Assessing collective impact for the emergence of competency based statewide ‘public to public’ civil service career pathways

The purpose of this study is to examine, discuss, and assess the phenomenon of Collective Impact; an emergent and holistic form of systemic organizational behavior, as an approach to devise synergistic competency based career pathway solutions to the skills gap in California’s civil service workforce. The intention is to provide community college and public agency leaders, educators, policy makers, and researchers a greater understanding of current public agency's workforce needs and challenges of aligning and articulating career technical pathways. The objective of the research was to open dialogue and catalyze the design of curriculum, comprehensive policy, and innovative practice to meet the workforce needs of the 21st Century Government Worker while directly supporting community college student learning outcomes. This exploratory study deployed mixed methods approach to “facilitate exploration of phenomenon within its context using a variety of data sources (Baxter & Jack, 2008, p. 544).” As action research, the exploratory approach will ix provide grounding for further explanatory research to develop the literature around system alignments, career pathways, competency based talent management and competency-based education. In summary, it was found that Collective Impact was not mature, the interlocutors held shared multiple meanings of competencies, community college students have interest in civil service careers, and “competency as data” was an emergent intersubjective meaning of the interlocutors. Achieving a shared meaning of “career readiness” through policy and curriculum alignment is still needed to form competency- based career pathways as a strategy to overcome the growing skills gap due to the rising tide of the “silver tsunami”