Community Collaborative



Far too often our students leave school without having the authentic experiences they need to help them navigate the world. Too many skills are taught in isolation and students do not see the connection between what they learn in the classroom to what they need in real life. At the same time, Kansas City faces a shortage of innovative workers because many of our young people do not graduate high school with the skills and credentials needed to succeed in the 21st Century economy. A high school diploma without market value assets is no longer enough. Kansas City is the prime location to increase capacity in trade, people, and ideas, yet many young adults do not see this opportunity.

The Crossroads Community Collaborative (CCC) is a group of local organizations committed to solving this workforce challenge. The CCC will supply talent to local businesses and organizations by providing integrated learning opportunities that equip students for the future of work. Through this market-driven approach, students will solve real problems and complete real projects that meet industry and civic needs. The CCC hopes to provide a proof-of-concept for how communities can build sustainable and transformational learning systems that disrupt the disparities in access to high-quality career and college preparation in order to elevate innovation and economic growth in our region.

The first phase of the CCC will work to improve the current system of career and college preparation, building symbiotic partnerships with industry that provide value at no cost to our partners and immersive experiences students need to gain employable skills. During this phase, the CCC will build industry-informed career pathways – learning progressions and course sequences that result in an industry-recognized credential, opportunities for college credit and a portfolio of work. At the same time, the CCC will be inventing the educational system we need for the future – a financially sustainable model of learning. Over time, student-operated businesses will fund the sustainability of the career pathways (Phase 2 of the CCC). We hope the success of Phase 2 serves as a model for the future of learning and encourages innovative education policies and practices.

Industry Benefits

As an industry partner, you will play a role in closing the career skills gap and building talent pipelines aligned to the dynamic needs of your own workforce. Partners become end customers of this transformational learning system due to the strategic alignment between the classroom and the marketplace. As part of student training, real-world problems and ideas in our partners’ organizations become real opportunities for our students at no cost.

For all the details, Please review our:

Industry Partner Guide

Partner Testimonials:

Working with the students at Crossroads Academy is always a treat! For this project, the students were introduced and tasked with creating bios for the Kansas City Latin Jazz Orchestra website. Throughout the entire process, the students were professional and attentive. During the project, pitch presentation students asked engaging questions to better understand what the Orchestra represents. In the subsequent interactions after the team selection, each student on the project team exhibited genuine interest, professionalism in communications (including emails, in-person interview, and draft revisions). The final presentation and bio drafts revealed an endearing approach to the student's interactions with the board members and the leadership of the Kansas City Latin Jazz Orchestra.   Each bio captured the spirit of the person, which shows the quality of understanding each student can convey between interview, writing, self-expression, and observation.

Cynthia M. Ammerman, Kansas City Latin Jazz Orchestra


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