Southwest Pathways Conference

May 28-29, 2015


Who Attended

The sold-out conference attracted more than 350 people. The participants included many prominent leaders from education, business, government and philanthropy. People were invited based on their ability and willingness to help create a more effective “pathways system” to prepare young adults for career success. Notable attendees included:

  • Cross-sector teams of leaders from each of the five participating states: Colorado, Utah, Nevada, New Mexico and Arizona. These teams were carefully selected by leaders in each of the states, and included Cabinet-level officials, and influential education, business and non-profit leaders.
  • A “Native American” team of tribal leaders.
  • Nearly 20 researchers involved in research on “pathways” related issues, including at least one researcher from each of the five states, as well as many national organizations.
  • Prominent Government leaders, including Arizona Governor Doug Ducey; Ellen Golombek, Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment; and Celina Bussey, Secretary of the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions.
  • Senior education leaders, including ASU President Michael Crow; Rufus Glasper, Chancellor of Maricopa Community Colleges; and Fenton Broadhead, Academic Vice President at BYU-Idaho.
  • Business leaders from major corporations, including Google, Walmart, State Farm, Honeywell, Sodexo, Freeport-McMoRan, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.
  • Leaders from non-profits active in this work, including Opportunity Nation, Jobs for the Future, Jobs for America’s Graduates, the Helios Education Foundation, APQC, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, USA Funds, and the Daniels Fund.
Southwest Pathways Conference

Conference Goals

The conference was designed to achieve the following goals:

  1. Raise awareness of the challenge facing the Southwest – our current failure to prepare huge numbers of youth for economic success
  2. Provide an opportunity to learn about the most promising solutions to this challenge from leaders in the field and the participating Southwestern states
  3. Expand engagement of business and industry in developing effective pathway systems
  4. Mobilize state teams to forge strong action plans for improving pathway systems in their states
  5. Promote the formation of regional partnerships
  6. Form a research consortium to help inform policy and practice