Form Partnerships

This step begins with key stakeholders forming into a committed, broad-based partnership. These individuals identify others who would be valuable contributors to the team, including people who would make good team leaders. Inviting the stakeholders to recommend team members provides a way for partners to “own” the Pathways to Results process, even if they cannot attend all meetings due to other leadership obligations. The team leader has the primary responsibility of extending meeting invitations, gathering materials and resources for team meetings, summarizing and reporting the progress of the team, and providing directions and support throughout the process. Team members have a responsibility to participate fully in the process and contribute individually and collectively to help improve pathways.

The newly established partnership collaborates to develop a mission statement and goals to guide efforts to improve pathways. This statement provides clarity of purpose for the project and reduces the potential for misunderstanding among partners. A shared vision is critical to providing leadership during periods of transformational change, so a plan is developed to ensure education practitioners, policy leaders, employers, community members, and other stakeholders understand the Pathways to Results process and communicate frequently about resources and activities that support it. The partnership engages in discussions that draw upon historic and current labor market data; information about the current status of pathways and bridge programs; the performance of diverse groups who participate in education; and other information pertaining to education, the workforce, and the economy. The Strengthening Partnerships Workbook provides a step-by-step guide to assist local institutions and organizations in the development of prosperous partnerships that set the foundation for effective change through Pathways to Results.