Strengthening a Culture of Career Readiness: Key Issues and Promising Practices


Strengthening pathways from education to employment is crucial for students’ successful transition into meaningful jobs that support their ability to engage, contribute, and thrive. Recognizing this imperative, California Competes partnered with Los Angeles County community colleges and government partners to refine and foster a culture of career readiness as a collaborative responsibility and identify promising regional practices that integrate career readiness across students’ postsecondary experiences. The following memo shares insights from this partnership, showcasing examples from colleges in the region to improve career readiness and serving as a roadmap for institutions and county governments to guide future efforts.

Key Takeaways
  1. Leaders of the four community colleges in Los Angeles County’s second supervisorial district and the county government have articulated a variety of areas in which to improve career readiness among area residents, some of which are already being addressed by existing programs and policies. 

  2. Toward this end, we highlight the following six promising practices:

    • Communicating with students early and often about career readiness; 
    • Engaging faculty in career readiness efforts; 
    • Strengthening employer partnerships; 
    • Promoting paid work experiences for students; 
    • Improving connections between colleges and the county; and 
    • Collaborating across colleges to better meet the needs of residents.
  3. Examples from the four colleges demonstrate what can be done to improve career readiness in the region and offer a roadmap for colleges and county governments to guide future efforts.

Related Research & Resources