WestEd has now officially launched its new Center for Economic Mobility. The Center partners with education and workforce systems to reduce or remove structural barriers in institutional processes, creating stronger social networks, and offering career connections, so that educators can create stronger and more equitable pathways to economic mobility.

“Education is an important step toward good jobs, but educational systems are often designed in a way that reinforces gaps for students from underrepresented communities,” said Randy Tillery, Director of Postsecondary Pathways and Career Mobility at WestEd. “By helping to change those systems so that they are more equitable, we are helping to ensure that they support diverse populations of adult learners in preparing for the jobs and careers that will not only allow them to support themselves and their families but also strengthen their communities and our society.”

The Center strengthens linkages between K–12, adult education, postsecondary, workforce development, and employers to foster access to postsecondary education, job training, and credentials that translate to successful careers with income stability and meaningful growth.

Specifically, the Center works in the following areas:

  1. With adult education systems to build pathways to college and living-wage jobs
  2. With economic and workforce development entities to strengthen competitive and equitable economies
  3. With postsecondary institutions to identify skills and occupational relevancy for all academic pathways
  4. With intersegmental partnerships to link data sets and clarify how education aligns with the labor market

For example, WestEd is supporting community colleges to understand the economic returns of short-term course-taking and to strengthen access to education that will lead to living wages, such as articulation with adult and noncredit education, building stackable credentials, and helping more adult learners attain their academic and career goals. You can read more about this research—and its implications for rebuilding college enrollments—in the Center’s inaugural monthly blog post. (The Center will produce a monthly blog and accompanying videos on a range of issues associated with economic mobility.)

Visit the Center for Economic Mobility website or contact Educational Data and Policy Project Director Kathy Booth to learn more.