Local that Works spotlights innovative and replicable content, engagement and revenue initiatives at public radio and TV stations and nonprofit and digital news organizations in the U.S. LTW includes an annual contest and a database (below). LTW produces webinars that offer insights into projects and organizations that are reshaping local civic journalism.
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CareerExplore NW is a career exploration tool for students and job seekers to learn about career opportunities in our region, the pathways to those careers, and data to make an informed choice.
WHYY’s Pathways to Media Careers is an extension of WHYY’s Youth Media programs, connecting young people with paid, part-time, work experiences with media organizations where they amplify youth voice.
PBS Reno STEM Works digital shorts provide a fresh look at careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. They are geared towards kids 12-17 and are fun and informative for kids of all ages.
The KCRW Report LA Fellowship offers two full-time fellowship positions that pay a living-wage salary and benefits. The program is focused on training young journalists from diverse backgrounds.
We used virtual instruction to reach more young journalists and empower them to report on their communities in NC. The result was a more robust and diverse YRI that benefited WUNC and its audience.
Education Counts is a weekly program helping educators learn from other schools in the region, share their successes and challenges with the community, and increase support of education.
CareerExplore Northwest is an educational initiative created by KSPS PBS as a workforce development solution for our viewing region. Far beyond a typical job search website, it helps students and adults discover viable career paths by providing behind-the-scenes videos and easily accessible answers to questions about in-demand jobs in the Spokane region and what it takes to get them.
Block Club Chicago hosted a free resource fair on the West Side, bringing together 21 community organizations to offer free food, toiletries and health screenings to residents. Our neighborhood reporter was also on hand to take story tips and meet people.
After the governor of Nevada ordered the closure of all schools in the state, Vegas PBS immediately took action. Using the station’s capacity for digital distribution and production, Vegas PBS facilitated at-home learning with curriculum-based programming, provided critical information about COVID-19 and assisted displaced workers with our online workforce training programs.
Career Explore Northwest
CareerExplore NW was created after listening to our community’s expressed needs. 4 years ago while asking for underwriting for programming the expression “marketing is great, but what we really need is as workforce” kept popping up in the conversation. Additionally, teachers and administrators were expressing that they needed better ways to introduce students to careers and businesses in our region, with a goal to retain our local talent. As public television, with education as part of our core mission, we saw this as an opportunity to create a bridge between employer and student through the power of video, television, use of digital resources, and data. CareerExplore NW was born: a career exploration tool comprised of :90 video job spotlights, 360 degree Virtual Field Trips, and data to support each video to help students and job seekers make an informed decision.
We started by gathering financial sponsors and forging a partnership with our local workforce council. We then created an advisory council made up of the education community and our sponsors to ensure we created a tool that would work best for all involved. The sponsors fund the creation of :90 second career spotlight videos that go on air as well as on the www.careerexplorenw.org website. The workforce council provides relevant data (average salary, hours, skills, etc) for the website to support a deeper view, and the educational community ensures the tool gets used by students. The on air as well as digital approach ensures that students from all areas, urban and rural, have an opportunity to explore and learn about these careers.
To date, we have now had the opportunity to video spotlight 101 careers, create 7 Virtual Field Trips in 360-degree interactive format, and 4 career path videos. The project continues and we have expanded outside our immediate school districts into other districts across the state. We have created and built relationships with a host of new businesses, expanded our relationships in the educational community, and have put KSPS PBS in front of the highly sought-after middle school/high school audience.
The “why” of this has not changed since its inception: 1) Provide a community tool and educational resource that allows students and job seekers to find their path and make an informed decision on their career choice. 2) Create a talent pipeline for regional employers; 3) Use our medium to create a needed resource for the betterment of our region’s youth.
We collect usage metrics on the website, YouTube, as well as testimonials:
“The past narrative for what it means to be college and career ready has largely been focused on 4-year college messaging. The CareerExplore NW website allows counselors, teachers, and students to explore local college and career options which open that narrative up to 2-year technical degrees that lead to “living wage” jobs in our community. It’s been extremely helpful for our educators to support students in understanding other valuable post-secondary pathways and most importantly see local career opportunities to complete the full college-to- career pathway.” -Scott Kerwien, Director of College and Career Readiness, Spokane Public Schools
“The development of this website has been instrumental in partnering business and education together to help inform students, parents, and the community about the various job opportunities in our region. Many high school and middle school teachers are using this site during class to help students become more familiar with all the possible jobs they have access to within the region. As more videos have been created, teachers have commented on all of the jobs they didn’t know existed and how they feel more comfortable talking about these opportunities with students.” -Vicki Leifer, Director of Career and Technical Education, West Valley School District
Lastly, sponsor, MacKay Mfg let us know that 40% of their website traffic was driven by the CareerExplore website.
To date, CareerExplore NW has generated $800,000 of new revenue in its 4 year existence through business sponsorships, foundations, and most recently major donor gifts. It has had 42 business sponsors, 31 of which were brand new to supporting KSPS PBS.