General Assembly speaker examines role of guided pathways in economic development

View the recorded livestream of the General Assembly keynote presentation.

View the recorded livestream of the General Assembly morning presentations.

Austin Community College’s work with guided pathways has the potential to be transformational beyond ACC and plays an integral role in the economic development of the region, policy analyst Garrett Groves told faculty and staff at the college’s annual General Assembly August 26

“The work that is done here at ACC on guided pathways, it’s not an understatement to say that it is the most important talent pipeline initiative currently underway in the Central Texas region,” Groves said. “It is the number one way that a majority of the Central Texans who grow up here are going to enter into good-paying jobs in our community.”

As director of the Economic Opportunity Program for the Center for Public Policy Priorities, Groves focuses on policies promoting educational attainment and economic prosperity in the state. He has worked with a number local, state, and federal entities on initiatives relating to education and workforce development.

Groves presented data comparing Texas and the United States with other countries in areas such as literacy and numeracy, and addressed the changing nature of middle-class occupations.

“We know that competitiveness, economic development, luring business to our state — increasingly it all hinges on the quality of our workforce,” he said. Institutions not only must educate the next generation, he said, they must connect individuals to skills aligned with employers’ needs and provide logical entry and exit points for “upskilling.”

ACC Provost Dr. Charles Cook said Groves’ data and insights showed the importance of guided pathways from a broader perspective, and illustrated the connection between easy-to-navigate educational pathways and high-demand, good-paying jobs and careers.

See a recorded livestream of Groves’ presentation along with the rest of the General Assembly morning program. View Groves’ presentation slides, “Building Talent Pipelines – Aligning Education, Workforce, and Economic Development” on the Guided Pathways Resources webpage.

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