To drive system-level change, five leading national organizations in the pathways movement have joined forces to simultaneously strengthen existing efforts to provide high-quality and equitable pathways at scale and push the field toward innovative strategies and solutions.

Click on each organization’s logo to learn more about their role in this work.

Advance CTE - State Leaders Connecting Learning to Work
Advance CTE

Advance CTE is the longest-standing national non-profit that represents State Directors and state leaders responsible for secondary, postsecondary and adult Career Technical Education (CTE) across all 50 states and U.S. territories. Established in 1920, Advance CTE supports state CTE leadership to advance high-quality and equitable CTE policies, programs and pathways that ensure career and college success without limits for each learner. 

Role in Launch:

Advance CTE leads the Visibility Lane of Launch, helping to create common language around equity in college and career pathways and to draw state and national attention to the process, efforts, and outcomes of the initiative. In addition to leading the Visibility Lane, staff of Advance CTE will serve as coaches for state teams within the Impact and Innovation Cohorts. With our commitment to improving equity and accessibility for all learners, we are excited to be working with members of the initiative to help create next-generation pathways systems and solutions through an equity lens.

“The pursuit of continuous improvement and innovation in career pathway design and delivery is vital to ensuring each learner can succeed in the career of their choice without limits. We are excited to partner with like-minded organizations through the Launch initiative to center state CTE systems as leaders in this important work and collectively confront systemic barriers that have long limited success for historically marginalized learners. In doing so, we can achieve scalable, 50-state impact and achieve college and career pathway systems that are responsive to industry and equitable for all learners.”

-Kate Kreamer, Deputy Executive Director, Advance CTE

Education Strategy Group

Education Strategy Group (ESG) works with America’s education, business, and civic leaders to expand economic opportunity and mobility by increasing educational attainment. We are driven by the conviction that a robust education system aligned with workforce demands leads to a stronger, more equitable society. ESG specializes in strengthening the transition points that have the highest stakes for youth and adults and the highest benefit for states, communities, and economies. We work across sectors to move the needle on issues that are critical to improving student success and advancing equity.

Role in Launch:

ESG serves as the initiative manager for Launch, providing an overarching project management and governance structure and liaising between national partner organizations and funders in support of the varying lanes of work. In addition, ESG leads the Impact Cohort, which includes supporting cohort states in conducting their needs assessment and equity analysis activities, providing site coaching and technical assistance, developing academy content and structures and more. The ESG team also supports the Innovation, Convenings and Visibility lanes of work.

“To expand economic opportunity and mobility in this country, we need bold new approaches to education that accelerate learning and put all students on a path to postsecondary and career success. The pandemic set students back and made this work even more urgent. ESG is proud to partner with other leading national education organizations, states, and communities across the country to launch this ambitious effort to scale quality educational pathways and address head-on the challenges that have led to disparate outcomes for our students. Connecting every student with a clear pathway to a high-value career opportunity is of critical importance to our country’s future; we will only get there through shared commitment and bold, collective action.”

-Matt Gandal, President & CEO, Education Strategy Group


ExcelinEd supports state leaders in transforming education to unlock opportunity and lifelong success for each and every child. Focused on quality, innovation and opportunity—both within and outside the traditional system—ExcelinEd advances a broad range of student-centered policy solutions to increase student learning, eliminate inequities and ready all graduates for college and career.

Role in Launch:

ExcelinEd is excited to be participating in Launch with fellow national partners and site teams to support the enhancement and development of high-quality college and career pathways. ExcelinEd looks forward to participating in all areas of the initiative including leadership, impact site coaching, supporting innovation and visibility work and leading the convenings lane.

“Too often students lack access to high-quality pathways that lead to success in postsecondary and higher-wage careers, while employers struggle to find skilled talent. Launch is a promising initiative that leverages the experience and expertise of national and local partners to tackle system, policy, and implementation challenges and generate scalable solutions that ensure every student—regardless of background—has a viable pathway to economic mobility.”

-Patricia Levesque, Chief Executive Officer, ExcelinEd

Jobs for the Future

Jobs for the Future (JFF) drives transformation of the U.S. education and workforce systems to achieve equitable economic advancement for all. We do this by designing solutions, scaling best practices, influencing policy and action, and investing in innovation. We forge deep partnerships with employers, investors, entrepreneurs, policymakers, and education and workforce development providers to break down barriers and reimagine what’s possible.

Role in Launch:

JFF leads the Innovation Cohort for Launch including overseeing the process to identify and design next-generation systems-level solutions and innovative strategies to address persistent barriers to equitable access and outcomes in college and career pathways, as well as coaching and technical assistance for site teams. In addition, JFF subject matter experts will provide coaching to sites in the Impact Cohort and support Launch’s Convening and Visibility lanes of work to provide high-quality in-person and virtual events and the development of public goods beneficial to the broader field.

“The nation is at an exciting tipping point in expanding and reimagining high-quality education to career pathways, but to get there we must put equity and transformational systems changes at the center of the work. JFF is proud to be partnering with other prominent field leaders and longtime partners in pursuit of these priorities at local, state, and national levels.”

-Joel Vargas, Ed.D., JFF Vice President, Education

New America develops policies, platforms, products, and new practices to advance equity and affect meaningful change in people’s lives across five broad “clusters”: technology and democracy; family economic security; people and planet-centered politics; education from birth to workforce; and political reform and civic cohesion. Our talented team is more than just policy specialists — we’re visionary researchers, changemakers, technologists, and storytellers who understand the challenges presented by dramatic social and technological change. We search for powerful ideas wherever they are — not just in D.C. but anywhere change happens in today’s world. We maintain specific commitments across all the clusters we work in — centering equity, creating narrative change and supporting storytelling, field and pipeline building, and local engagement and participation.

Role in Launch:

New America will support the Visibility and Impact Cohorts, while also providing strategic input to guide the initiative as a whole.
“Young adults need reliable pathways out of high school and into affordable postsecondary options that lead to good jobs that provide family-sustaining wages and opportunities for growth. New America is excited to join Launch to support state business, education, and workforce leaders in building stronger, more equitable pathways systems to expand opportunity and drive inclusive growth across the U.S.”

-Taylor White, Director, Partnership to Advance Youth Apprenticeship & Postsecondary Pathways for Youth, New America

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