Nebraska Summit on Career Readiness

a project of the Nebraska Department of Education in partnership with the Department of Labor, Future Force Nebraska, and Partnerships for Innovation


November 3-4, 2009 • Champions Club • Lincoln, NE

The objective for this Summit is for participants to come to a common definition of
career ready
for the state of Nebraska.

This web site has been set-up to contain the documentation from the Nebraska Summit on Career Readiness which took place on November 3-4, 2009 in Lincoln, Nebraska. The Summit proceedings have been documented and made available here for participants as a reminder of the conversations that took place during the Summit. This site can also be used as a stimulus for further conversation.

Please refer to the note below about the Real Time Record to have a better understanding of the content on this site. If you have any questions regarding the material posted here please contact Rich Katt, State Director, Career Education, Nebraska Department of Education (402-471-4808) or Michael Kaufman from InnovationLabs at 510-903-0652.

Summit Snapshot

Every aspect of our world is changing rapidly – the global political situation, the economy, social values, technology are all much different today than they were ten or twenty years ago.

As the world changes, education must also change, in order to insure that students are fully prepared for the world in which they’re going to be living and working tomorrow and far into the future. Employers, however, have found that many critical skills and capabilities that are essential to success in the work force today have not been included in the curriculum.

To address this important issue, the Nebraska Department of Education convened the Nebraska Summit on Career Readiness on November 3 and 4, 2009 in Lincoln, to develop a detailed definition of “career readiness,” and examine what specifically would be required to compose a comprehensive curriculum to support the learning needs of our youth.

The 75 participants included a broad range of Nebraska leaders from major employers, educators from secondary and post-secondary institutions, individuals from the Departments of Labor and Education, and well as representatives of non-profit organizations and members of the Nebraska State Board of Education.  They worked together in an active process of exploration, design, creativity, and dialog to work through a set of complex issues to arrive at a series of definitions, proposals, and recommendations.

The group developed this definition for Career Readiness:

A Career Ready person is one who capitalizes on their personal strengths, talents, education, & experiences to bring value to the workplace and the community through their performance, diligence, ethics, and responsible behavior.

They also developed the following list of eleven areas of knowledge, skills, and behaviors, and then went on to define the attributes of these in considerable detail.

On behalf of the Nebraska Department of Education, we would like to thank all participants for their dedication and hard work throughout the workshop.  We have prepared a strong foundation for continued improvement to the educational process here in Nebraska.  While we have a lot of work still ahead of us, we are pleased with the results we accomplished during these two dynamic days.  We look forward to working with you all as we continue to progress in these important activities.


Real Time Record

This web site is a record of the event in Lincoln as it happened - captured in real time and presented here in this web site. The documentation of the session includes the assignments for each activity and the results participants produced. There are photos of the white walls developed by the participants. The large group conversations were documented in text and images as well. The documentation was captured throughout the course of each day of the session and is chronological (in the order that things happened). The text is not a transcription of the large group conversations. Rather, it represents the documentor's synthesis of what was being discussed.

This record is intended to be a reminder to the participants of the conversations that took place during the Summit, to serve as a stimulus for further conversation and to serve as an artifact of the group's work.

For anyone who was not present at the event reading this, you may lose some of the energy and creativity the participants expressed - and some of the ideas may not translate completely without that context. If you have any questions about the content or anything that is represented here please speak to someone that participated in the process or contact Michael Kaufman from InnovationLabs.



Photographs of participants and their work are included throughout the Real Time Record. To view a larger version of a marker board or poster, click on the thumbnail image. The larger image will open in a new window.