Guest Presenters:

  • Naomi Boyer, Executive Director, Digital Transformation, Education Design Lab
  • Matthew Aranda, Associate Education Designer, Micro-Credentialing, Education Design Lab
  • Steve Cochran, Senior Director, Workforce Education and Multiple Pathways, Polk County Schools
  • Kim Long, Executive Director, Polk Vision
  • Kandis Buford, Equity and Human Resource Director, Polk County Board of County Commissioners

FCAN Host: Adam Lindberg, Director of Research and Policy

A pilot program in Polk County is helping students be better prepared for the job search process while also responding to the needs of local businesses.

On February 17, FCAN hosted a webinar highlighting Propel Polk, which allows students enrolled in select career academies within the county to earn micro-credentials offered by Education Design Lab.

“We focus on the new majority workers: those for whom college was not originally designed,” said Dr. Naomi Boyer, Executive Director of Digital Transformation for Education Design Lab. “

Through Propel Polk, students enrolled in select career academies are already earning Critical Thinking, Oral Communication, and Initiative micro-credentials.

A key component of Propel Polk is employing Polk County students locally. That includes a commitment from Polk County’s Board of County Commissioners, which seeks to diversify and enhance its skilled talent pipeline by interviewing students with the achieved credentials.

“With us being in this tight labor market, we have to come up with ways to do things differently,” said Kandis Buford, Equity and Human Resource Director for Polk County Board of County Commissioners. “I think this project is a win-win for Polk County schools, students, and employers.”

You can watch the entire webinar, download the presentation, and access more materials related to foster youth supports via the following resources:


Be sure to visit our Past Webinars page for access to recordings and downloadable material from FCAN’s previous presentations.

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