the realities of the current and future labor market, which can help frame student career decisions and planning. LMI can also inform education policy and encourage the practice of career-focused learning that is aligned with workforce needs. When LMI is part of career exploration, planning, and policy, students benefit from a more comprehensive and complete career preparation experience that acknowledges job trends and helps students position themselves for high-value careers.

Labor market information is rapidly becoming an additional factor in the career exploration process. Knowledge of local job markets can significantly enhance employment success through the revelation of high-demand, high-wage jobs. Armed with this information, students can make informed decisions about careers that may be more plentiful and that provide wages consistent with their lifestyle goals. Assisting students in accessing and understanding labor market information can facilitate a stronger alignment of career aspirations with the realities of the local economy.

Perkins V maintains a primary focus on the development and maintenance of effective CTE programs of study (POS) that prepare students for successful entry into the workforce. One of the more significant changes in the new law is an increased emphasis on data-driven decision making and planning, especially at the local level. Detailed labor market information will need to be collected to determine the status of high-demand, high-wage, and high-skill jobs within the state and local regions. This information should be used to guide decisions and planning around CTE POS. All eligible agencies will be required to demonstrate a strong alignment between POS and state/local workforce needs that is supported by relevant and current workforce data.

Pathway2Careers offers a critical bridge between education and industry that can help policymakers and educators connect with the realities of their state and local job markets. It offers a flexible system that:

  • Contains state and local labor market information
  • Presents labor market information organized around the National Career Clusters Framework
  • Easily reveals high-demand, high-wage, high-skill jobs with simple one-click functions
  • Provides the ability to print, save, and share search outputs and tables
  • Offers detailed guides and resources to simplify exploration and reporting efforts

Ideally, students will have been exposed to LMI during the career exploration process that precedes the career planning stage. If students require additional information about specific careers, they can be advised to consult school stage who have access to local LMI systems (e.g., school counselors) or they can review resources provided in their respective schools.

Labor market information has the potential to influence almost every aspect of career planning. A basic review of LMI before developing a career plan can both simplify and strengthen the path to employment success.

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