With so many opportunities on the horizon in Illinois—from forging better connections between programs in career pathways and employers to building out apprenticeships and other work-based learning models—Illinois agencies, advocates, and providers need to work with the same understanding of the terms surrounding workforce and education. For that reason, Illinois approved a statewide definition of Career Pathways this year. Through efforts by 14 statewide partners, this definition was a launching pad for developing a larger group of education and workforce development definitions, all included in the new Career Pathways Dictionary.
The Illinois Career Pathways Dictionary includes terms that fit the following criteria: 1) They pertain to—or deeply impact—multiple programs across state agencies; and 2) they apply to programming with funding from multiple federal agencies (e.g., programs funded by the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act). This dictionary will be updated as needed and new terms will be added, should they meet these criteria.