The Pathways Sherpa Blog

Pathways Sherpa

My WordPress Blog

Teachable Moments from “Hillbilly Elegy”

March 23, 2017
BW House with red door

By now, you have probably heard about “Hillbilly Elegy,” a captivating memoir by J.D. Vance.  In the book, Vance tells the story about his life as a child and young man growing up in Middletown, Ohio, a small town whose people were struggling with the social and economic aftermath of de-industrialization of the 1980s and […]

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ENCORE POST: How You Can Avoid Embarrassing “ABD”

March 9, 2017
BW advisory board

HOW YOU CAN AVOID EMBARRASSING “ABD” – (Originally posted November 2015) (This is a summary of remarks I shared at the 2015 CTE Vision Conference in New Orleans for a session held by the NCCER, a construction education organization[1]). For those of us men who are of a certain vintage, you can’t turn on a television […]

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Four Big Differences Between the Career Treasure Hunt and Career Navigation Mindsets

March 2, 2017
BW Compass

During my previous post, I examined the quickly changing industry of paid driving, and how disruptive technology apps like Uber and Lyft and new autonomous driving vehicles will continue to cause workforce disruptions.  The driving industry is a great example of the ongoing shifts that are happening all across the U.S. workforce landscape. Our workers […]

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Taxis, Trucks and Career Navigation

February 23, 2017

Remember the first time you took a ride-share like Uber?  For me, it was in New York City leaving Penn Station in a torrential downpour, and avoiding the taxi line-up that had 75 people in it.  That felt good! I think about taxis a lot these days, because I also love to use Uber when […]

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Three Guiding Beliefs to Address the Middle-Skills Mismatch

February 16, 2017

How can educators and parents move youths toward good careers with the minimum number of miscues and wrong turns?  We should adopt three guiding beliefs in how we help students think about careers and postsecondary education. This question is extremely important because ongoing research tells us that the U.S. workforce continues to be plagued by […]

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What Education Leaders Need to Know about Pot

February 9, 2017
BW cannabis2-1382955_1280

Why am I writing about Marijuana use (pot-weed-reefer-Mary Jane or one of 450 other slang terms) in an education blog? The National Academies of Science has recently released the most authoritative and definitive report yet produced.  The report analyzes, prioritizes and synthesizes the research on cannabis.   You can access the full report here: The […]

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Using the Elevator Pitch to Bring Clarity to Your Pathways Initiative

February 2, 2017
BW black-and-white-city-man-people

You’ve heard of the elevator pitch, right? It’s the idea that when you get on an elevator, and someone asks you, “What do you do?” or “What are you working on?”, etc., you have the length of an elevator ride (30 seconds to a minute) to explain what you do or what your idea is […]

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Keeping Score on College Performance

January 26, 2017
BW nature-field-summer-agriculture

Here’s something you should know about — the College Scorecard website.  You can visit it at This simple tool could be a fantastic addition to your current College and Career Planning program and empower both students and parents alike to make informed decisions about the future. It’s one of the quiet legacies given by […]

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The Eight Key Stages to Lead a Successful Pathways Initiative

January 12, 2017
BW pexels-photo-202105

Recently, I delivered a mini-leadership seminar as part of the Florida Career and Adult Pathways Symposium, hosted by the Florida Department of Education.  I really enjoyed talking to education leaders not just about the technical aspects of pathways systems, but the human side of leading change.  Leading change is about leading people; it is a […]

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10 More Activities for Your Employer Partners

January 5, 2017

Happy New Year, everyone! During the last two posts, I talked about the need for clarity in how we engage our employer partners, and I provided the first 10 of 20 easy strategies for engaging those volunteers. Revisit my first Blog – Why You Need To Be Clear About What You’re Asking Employer And Community Volunteers To […]

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