The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Rural Pathways to Prosperity Conference set for May 9


April 26, 2018

Local leaders invite the community to join them on Wednesday, May 9 for the Rural Pathways to Prosperity Conference (P2P), part of a statewide effort to help communities provide youth better job preparation and more opportunities to learn valuable work skills. This is a day of inspiration, learning and regional networking to make better connections between business, educators and students through partnerships, mentorships, apprenticeships and other opportunities and engage with a national expert, without leaving the community.

Participants in over 18 sites across rural Washington will simultaneously watch Brent Parton, a national expert sharing best rural practices across the nation and state, and Chris Reykdal, Washington State Superintendent of Public Instruction share statewide activities, resources and opportunities. After their presentations, each site will put their ideas into action through facilitated discussions and activities, turning their attention to local issues, resources and project ideas. Community leaders will be able to ask questions, learn more about how to help young people in their own area gain work experience, and create a pipeline of skilled workers to meet the needs of business in even the most remote areas of the state.

This conference is free to attend and will be held from 9 a.m. to noon at the Cowlitz Event Center, 1900 7th Ave., Longview.

“Hands-on learning experiences are an important part of career readiness, and there are a number of key players working to connect youth, professionals and employers to opportunities - this conference gives our communities a chance to talk together and try to enhance our overall efforts,” said Carrie Backman, WSU Extension Wahkiakum County Director. “This is a great opportunity to visit and share our thoughts that will lead to a strong set of actions supporting career connected learning.”

Debra Hansen, WSU Stevens County Director and conference chair feels the conference is a good opportunity for businesspeople to get together with area residents and leaders to discuss concerns about programs and policies that prepare young people for great jobs in their local economies.

According to Bill Fashing, Cowlitz Wahkiakum Council of Governments, “This event is for people who are concerned about the future of the youth of Southwest Washington and their future.” By sponsoring this event the CWCOG hopes to support stronger partnerships between schools, businesses, local governments and others to better prepare local youth for careers in the region.

The 2018 Rural Pathways to Prosperity Conference is sponsored by WSU Extension in partnership with Washington Workforce Board, Association of Washington Cities, USDA-Rural Development, and Career Connect Washington.

It’s free to attend, but space might be limited. Register on this link so they can plan for the right amount of people and have materials for all. For more information, visit or call Mary Jane Melink, CWCOG, 360-577-3041 x107.


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