Conference Videos


Featured Videos


Michael Crow

Arizona State University President Michael Crow gave a compelling keynote address on May 29 calling for replacing our “rigid and disconnected model of education and learning” with radical innovations that will promote social mobility.


Governor Doug Ducey

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey kicked off the Southwest Pathways Conference 2015 by lamenting the “woeful disconnect between education and business in the Southwest,” and calling on business, education and government to work together to “insure that all children, regardless of zip code or circumstance, will have a shot at the American Dream.”


The Business Imperative for Action Panel

The first plenary panel of the Southwest Pathways Conference brought together leaders from three of America’s most prominent companies – Google, Walmart and Freeport-McMoRan–  to discuss why business needs far better pathways systems to prepare young people for success, and what their companies are doing to help build such systems. Panelists include:  Jaime Casap, Global Education Evangelist, Google; Gayatri J. Agnew, Director of Career Opportunity, Walmart Foundation;  and Tracy Bame, President, Freeport-McMoRan Foundation. The panel was moderated by Dr. Jonathan Koppell, Dean of the College of Public Service and Community Solutions, Arizona State University.


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Rufus Glasper


Chancellor, Maricopa Community Colleges, spoke about the critical role of community colleges in preparing people for career success, as well as the innovative programs offered at the Maricopa Community Colleges.

Young Leaders Panel

Young Leaders Panel

The Young Leaders panel featured young adults whose lives have been transformed thanks to alternative pathways programs. Their inspiration stories brought many attendees to tears. Click the photo to watch their remarks. . Speakers include: Trent Buckhanon, AVID; Stephanie Ly, PIMA JTED; De’Aire Wright, UTI/Auto; Veronica Sandoval, Maricopa County Community College District; Coach Fredi, US FIRST Robotics. The panel was moderated by Maria Harper-Marinick, Executive Vice Chancellor of the Maricopa County Community Colleges.

How Effective Pathways Can Drive Economic Development


Ron Painter, CEO of the National Association of Workforce Boards, moderated a panel featuring leaders from Arizona, Colorado, Utah and New Mexico discussing how they are using pathways programs to help drive economic development.

Promising Pathways in Industries Driving Growth and Jobs in the Southwest


This panel brought together senior business leaders from six major industries – technology, healthcare, insurance, construction, manufacturing and hospitality – to discuss both the middle-class jobs their industries are creating, and the skills young people will need to succeed.

Ellen Golombek

Ellen Golemek

Friday morning keynote speaker, Ellen Golombek, Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment and President, National Association of State Workforce Agencies, gives a compelling insight to the Colorado education system and the state’s promise to disconnected youth.


The Power of Collective Action


The closing panel of the Southwest Pathways Conference 2015 brought together national leaders from major foundations and organizations to discuss why we must work together if we hope to restore the American Dream for all young people.



The Challenge Facing Young Adults in the Southwest

A panel that features some of the nation’s most prominent experts on the subject of why we are failing to prepare so many young adults for success. The issues addressed include youth unemployment, disconnected youth, challenges faced by Hispanic and Native American youth, and the paramount challenge of preparing all youth for economic independence.


Creating More Effective Pathway Systems


The session featured nationally-known leaders who challenged participants to think about how we can create more effective pathways to economic independence.