Dear NAF Network,
Welcome to 2017 and Happy New Year to you all! We spent a great deal of time in 2016 thinking about our future as an organization and what we seek to achieve. As part of a new 5-year strategic plan, we have developed some new approaches to achieve our mission of ensuring future readiness for everyone. Our directive is clear -- we need to close the skills gap by enabling low-income students to obtain sustainable careers with rising incomes.
Our new strategic plan will bring to light some exciting new approaches for how to meet this directive. We will amplify the power of the network, increasing the probability that millions of low-income youth will be able to change the course of their lives, eliminate the income gap, and strengthen our global economy while contributing to the well-being of their communities – together, we can make a difference.
For NAF, this plan means a broader commitment to providing work-based learning opportunities; developing innovative solutions to increase internships; deepening our impact on the students we serve; and impacting more students even beyond NAF’s academy walls.
NAFTrack Certification will pave the way to sustainable careers with rising incomes. As more and more companies sign on to NAFTrack Certified Hiring, we will continue to emphasize the importance of this credential in creating a pipeline for employers and a long-term networking resource for students and alumni alike.
Through NAF’s new strategic plan, we plan to:
- Dramatically increase the availability of internship experiences in areas ready to meet the demand, allowing both high school and college students to build social capital and foundational skills (and to prove these skills to employers)
- Connect with communities in key areas to ensure alignment with local initiatives around high school and post-secondary performance and economic development
- Focus on all-in corporate engagement with employers with acute talent needs, those that have demonstrated their dedication to playing an active role in shaping our future workforce
- Help employers more efficiently provide high quality internship experiences (and other WBL)
- Help employers capture the value of their engagement by connecting them to students over the long-term and giving them access to people ready for hire
- Use technology to address barriers to corporate engagement and to allow more efficient support of the network
What does this mean for you?
- Targeted supports based on your needs: NAF’s staff and resources will strategically align with this new direction. Rather than focusing on regions, staff will be deployed to support the more specific needs and opportunities of academies, districts, and communities tied to meeting NAF’s strategic imperatives.
- Your support contacts may change: Should any of your day-to-day contacts be changing, you will be hearing directly from those staff members. Through our research, we are confident that we will be able to continue to provide the support academies need to thrive and take this work to the next level.
We are excited to be kicking off 2017 reenergized to make an exponential impact on our workforce, communities, and economy and to ensure that we are all future ready! We hope you'll share this message with your local stakeholders.
All the best,
President | NAF