There is renewed encouragement for future generations of workers to explore innovative career pathways such as entrepreneurship, STEM fields, and new technologies while more traditional career fields should be reconsidered from a high-skill, high-wage perspective with an emphasis on obtaining skills.
According to the Department of Labor, “Our Nation’s future is dependent upon an educated, skilled workforce. Improving the skills, knowledge, and credentials of American workers is critical to economic stability, growth, and global competitiveness” (Career pathways toolkit: A guide for system development, 2013). The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development has noted that about 36 million U.S. adults have low skills, and more than half of them are black or Hispanic, meaning low skills are at least three times more common among blacks and Hispanics than whites. The same research also indicates greater risk of economic disadvantage, a higher likelihood of unemployment, and poor health.
Emerging career pathways require a new approach to career decision, preparation, and planning. This track focuses on methods that encourage Black and Latino males to explore STEM career options, develop an entrepreneurial mindset, and rethink traditional career fields by looking behind the scenes to find high-skill opportunities.
This track will examine institutions and organizations that have created successful programs that explore major issues and challenges relating to institutional access, persistence, retention, and graduation. These institutions have developed effective programming designed to assist, empower, and motivate Black and Latino male students to increase and achieve academic success. This track is designed for researchers to present data and results from successful programs; included should be strategies for measuring and increasing institutional readiness and capacity as well as for effectively engaging minority males into the climate of the campus. Participants will acquire strategies and tools to engage students to continue and complete their academic advancement
According to The Critical Media Project, “media creates meaning about race and ethnicity, and plays an important role in shaping the way we understand race and ethnicity as part of our identity, our history, our social institutions, and our everyday lives” (2016). A Pew Report stated, “Where ethnic minorities used to see their physical neighborhood as the primary way they connect to their culture and heritage, now it’s through social media” (2016). This track will address the power of media with regard to perception, self-image, and psychological impact. Participants will understand how people form ideas about each other from sociocultural and sociopolitical perspectives and learn to use mass and social media in ways that benefit the individual, community, and general society.