Pathways Consultants helps workforce development organizations connect the dots that lead to a clear picture of change. We use simple processes, solid partnerships, and key, evidence-based activities to offer you the following services:
- Technical Assistance & Capacity Building
- Strategy Formation & Collaborative Building
- Training & Professional Development
- Curriculum Design
- Program Planning & Project Management
- Research & Policy Development
- Fund Development & Grant Writing
- Integrating Technology - CareerHub
Technical Assistance & Capacity Building
Our work is at the intersection of organizational, human, and program development at the state, national and local level. As direct-service providers ourselves, we understand the need for culturally responsive, hands-on coaching and training that incorporates best practices. Our deeply committed coaches help youth and adult workforce development providers build key technical skills. We’ll assist you in coordinating the evaluation of technical assistance efforts, serving as technical assistance advisors and helping you plan and train on a variety of adult and youth workforce initiatives.
We have a deep love for community. Our entire team goes to work on behalf of clients to build equity, resilience, and self sufficiency. If you are a manager or high-level executive, we work hand in hand with you to tap your existing expertise, shed light on individual and team strengths, and uncover practical solutions for your organization to thrive system-wide.
Pathways Consultants has provided state-wide technical assistance and support activities since 2016 that has aided over 130 Workforce Accelerator Fund grantees across California and their projects to rapidly prototype, implement, iterate and scale innovations in youth and adult workforce development. Pathways’ has successfully implemented a complex array of technical assistance activities include individual and group-based assistance in the design, development and implementation of projects and serve as the cross-project connector, providing communication and learning between projects. Activities include team building, knowledge sharing, facilitating in-person and virtual communities of practice, hosting regional grantee Meetups, assist projects with technical expertise focusing on issues such as regional implementation concerns, populations, modes of delivery, collaborative formation. Accelerator projects range from large county governmental entities, social enterprises, nonprofits and educational institutions. Our team also coordinates evaluation of the technical assistance efforts and serves as technical advisors to the California Workforce Development Board. Pathways Consultants coordinates 16+ Associates across the country who provide technical assistance to Accelerator grantees.
Pathways Consultants has been the lead capacity-building agency for the San Francisco Department of Children, Youth and Their Families (DCYF) since July, 2011, providing training, peer learning community facilitation, and coaching to YLEAD grantees (more than 75 nonprofits). Project management has included managing six subcontractor trainer/coaches, event marketing and registration, logistics, assessment, preparation and facilitation of trainings and learning communities, on-going scope and strategy management and communication with DCYF, as well as coordinating with three other agencies providing capacity-building for other grant strategy areas.
In addition to providing trainings, Pathways Consultants and its partners also provided performance improvement coaching for more than 30 Specialized Teen and Youth Workforce Development (YWD) agencies. Working in partnership with DCYF Program Officers and agencies, Pathways identified areas for improvement and tracked progress toward improvement. To complement the coaching happening one-on-one, Pathways’ team also facilitated two cohorts of these agencies (one Specialized Teen and one YWD) for five sessions of a Peer Learning Community. Through these sessions, participating agencies had the opportunity to visit CCSF, other exemplary CBOs, and build community among their peers to share resources, learn best practices and receive peer coaching. Content for the Peer Learning Community sessions complemented the areas identified for improvement across all of the agencies. Assessment of these complementary forms of capacity building proved the long-term impact for participants and youth. Coaching: One participant of the coaching/Peer Learning Community said: “This is a great idea and I’m glad to have been a part of it. The group was welcoming, the facilitator was knowledgeable, the resources were great, the activities and opportunities to learn and develop were non-stop, and it really supported the individual coaching to hammer things in. Because it was a two part process, it allowed me to really believe in the plan and for it to really be integrated quickly into my work with youth. An immense thank you!”
– Planned and coordinated 65+ workshops and more than 680 hours of coaching for 75+ youth-serving agencies since 2011.
– 98.7% of workshop participants reported building skills, learning new content, being engaged, and identifying ways to apply new skills/knowledge in their programs.
– Workshop evaluations were aligned with the content of each workshop to assess knowledge and behavior change.
– Pathways aligned its tools and offerings with the work of PCY to create an integrated and coordinated system across DCYF grantees.
– Coaching and workshops were aligned with DCYF standards, best practices and competencies.
Pathways Consultants has provided technical assistance services for the City of Oakland, “Oakland Unite” violence intervention efforts for youth and young adults highest at risk for involvement in violence since 2016. Pathways Consultants partners with Oakland Unite to plan and implement a strategy to increase employer and training partner engagement with service providers to increase sustainable employment opportunities and job placements for Oakland Unite participants. Successful strategies, developed in partnership with Oakland Unite providers, have included instituting an 8-month workforce development professional training cohort which certifies participants in as internationally recognized Career Service Providers. Pathways also implemented bi-monthly round-table business/provider networking sessions (Oakland Unite Jobs Huddle) featuring different priority sectors with business partners eager to hire Oakland Unite candidates. Pathways also initiated a learning cohort focusing on workforce specific learning needs including developing your pitch to business, resume development, job readiness and career assessment highlights. In addition to all of these efforts Pathways Consultants provides individualized coaching, training and capacity building to providers.
Strategy Formation & Collaborative Building
We are in service to partnership. Our team is dedicated to digging deep into the roots of social change. We know our direct service clients intimately and we serve as a conduit between funder and client. As you grow, merge, or seek to clarify your mission, we get to work collecting data and information; helping you identify needs, pain points, and measurable outcomes; guiding custom-designed planning and implementations that are straightforward and solutions-oriented. We specialize in helping organizations small and large, government and nonprofit, build powerful frameworks. Our tools include theories of change, logic model development, client-centered design and rapid problem solving and prototyping; process mapping and experience mapping and others to meet your current and future needs.
Opportunity Junction, Environmental Scan
Pathways provided technical support, research and program planning to Opportunity Junction located in Antioch in East Contra Costa County, and part of the SparkPoint Center. Opportunity Junction works with low- income adults to help them gain the skills necessary to support themselves and their families. At the request of a private foundation, Pathways worked with Opportunity Junction to help the agency to evaluate opportunities to deepen or expand their services through a stakeholder research project. The result was the development of College Connections, a post-secondary bridge program in partnership with Los Medanos College and its Career Advancement Academy and Career & Technical Education faculty. Phase One of the work focused on conducting a thorough environmental scan, including an organizational assessment through: 1) focus groups and interviews with staff, 2) surveys and a focus group with alumni and participants, 3) interviews with community partners, business leaders, employers and stakeholders 4) site observations and a review of performance data. Pathways also conducted regional labor market analysis of Contra Costa and East Contra Costa Counties emerging sectors, largest employers and occupations in-demand. Lastly, Pathways mapped and identified gaps and needs in workforce, education, and human services in the region available to assist low- income adults. Phase Two of the work was an inclusive, staff-driven planning process and pilot of three college engagement strategies. Pathways drove the planning process, set goals, assigned tasks and produced work plans, a timeline, a budget and program logic models. After receiving funding from the California WDB’s Workforce Accelerator, College Connections is now in year 2 of program implementation with Pathways’ continued support.
Working with Opportunity Junction and Los Medanos College over the last two years, Pathways has worked with staff and students to design a wrap- around college success program for non-traditional college students. Pathways convened planning meetings, developed program logic models, evaluation data and staff work plan. Also Pathways facilitated two student focus groups and a student planning session employing Human Centered Design principles and rapid prototyping so that students can design their own college program. The first cohort of students is currently completing their career & technical education programs at Los Medanos and are readying for job placement. Pathways Consultants produced a Road Map to College Toolkit, a beautifully designed 22-page document for agencies in other locations in California who would like to replicate the model and build a partnership with their local community college’s admissions and Career & Technical Education programs. Pathways Consultants worked with Opportunity Junction, Stride Center, the United Way and the Richmond Community Foundation to build a Road Map to College Collaborative.
Pathways Consultants partnered with Corporation for a Skilled Workforce and SFMade to research the needs and pain points of SFMade manufacturing businesses and perceived barriers of entry-level employees. Pathways has worked in partnership with CSW and SFMade to design surveys and an interview protocol. Pathways has conducted 11 employer interviews and documented qualitative data and wrote a summary report on initial themes and findings.
Workforce Development Board, Contra Costa County: Business Services Improvement
Pathways Consultants worked with the four Contra Costa America’s Job Centers and the Contra Costa Workforce Development Board to analyze and recommend improvements to their business engagement strategies. Pathways led a self-assessment process interviewing and observing a variety of stakeholders: staff members, leaders, customers, and community partners on the county’s business services. Pathways also assessed services from a business customer perspective: approaching each center and requesting services in- person, by phone, email and online as an employer customer. Pathways worked with the staff to experience maps of the business customers’ experience and analyze for bottlenecks, opportunities for improvement, and compared experiences of working with AJCC competitors, namely temporary staffing agencies. Pathways produced key recommendations that were implemented into the business services strategy. Pathways Consultants worked with the WDBCCC to increase the collaborative relationships between AJCC’s regionally in regards to business services.
Training and Professional Development
Pathways values nuanced and informed approaches to building staff capacity that give a voice to the most marginalized while supporting sustainability. We offer cutting-edge, interactive professional development workshops based on the latest research and trends in education, youth development, and workforce development, service delivery, program design and management, diversity and inclusivity, and evaluation. Our professional learning cohorts, communities of practice and virtual affinity groups help clients address the complexities of systems change.
Career Service Provider Certification (CDF & GCDF)
Pathways Consultants offers the National Career Development Association’s internationally recognized Career Services Provider Certification. Pathways Consultants offers an annual course called the Facilitating Career Development Institute for workforce professionals from across the Bay Area who serve multiple populations. This certification is recognized widely in the field of workforce development as the qualification for employment. This in-depth training includes up to 120 combined classroom and e-learning instructional hours and instructional materials. The Career Services Provider training program was developed to provide standards, training specifications, and certification for these career providers. This title and certification is highly recognized and valued among professionals in the workforce development field.
California Workforce Association, California Training Institute
Pathways Consultants has served as a contracted training provider for the California Workforce Association’s Training Institute since 2017. Our group of 17 trainers have offered trainings across the state of California to such agencies as Merced, Kern, Inyo, Mono, Fresno and San JoaquinÂ Workforce Development Boards as well as Goodwill Central Coast.
Pathways Consultants has been the lead capacity-building agency for the San Francisco Department of Children, Youth and Their Families (DCYF) since 2011, providing training, peer learning community facilitation, and coaching to YLEAD grantees (more than 75 nonprofits). Project management has included managing six subcontractor trainer/coaches, event marketing and registration, logistics, assessment, preparation and facilitation of trainings and learning communities, on-going scope and strategy management and communication with DCYF, as well as coordinating with three other agencies providing capacity-building for other grant strategy areas. Pathways and its training partners facilitated 43 trainings over a three year period for line staff (direct service), managers and coordinators, and Executive Directors. Training topics have included but are not limited to:
– 21st Century Job Search
– Best Practices in Work-Based Learning Experiences
– Building Successful Transition Plans
– Career Exploration with Youth
– Case Management
– Curriculum Development
– Designing an Organization-Wide Professional Development Plan
– Facilitation Techniques
– Job Retention and Advancement
– Long-range Planning Using Logic Models
– Partnering with Business
– Project-Based Learning
– Youth Employment from the Employer’s Perspective
– Youth Leadership
Pathways Consultants has extensive experience designing, developing and writing sequenced curriculum for work-based learning and vocational skills programs. Our team of writers have developed both career exploration focused curriculum, technical skills training programs for youth and adults. The programs have ranged from Common Core and American School Counseling standards based programs to rigorous industry recognized training programs based on sector specific competencies. Our team writes detailed lesson plans, creates all activity materials as well as train-the-trainer guides, PowerPoints and online materials. We build into all of our curriculum an awareness of multiple learning styles, universal design for learning and culturally responsive facilitation methods.
Juma Ventures: Customer Service & Sales Online Training for Youth
Pathways Consultants designed a scope and sequence and content for the 3 Customer Service online learning modules specifically for youth participating in Juma Ventures national social enterprises-based job training program. The team included an e-Learning expert who ensured we incorporated the best practices in e-Learning into the modules. Pathways Consultants designed 3 X 45 minute e-Learning modules including aligned assessments that were interactive, engaging and fun, and designed to develop the competencies and gain the knowledge necessary for youth to succeed working in Juma’s social enterprises at ballparks throughout the U.S. Modules were uploaded onto an e-learning platform (Mindflash) and piloted by the Juma team with youth. Using the feedback gathered from that pilot, Pathways revised the modules for the final roll-out.
Community Housing Partnership: Solutions SF Front Desk Clerk Training Curriculum Planning and Writing
Pathways partnered with Community Housing Partnership in San Francisco, a supportive housing provider, to develop a comprehensive three-week job readiness, soft skills and technical skills training to prepare residents to be front desk clerks in affordable housing units throughout San Francisco. Pathways Consultants worked with CHP staff and partners to map learning outcomes and objectives, and align them with the strategic priorities of the program and agency. Pathways then developed a 44-hour written curriculum with a detailed trainer’s guides and accompanying student handouts and materials. Instructional modules include the following units:
– Customer Service
– Policies and Procedures
– Time Management
– Initiative and Decision Making
– Safety and Security
The program was piloted in July 2014 and, since then, business partners (hotels and other supportive housing providers) have been so pleased with the quality and preparedness of graduates that they are using CHP exclusively to fill their front desk clerk positions.
City College of San Francisco: SF Steps Project Curriculum Design and Train the Trainer Guide
In partnership with City College of San Francisco, Pathways Consultants developed SF Steps Project, a 40-hour, teacher-driven career and college exploration curriculum including a teacher trainers guide for 7th and 8th grade students. Additionally, we developed a 5 hour training of the trainer workshop and materials so the teacher training component could be brought in-house. Pathways has trained all SFUSD middle school and K-8 counselors, and Language Arts teachers on facilitating career and college exploration in the classroom, as well as district administrative staff on facilitating the Steps Program.
Program Planning & Project Management
Our on-the-ground expertise in managing and supporting highly effective workforce development, youth development and education programs will help you design and deliver programs that really work. For students and adults who have historically been excluded from viable and sustainable career paths, we believe continuous program improvement processes are key. Through collaborative, inter-agency projects, Pathways can assist you in constructing a clear road map from where you are to where you want to be. We systematically assess program effectiveness and have extensive experience designing sequenced curriculum and trainer guides, and conducting research. We guide you step-by-step through program design and development to help lay the essential groundwork for successful outcomes. We help you look at the numbers and clarify the results.
San Francisco Unified School District: Youth Worker Institute
The Youth Worker Institute is a public/private collaborative that builds a career pathway into education, nonprofits and afterschool programs for students who historically don’t pursue college/training post-high school. It captures “Super Seniors” (SFUSD Seniors not on track to graduate) who are interested in careers with children and provides high school and college credit, pay for work-based learning, and skills training to work in the Afterschool field. For 5 weeks during summer, up to 30 Youth participate full-time in this career pathway that leads to college and/or employment. Through the design and launch of this program, Pathways coordinated partners (CCSF, SFUSD and CBOs), project management, program and curriculum design, training, technical assistance to project to incorporate youth development and restorative practices, SEL, work-based learning, etc.
Successes since 2015 have included:
– 95% completion rate
– 24 (100%) Super Seniors graduated high school
– 100% passed the Instructional Aide Exam
– 58% enrolled in CCSF
– 52% working
Next Step Learning Center: Logic Model, Program Design & Evaluative Process Development
Next Step Learning Center is a nonprofit in Oakland that primarily provides GED tutoring and college support services for low-income, transition-age youth and adults. They sought to expand their role to provide workforce services to the Oakland community in order to increase access to viable and sustainable career pathways for their clients. Next Step Learning Center hired Pathways to conduct research and advise them through the development of the Workforce Connections Project. Through our work with Next Step we developed a theory of change and program logic model for Workforce Connections, a business process flow, customer experience flow, marketing language, community partner vetting criteria, staff job descriptions, participant application and assessment, and an implementation work-plan. This work included metrics to support evaluation and an outline of a continuous improvement process.
Research and Policy Development
Moving more people out of poverty and connecting low-income families with economic opportunity requires targeted resources. We work with you to analyze and produce strategic recommendations for workforce partners, business engagement strategies, reporting, and fiscal management developed in staff-led working groups and grounded in national best practices. Through a multi-layered assessment process, Pathways’ deep dives into research, gathering qualitative data and offering recommendations. Through our high-level support, our clients learn how best to support agency needs and successfully expand programming and leverage existing initiatives.
National Youth Employment Coalition: Research, Survey, Interviews, Analysis, Writing
The National Youth Employment Coalition (NYEC) has influenced the Youth Workforce/youth employment field through advocacy, policy, information dissemination and capacity building for nearly 40 years. PEPNet offered a structured system for enhancing the quality of youth employment programs through quality standards and research. PEPNet (including the certification process) has been inactive in recent years and NYEC wanted to explore the interest and need for a revival of PEPNet (PEPNet 3.0). NYEC partnered with Pathways Consultants to conduct research to help NYEC analyze whether to invest in PEPNet 3.0. Tasks included:
– Collected data via interviews of key stakeholders, survey of workforce/education professionals, and desktop research
– Analyzed data collected via desktop research, interviews and survey to identify themes, opportunities, barriers to implementation of a PEPNet 3.0.
– Compared PEPNet 3.0 to other quality standard efforts and, combined with feedback from interviews and surveys, identified potential elements of PEPNet 3.0.
– Identified potential revenue and implementation model(s) for PEPNet including a list of partners/implementers who could make PEPNet affordable and streamline implementation.
– Generated a report that summarized this data and analysis including recommendations and insights on the framework, standards, priorities, implementation, partners, budget, funders and the business model.
California Youth Connection (CYC): Research, Interviews, Analysis, Writing
CYC is a youth-led nonprofit seeking to transform the foster youth system. CYC retained Pathways to conduct analysis and make strategic recommendations for how CYC could broaden its base of renewable public funding and structure itself to streamline communications, reporting, and fiscal management. As this work required a substantial amount of discovery and analysis around what was actually happening on the ground in the organization’s 20+ chapters across the state, the consultancy broadened to include analysis and strategy related to the chapter/central office organizational structure.
Research: Interviews with organizational leadership, youth members and adult supporters from 9 chapters; Written survey of all chapters; Funding prospect research; Inquiry into relationship between chapters and central office, including an external scan of five model organizations.
Chapter Map: a chart compiling data on all 21 active chapters across three categories, baseline (basic information such as number of members, number of adult supporters, age categories of members, average attendance at meetings, etc.), sources of existing funding, engagement with public agencies, and chapter activities.
Core Chapter Model: a written recommendation of minimum requirements for a viable chapter, covering: number of members and adult supporters, level of activity, and number of active relationships with outside agencies.
Funding Prospect Report: covering the 17 counties in which CYC chapters exist that me the core chapter model criteria, providing contact information for the two public agencies that are the best funding prospects (Child Welfare and the County Office of Education) and contact information for the local office CASA, a natural program and funding partner. The report also included contact information for the Mental/Behavioral Health agency, another prospective source of funding, in the five counties in the state with the largest number of foster youth.
San Francisco Wholesale Produce Market: Research, Interviews, Analysis, Writing
The San Francisco Wholesale Produce Market invited Pathways Consultants to convene a research process to determine the workforce development needs of the Produce Market Association members. Pathways drafted research questions in partnership with the SF Wholesale Produce Market and conducted several 1-hour interviews with merchants to explore their hiring and employee retention needs. Pathways Consultants reviewed the qualitative data and produced a final written report with recommendations on how best to support the merchants’ workforce needs and leverage existing workforce development and transportation initiatives in San Francisco.
SFMade: Research, Interviews, Writing
Pathways partnered with Corporation for a Skilled Workforce and SFMade to research the needs and pain points of SFMade manufacturing businesses and perceived barriers of entry-level employees. Pathways has worked in partnership with CSW and SFMade to design surveys and an interview protocol. Pathways conducted 11 employer interviews and documented qualitative data and wrote a summary report on initial themes and findings.
Workforce Development Board of Contra Costa County: Research, Interviews, Analysis, Writing
Pathways worked with the four Contra Costa One Stop Career Centers and the Workforce Development Board to analyze and recommend improvements to their business engagement strategies. Pathways led a self-assessment process interviewing and observing a variety of stakeholders: staff members, leaders, customers, and community partners on the county’s business services. Pathways also assessed services from a business customer perspective: approaching each center and requesting services in-person, by phone, email and online as an employer customer. Pathways worked with the staff to map the business customers’ experience and analyze for bottlenecks, opportunities for improvement, and compared experiences of working with One Stop competitors, namely temporary staffing agencies. Pathways produced key recommendations developed in staff-led working groups and grounded in national best practices.
Fund Development and Grant Writing
Our clients launch and expand programs through our deep knowledge of national and local agencies, trends, and funding sources. We pair stakeholders with seasoned fundraising associates who provide prospect research, development planning, and grant proposal writing for workforce, youth development and other programs.
Since 2014, Pathways has assisted Rubicon Programs to raise over $20 million in Federal, State, local funding for its Workforce Development programs serving residents returning to the community from incarceration, fathers, CalWORKs recipients, dislocated workers, and more.
Since 2013, Pathways has assisted Bay Area Community Resources to raise over $16 million in grants from Aspen Institute, Google, and State and local government sources for its Youth Workforce Development programs serving system-impacted, violence-impacted/-involved youth across 3 Bay Area counties.
Pathways Consultants partnered with Beyond Emancipation’s leadership team to map organizational assets and generate a fundraising and strategic partnership development plan to diversify funding, identify nontraditional sources of funding, and partnerships that complement the work and mission of B:E and leverage partnerships to generate funding.
Integrating Technology – CareerHub
Pathways Consultants are leaders in integrating technology in the workforce development. We are the founders of a communication platform, CareerHub, designed for service providers to communicate more effectively and engage clients more easily. We train across the country on how to leverage virtual services (coaching, case management, referrals, resources, reminders, announcements, etc) to improve client outcomes and collect better data. Our vision is to help workforce development and educational institutions to leverage technology to improve client engagement and be more effective and efficient when working with their students and clients.
Youth Engagement Design Labs
Youth Engagement Design Labs prototyped an expansion of the successful Virtual Service Model in two key regions, SF Bay Area and Los Angeles County, both with high concentrations of justice involved and ex-offender youth. The project sought to use texting and mobile communication to increase the engagement of young people on probation with workforce and educational services. The Youth Engagement Design Labs were composed of two distinct Regional Networks committed to working with justice involved youth. The two Networks (SF Bay Area and Los Angeles County) used human centered design and the proven Virtual Service Model to create expanded virtual service engagement strategies for meeting the specific needs of justice involved youth. The Virtual Service Model has proven to increase recruitment outcomes by 140%, increase attendance at events/appointments by 161%, increase response rates for requests for information by 244%, increase skill building by 77% and life skills by 82%. These two design labs used texting to engage justice involved young people and service providers across disciplines (courts, probation, community based organizations and education) to develop virtual service prototypes specific to justice involved youth. Partners included WDACS, Pathways Management Group, Five Keys Charter School, San Joaquin County Office of Education, Bay Area Community Resources, Goodwill of San Francisco and County of Los Angeles Juvenile Probation. Our team provided training and planning to the regional Design Lab members.
Los Angeles Area Chamber: Fostering Careers L.A. CareerHub Pilot
This project sought to prototype the integration of CareerHub virtual service texting technology and youth incentives to enhance the referral and enrollment process for current and former foster youth in L.A. County. The goal of Fostering Careers LA was to increase the efficiency of enrollment of foster youth into
Youth@Work WBL, WIOA, and the Bridge to Work program. Our team trained and conducted Virtual Service planning foster youth workforce providers at twelve different agencies throughout Los Angeles County including, SASSFA, Youth Policy Institute, Coalition for Responsible Community Development, Boyle Heights Technology Youth Center, Antelope Valley AJCC, Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services, YO Watts YouthSource Center, Pomona AJCC, AYE YouthSource, South Bay Workforce Board and Pacific Gateway.