Mayor Fischer wins national Education Pathways award
Recognizes mayor-led efforts to enhance college completion, career readiness
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer was among three city leaders awarded a 2016 U.S. Conference of Mayors/USA Funds 2016 National Education Pathways with a Purpose award on Sunday.
The awards, announced during the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ (USCM) 84th annual meeting in Indianapolis, are sponsored by USCM and USA Funds, a nonprofit corporation that promotes student success in college and careers. The winning communities – Louisville, Orlando, Fla., and Hartford, Conn. – will share a total of $150,000 in grants to recognize mayor-led programs that provide a more purposeful path for students to and through college, and on to rewarding careers and successful lives.
The winning cities were selected by an independent panel of former mayors, educators and workforce development professionals.
Mayor Fischer was honored as the large-city awardee for the Cradle to Career initiative launched in January 2015 as a comprehensive approach to improve student success in career and life. Cradle to Career operates through four major pillars, corresponding to four interconnected pieces of the larger college and career pathway system. Each pillar has a local community “owner,” an entity that can convene stakeholders, formulate strategy and marshal public support:
- Early Care & Education/Kindergarten Readiness (Metro United Way);
- K-12 Success (Jefferson County Public Schools);
- High School to Postsecondary Transition and Completion (55,000 Degrees);
- 21st century Workforce and Talent (KentuckianaWorks).
Results include a Career Calculator app that KentuckianaWorks is creating, in recognition of the value of using labor market data to guide education and career decisions. The Career Calculator will allow people to find labor market data by occupation, college major and income, allowing them to make informed decisions about their college and career focus. Overall, the judges said, Cradle to Career is creating a cycle where good education leads to good jobs, which leads to family-supporting wages, which enables good education, which again, leads to good jobs.
“Mayor Fischer should be applauded for taking the labor market data and making it understandable and user-friendly for parents, students and job-seekers,” said judging panelist Steve Partridge, VP of Workforce Development at Northern Virginia Community College.
Fellow judge and former Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory added, “The continuity of leadership by Mayor Fischer, building on what was already in place should be a help up. You’ve got to applaud that Career App as a means for the general public to access labor market data.”
Mayor Fischer said he was delighted by the recognition for this important public and private partnership.
“Lifelong learning is one of our city’s three core pillars. It is key to the success of our city, and this award is recognition that we and our partner agencies are on the right track with our overall approach and some of the initiatives already under way.”
The other mayors honored were Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, in the medium city category, and Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin, in the small city category.
"With the increasing skill demands of the 21st century workplace, mayors are concerned that all students have the support that they need to graduate from high school and move forward fully prepared for college and the job market,” said Tom Cochran, CEO and Executive Director of the Conference of Mayors. “These three mayors demonstrate the ongoing and excellent work that continues to take place on the local level to ensure that America’s students are provided high quality education and college completion goals.”
“The economic vitality of our nation’s cities depends on a robust education and workforce system aligned with the needs of employers,” said Carol D’Amico, USA Funds executive vice president, National Engagement and Philanthropy. “A mayor’s leadership can make a real difference in promoting a well-educated citizenry equipped with the skills to tackle the jobs in demand in today’s workforce. USA Funds is delighted to recognize outstanding examples of this leadership.”