The National League of Cities (NLC) has selected Dayton as one of 12 cities to participate in a meeting to explore and build equitable pathways to postsecondary education and workforce success. Each city participating in NLC's Leadership Academy: Promoting Postsecondary and Workforce Success (Washington, D.C., Nov. 30 - Dec. 2) has made a commitment to address inequities in accessing and succeeding in higher education as well as gaining meaningful employment.
"Dayton is honored and excited to be recognized for its commitment to ensuring that all young people are exceptionally prepared to compete for 21st-century jobs," Mayor Nan Whaley said. "We need to expose young people to career choices--and help them create a career plan--so they see the connection between getting a great education and having a great life. "
Dayton's strategies for improving pathways to college and career readiness are multi-pronged:
• Community leaders from education, industry, non-profit organizations, and the public sector are united behind efforts to drive up educational attainment.
• Dayton is disaggregating educational achievement data based on gender, race and poverty in order to target efforts to students who are most at-risk of not realizing their potential.
• Dayton Public Schools has instituted a Males of Color Initiative to develop and implement strategies to improve outcomes for males of color in preK-12.
• Dayton is promoting College Application Month and working through schools to ensure students are completing applications to attend college or earn a credential. Students' careers choices are celebrated at countywide Signing Days, and a FAFSA Finish! campaign helps ensure students have access to critically important financial aid.
• High-school counselors are getting new training around helping every student make good college and career choices and exposing all young people to career pathway programs.
• Dayton is creating a Career Bridge program that will expose larger numbers of students to internships, experiential learning and industry-focused coursework during high school and even in middle school.
• Dayton is engaging industries with in-demand jobs to support students' success by creating learning opportunities for them and exposing young people to careers they might not have considered.
Mayors and other city leaders know their efforts to build strong and vibrant local economies depend on their ability to develop and retain a well-educated workforce with 21st-century skills. To reach this goal, cities need both clear pathways to college and postsecondary programs that are responsive to regional workforce needs. Since the Great Recession, over 95 percent of the jobs created have gone to individuals with education beyond a high school diploma, according to the Georgetown Center on Education and Workforce. Cities are in prime positions to leverage cross-sector partnerships and increase postsecondary attainment and workforce success.
NLC, through its Institute for Youth, Education, and Families and with support from The Kresge Foundation, will bring together city leaders from the government, education and business sectors and national experts who will help Dayton develop strategies and expand efforts in ensuring all residents can earn a postsecondary certificate or degree as well as gain meaningful employment.
Through this meeting, Dayton will have the opportunity to join a cohort of cities that will work together through 2017 to implement innovative and sustainable education and workforce strategies that address major equity issues in cities.
Learn more about this two-year body of work and other postsecondary and workforce solutions through NLC here.
In addition to Dayton, the 12 cities chosen to participate in the Leadership Academy are: Austin, Texas; Charleston, South Carolina; Columbus, Georgia; Columbus, Ohio; Corpus Christi, Texas; El Paso, Texas; Houston, Texas; Jacksonville, Florida; Nashville, Tennessee; San Antonio, Texas; and South Bend, Indiana.