This month, the ESC received notice that it has been selected to be a semi-finalist as part of the U.S. Department of Education’s
(USDOE) Career Z Challenge: Expanding Work-Based Learning Opportunities for Gen Z (Career Z Challenge). The Career Z Challenge
is an open innovation prize competition seeking creative solutions to expand student access to high-quality work-based learning (WBL) opportunities that will prepare them to be contributing members of today’s workforce and propel them into successful careers of the future.
Through the Career Z Challenge, the USDOE invited schools, districts, and consortiums to share their ideas for creating or enhancing WBL opportunities that engage collaborative ecosystems of educators, employers, industries, and community stakeholders and also engage students across grades 9-12 in meaningful career exploration and development. The lessons learned from the Career Z Challenge are expected to inform resources and models that will foster growth and expansion of high-quality, sustainable WBL experiences for students nationwide.
With support from many organizations throughout the Central Ohio area, the ESC submitted a systemic plan as part of Phase 1, laying out the project’s goals, strategies, potential outcomes, sustainability plan, and more. During Phase 2 (September 2023-July 2024) of this project, the ESC will receive technical assistance conducted by Kaptivate and overseen by the USDOE to support the development, implementation, and expansion of the region’s WBL ecosystem. The ESC and its partners will participate in a community of practice and have access to webinars, toolkits, mentorship, online collaboration space, resources, and support services. At the end of Phase 2, up to 10 finalists will be selected to participate in Phase 3 of the Career Z Challenge.
For more information regarding the ESC and its plan, please contact Robb Gonda, Director of College and Career Success and Equity, at [email protected]