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The Urban Assembly Career Readiness Team supports our family of schools to develop and deliver quality state and industry-approved programs that equip students with the academic and technical skills needed to enter and excel in the job field. The UA Career Readiness Team’s work includes curriculum development, student resources, partnership development support and teacher professional development. Through workshops, seminars, and internships, students learn key employability and career-development knowledge skills.

The Urban Assembly's labor trend research and experience building external partnerships with leading organizations has enabled us to create quality Career & Technical Education (CTE) schools, providing more than one pathway for post-secondary success. We have created unique schools that are the first of their kind in the country, including The Urban Assembly School for Emergency Management and The Urban Assembly Maker Academy. The Urban Assembly is also a central convener and leader in CTE, recently producing the 2014 CTE Symposium at NYU – a gathering of high profile practitioners, policy-makers and stakeholders (http://ctenyc.splashthat.com/).

The Urban Assembly Career Readiness team supports CTE schools in the UA network as they design, implement, and assess their programs, which include courses, work-based learning opportunities, and certifications and credentials that align with industry standards. In support of the CTE programs, Urban Assembly staff members work with schools to establish and maintain strong industry and post-secondary partnerships that provide students with early college and career experiences while in high school. The team supports schools through these key strategies:

  • Provide professional development for CTE teachers and staff
  • Provide more work-based learning experiences, post-secondary opportunities, and industry recognized credentials for CTE students
  • Advisory board management and support
  • Track CTE students after graduation

The UA’s Career Readiness work consists of four key programmatic approaches:

Partnership Coordinators’ Community: The community of partnership coordinators helps to cultivate collaborations across the UA family of schools, and our schools’ numerous partnerships with businesses and organizations both within and outside the education field. Partnership coordinators recruit mentors for students, identify and manage internship opportunities, fundraise for schools, and organize events to bring the career theme of each school alive for students.

Career Pathway Design and CTE Approval: The UA’s Career Readiness programming supports existing Career and Technical Education (CTE) and non-CTE high schools seeking to design engaging and meaningful career pathways that will increase graduation rates, boost student engagement, and increase student outcomes in whatever path they choose, either in the workforce or college. The UA also supports our CTE schools to prepare for state CTE approval following successful career pathway implementation.

Career Readiness High School Model (Pilot): The Urban Assembly’s Career Readiness High School Model is a pilot program in development with four UA schools in the 2018-19 academic year. The goal of the program is to ensure that students graduate high school both college, and career ready. Once the program is established, resources will include curriculum development, educational materials, partnership development support and professional development.

Career Exploration Middle School Model (Pilot): The Urban Assembly’s Career Readiness Middle School Model is a pilot program in development in the 2018-19 academic year. The goal of the program is to assist schools in developing systems and engaging student experiences for 6-8th graders to help them explore their interests, gain knowledge on career options, and begin to make decisions about their choice of appropriately themed high schools that will help them select their future careers.

When we make educational opportunity real, we make the American dream real.

Deputy Mayor Richard Buery speaking at The Urban Assembly CTE Symposium 2014

Team Members

  • Julissa Baez is a workforce development professional with intensive background in work-based training and skill development for entrepreneurs. As the Deputy Director of Career Readiness at the UA, Julissa is responsible for partnership development and compliance for our career and technical education schools. Before joining the team, Julissa led educational programming for Women Entrepreneurs NYC (WE NYC), the first and largest municipal initiative to close the gender gap in entrepreneurship. Prior to WE NYC, Julissa helped build training programs at higher education institutions and nonprofit organizations serving opportunity youth. Julissa holds a Master’s in Public Administration from New York University and a BA in Political Science from Baruch College.

  • Lindsey oversees and supports operational excellence at UA’s CTE schools while working to promote the importance of CTE across our network and to local, state, and national audiences. Lindsey is an experienced educator and nonprofit leader who has focused on education as a lever for overcoming inequality for nearly fifteen years now. She served as an English teacher and department head for several years in a public CTE high school in the Bronx, as well as leading and supporting numerous other schools and organizations across the United States and internationally. Prior to joining The Urban Assembly, Lindsey served as Regional Director at Globaloria, working to bring computer science to K-12 schools across the country, and as Senior Director of Academics & Innovative Learning for Year Up, a national workforce development nonprofit that prepares young adults for college and careers in a variety of technology and business fields. Lindsey is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and an alum of Teach for America. She holds an A.A.S. in technology, a B.A. in English, an M.S. in Education, and an Ed.M. (abt) in Instructional Technology & Media, as well as certifications in project management and blended learning design.