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Career Z Launch – Blog

Career Z Challenge | Expanding Work-Based Learning Opportunities for Gen Z

The Department of Education’s Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education seeks innovative ideas to expand work-based learning opportunities. That is why they launched the Career Z Challenge, a $2.5 million multi-phase federal prize competition.  

The Career Z Challenge supports the Biden-Harris Administration’s Raise the Bar: Unlocking Career Success initiative championed by the U.S. Departments of Education, Labor, and Commerce.   

“Employers are struggling to fill open positions. In 2022, there were more than 11 million job openings and only 6 million unemployed workers. Work-based learning increases opportunities and access for students to explore and develop skills to become contributing members of today’s workforce and succeed in their future careers,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona.   

Through this Challenge, the Department invites eligible entrants to engage collaborative ecosystems of educators, businesses, industries, workforce professionals, and community stakeholders to provide students interconnected and expansive career development opportunities and experiences across grades 9 – 12.   

Semi-finalists and finalists will be eligible to receive targeted technical assistance including professional development support, webinars and training, networking with a community of peers, as well as a portion of a $2.5 million prize pool.  

The lessons learned from this challenge will inform resources and models that will foster growth and expansion of high-quality, sustainable work-based learning experiences for students nationwide.  

Career Z Challenge Phase 1 submissions are due May 24, 2023.  

Learn more and follow the challenge at

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