January 22, 2019
After Recalibrating & Renaming, Pathways Relocates to New Site

May 1, 2018 — After realizing it needed to better define its program offering, and then adopting a new name to reflect that change, Pathways, a Lynn nonprofit that provides educational services to adults who do not have a high school diploma or need to learn or improve their English, last week announced it has settled into its new home.

After providing adult education and English as a second language programs, under the name of Operation Bootstrap, since the organization was founded in 1976, Pathways realized it needed to realign its programs to better meet current demand.

"Starting a few years ago we realized what we were doing was insufficient to prepare adult learners for postsecondary education or training, the kind of workforce development services that would allow folks to earn industry-recognized credentials and lead to decent paying jobs," said, Edward Tirrell, chief executive officer of Pathways.

Further research determined that Massachusetts was way behind a number of other states in designing programs that can move lower skilled adults to viable careers, in a reasonable amount of time. That led Pathways to seek partners to help develop integrated education and training and career technical education programs that can provide customized career pathways for English language learners and native speakers with lower skills.

That evolution led Pathways to view itself not just as an adult education program, but also as a program that prepares people for postsecondary education/training.

"Because we are developing customized career pathways for lower skilled adults and English language learners, in January 2017 we changed our name to Pathways Adult Education & Training Inc.," Tirrell said.

Last summer Pathways, along with other nonprofits located in the J.B. Blood Building in Lynn, were given four months to find a new home after the building was sold to a charter school.

"Making lemonade out of lemons, we negotiated for a fair lease at a much better location," recounted Tirrell.

Pathways, which has an annual operating budget of around $875,000, then raised $200,000 to pay for a build out at its new location in the Clock Tower Business Center on the Lynnway, less than a half mile from its former site. The new space provides 10,000 square feet of classroom, office, and meeting space.

Pathways also recently raised $350,000 from foundations to develop new program designs and more extensive student support services.

The organization is not standing still. It has developed a partnership with a local vocational technical school to offer a health tech career program for native and non-native English speakers. And in September, it will launch an early childhood teacher training program with other local partners.

Looking forward, Tirrell said Pathways will continue to build on its development model that identifies funding sources to underwrite new programs.

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