Sustainable Workforce Development Network

Building Sustainable Career Pathways

The Stone Soup Leadership Institute

Sustainable Workforce Development Network

The Sustainable Workforce Development Network is an online ecosystem that builds bridges between young people, educators and blue-green companies, connecting youth to workforce development opportunities to prepare for sustainable career pathways.

The Stone Soup Leadership Institute is a global leader in designing sustainable workforce development initiatives that prepare multicultural youth to become successful in their lives, their communities and our world.

Founded in 1997, The Institute has collaborated with business, education, government, and community leaders to develop workforce development initiatives that build bridges with marginalized youth who face high inequities in education, employment and life opportunities. The Institute’s multi-faceted educational tools, training, and project-based learning programs are designed to build sustainable workforce development initiatives.

Case Study: New England • Design-A-Thon for the Blue Economy

Through the Institute’s 15 years of research we’ve found young adults have really struggled to find links between blue-green jobs and much needed workforce development opportunities like internships, mentors and on-the-job training. In June, the Institute held a Design-A-Thon for the Blue Economy at Innovate Newport in conjunction with the Institute’s Summit on the Blue Economy. We brought together leaders of the Blue Economy in New England – from CEOs, to Newport’s Mayor and academic institutions to engage in a deep exploration to shape the design of the Institute’s Sustainable Workforce Development Network (SWDN). The key takeaway of the Design-A-Thon was the major increase of jobs in the emerging Blue Economy and lack of information available to young people about these jobs which prevents them from pursuing blue career pathways.

VIDEO: Sustainable Workforce Development Network

During the Institute’s week-long Summit, our Tech Team from Olin College integrated the Design-A-Thon’s User Design Experience, Survey responses from blue company, testimonials and insights into the preliminary design. We will now survey the New Bedford community’s companies, organizations, institutions and then build the prototype with UMass Dartmouth students. In early 2020, we will BETA test it with blue companies and youth in the Institute’s Sustainable Workforce Development Program. The BETA community in New Bedford will feature the first Sustainable Workforce Development Network Kiosk. On November 20 we will present the video/project at The Maritime Alliance’s Blue Tech Week in San Diego.

“It was enlightening for me to learn how disconnected our youth in our region are from our local industry, especially Blue Tech” said Anthony Baro, PowerDocks LLC. “We have an absolute opportunity for Chambers of Commerce, working with local professional associations and organizations and local government business development agencies, to engage united in an educational career and workforce development outreach program with our High Schools and Higher Ed Institutions. Students have high aspirations, helping them recognize and identify paths knowing what local industry and government incentive programs are, can offer them the opportunity to help them develop their dreams and ultimately ignite local communities with much needed solutions to local challenges. Blue Tech represents 75% of the Earth footprint. Imagine what we can accomplish if we could develop the missing 50% capacity to address our Blue Tech promise and challenges. I look forward to staying engaged and helping this great workforce development initiative.”