Arkansas Career Pathways Initiative
Started in 2005, Arkansas Career Pathways Initiative (CPI) is a partnership between community colleges, workforce development agencies, employers, social service providers, driven by two-state agencies, Arkansas Department of Higher Education and Department of Workforce Services. Arkansas CPI is aimed at providing marketable educational credentials to low-income individuals for immediate entry into a high demand occupation or higher education. Arkansas CPI improves working relationships between public systems and pre-established programs and services in order to assist low-income individuals in acquiring workplace skills that ultimately lead to economic self-sufficiency and reduced Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) reliance.
The program has expanded from 11 to 25 community colleges throughout Arkansas, providing training in local high- demand occupations and career fields. Career Pathways initiative serves current and former transitional employment assistance (TEA) recipients, or TANF eligible students, currently or newly enrolled at one of the participating public two-year colleges in Arkansas or in a program administered by participating two-year colleges.
Programs that Arkansas CPI offers include adult General Education Development (GED), English as a Second Language (ESL), and basic education courses. The educational pathways developed by the initiative include: WAGE, Employability Certificate, Career Readiness Certificate, Certificates of Proficiency, Technical Certificates, and Associates Degrees. These certificate courses provide participants with skills in specific fields and provide training in areas such as computer literacy. Another program offered is the Bridge Program which prepares students for credit-based courses that result in college credentials.
Participants in the program are paired with a community outreach coordinator who works with the participant to create individual career plans and overcome barriers they may be facing. The coordinator also serves as a liaison between the participant and employers and/or other program coordinators. This relationship allows the participant to take full advantage of Arkansas Career Pathways Opportunities.
- Education and Training
- Career Pathways