Re-Imagining Learning Communities For a Stronger Workforce

According to Internet Live Stats there are more than 1.7 billion websites. That number does not include the actual number of pages of content on each website. Just to provide a context for this number, small companies will easily have over 100 pages of content so it is difficult to comprehend the actual volume of data that is available online. This statistic becomes even more distorted when adding personal content like blog posts and other types of digital and social media. It is clear why the internet is a quagmire when looking for quality information.

What can be even more frustrating is that the websites with the most insightful information are never seen by the masses because these types of researchers, teachers, and developers lack the resources or the interest to “ranking number one on Google”. These educators want to provide information that is useful and will help others on their pathway to success. That is why it is critical to re-imagine education so that those who have the answers can simply connect virtually with those seeking a solution to that specific problem.

Dream2Career is re-imagining and simplifying the digital network for work-based learning experiences by connecting the learning provider and with interested students.  When students, parents, and educators get together with businesses and schools, learning happens and pathways emerge leading users to their dream careers. Educational agents work with the best learning programs and event providers to help students find and answer the question, “What should I do with the rest of my life?”. We help learning communities promote solutions, best practices, and mentorship in ways that supports the needs and curiosity of the student.

Dream2Career is designed to help businesses and schools promote programs and events to those interested in each specific discipline. Every program is not right for every student and Dream2Career has a mission of helping students connect with the right resources leading to their dream careers.  We do this by using our marketing expertise and an algorithm that is built upon the career clusters identified by the Department of Education and encompasses opportunities that highlight the 1100+ jobs identified by the Department of Labor. We work with schools and businesses to provide free access to resources that match and engage students and educators with local and virtual opportunities so they can be inspired about the future world of work.

Rudy Ruiz: Leading K-20 Visionary

It is an exciting time to be working in the education industry because solutions are emerging that are bringing opportunity to schools across the nation. One of the reasons for this innovation boom is because of great educational leaders, like Rudy Ruiz. By spearheading these efforts, Ruiz is making a difference in his home state of Maryland and these visionary solutions are being replicated in other states, which is positively impacting a growing number of student success stories.

Visionary Leader in Education

Visionary Leader in Education, Rudy Ruiz

Rudy Ruiz is a Partner at FourPoint Education Partners and the former Chief Education Officer of the Maryland Business Roundtable for Education. He and his team developed an amazing student-focused mobile app called Way to Be. This innovative solution helps students learn from experts about high demand and emerging industries and it helps them to find on-ramps that match their interests to aspirational careers. This app is being adopted by the Maryland School Districts and is currently being upgraded to include relevant information that applies to other states. This project is one of many that Ruiz has on his agenda for bringing access and opportunity to students across that nation.

Because of his experiences and his background, Rudy is on a mission to make the world a better place.  He is particularly interested in helping to inspire disadvantaged youth because he personally experienced opportunities and challenges that shaped his beliefs, while growing up in a poor minority neighborhood in Milwaukee.  He was fortunate to have a strong family full of love that supported him, even during the most difficult times. He says, “I have spent the past 18 years in the classroom, in school leadership, in district leadership, in state leadership, and now supporting communities nationally, to close these equity gaps in access and opportunity to high-quality educational experiences and outcomes.” His experiences and personal understanding of their struggles, gives him the strength and tenacity to continue pushing forward. His ability to endure, while continuing to reaffirm his beliefs, are what bring about innovation and progress.

One can’t help but to be inspired by his passion and get-it-done attitude.  Rudy Ruiz is a true visionary who continues to enhance the world of education for the next generation.

College to Career: Fieldr is Making it Happen!



College to career is the dream for most parents, educators, and students. Unfortunately, times have changed, and it is a little more complicated for recent college graduates to qualify to enter the workforce. Today, businesses seek industry experience even for entry-level positions. Business professionals from all major industries agree that students who lack job experience are less likely to be hired because the skills gap ultimately hurts their bottom line. Therefore, it is critical that students find opportunities to gain experience through internships, volunteering, and other experiential learning pathways.

Going to job boards does not give users relevant information about learning on-ramps. As an emerging career seeker, it is recommended to use an intermediary platform that connects businesses and students, who agree regarding this new training phase of “work-learn”, which occurs prior to acquisition of an entry-level career.

Students need to be able to create a profile and connect with work-based learning jobs for those businesses that want to help with this new phase in the educational process., a Florida-based startup, is offering businesses and students the opportunity to use their new software solution, which achieves this connection, for free. The platform is designed so that students can quickly match, communicate, and send documents that facilitate the relationship with businesses willing to take on these apprentices. Fieldr helps students to gain knowledge and experiences enhancing the opportunity of ultimately getting hired for their dream career. Consequently, students learn what it is like to work in industry and they can quickly choose a different learning pathway should the chosen field fall short of expectations.

This early misfit realization is good for the student and the industry. In the long run, industries that choose to participate in work-learn programs will see an increase in qualified candidates who are ready and interested in working for their firms. For the businesses who choose to work with Fieldr, they will be able to eliminate the skills gap, reduce hiring costs by increasing retention and create a positive work environment for all employees.

Dream2Career  talked with Connor Firmender, Co-Founder & CEO of Fieldr and he believes that learning engagements like internships, project-based or work-based learning, part-time jobs, and service learning are “the building blocks to college and career readiness”  His company is dedicated to providing the “education side of readiness” and they are developing a Fieldr Academy for high school students to earn career-related credentials that will launch in early 2021. 

Firmender, even as a student, was quick to realize that gaining experience while in college was a challenge. Because of his interest in solving a real-world problem, he has been able to develop quality relationships and support from chambers of commerce, economic development offices, college career centers, district career and technical education departments who have helped to bring his concept to fruition. It is exciting for Dream2Career to work with another socially responsible solution that helps to connect students to opportunities that they may not have known existed, that helps schools do what they do best, and that fixes the skills gap for businesses. 

Let’s help more students find and prepare for dream careers. Tell us below what your organization is doing to support the work-learn engagements.

Finding Your Career Signal In the Noise

Before technology we were better at putting information in its place. When you went to the library, you could find books by author, title, or subject. This made finding information organized but limited to content you could obtain within your traveling distance.  I remember going to the University of Scranton’s Library, a 20-minute drive, because they had a book share program with my high school. At that time, you had to be motivated to find content for your research papers, some of my classmates even traveled to Philadelphia.

Today, information is everywhere. We are overwhelmed by messages about everything which makes us very stressed. It is impossible to find the signal in the noise.  You can read more about this concept in a book called The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail–but Some Don’t by Nate Silver. He’s a math genius but writes in a way that anyone can read and understand.

Search engines use keywords or subjects similar to card catalogs of the past. However, search engines include information found on over 1.7 Billion websites, not to mention linkages to all of the social media content that exists on the internet. Search engines are helpful if you need a specific piece of information like an address or office hours for a company.  Other than that, the only information that can effectively be found through search engines are ads trying to sell the “deal of the century”.  Search engines might seem similar to the card catalogs of the past, but after closer observation they are quite different. No one is getting smarter, feeling more connected, or being inspired by quality researched information found using search engines.

Some technologies have helped to organize information in useful ways, two of these are Amazon and ride-sharing platforms like Uber and Lyft. These platforms work because you are going to them, like the card catalog of the past, for a specific purpose. If you want to purchase an item you consult the Amazon website and quickly find the information you seek. If you need a ride, ride share transactions take place, in a functional way, because everyone knows where to find the specific transportation information needed.

Unfortunately, this matching of need with solution does not happen for education. There  are so many different types of programs and learning opportunities, traditional and non-traditional pathways, certificates, badges, camps, hackathons, apprenticeships, internships, incubators, scholarships, etc. that students can’t easily find the best learning program for them. This results in students wasting hours of time researching, using dreaded search engines, to find work and career learning information on the web. Educational institutions are forced to spend too much money buying keywords that result in no additional prospective student views of their educational programs.  If only there was a specific card catalog for education that organized information, in a specific way, where learning experiences could be found based on location and career aspirations.

Imagine a world where learning experiences were organized based on interests and made recommendations of similar learning opportunities. How cool would this solution be? Enter the keywords or searchable fields organized into six mega clusters, and have access to local events and programs that put students, parents, educators and career-seekers on pathways to success. No longer would there be a need to find the company and then hope they have a learning program for you to get your foot in the door. No longer would there be a need to pick a school and then hope they have your major or program of interest. No longer would families struggle to find fun and educational places to go and things to do together. Communities would begin to work on discovering, growing, and thriving as they work towards a common goal–Prosperity through education and connection!

Dream2Career is developing this type of solution, where you can find categories of interest and quickly locate learning on-ramps and experiences. Visit our developing website at or sign up today to receive updates about learning experiences matching your interests. We are hard at work designing Edu-Advisor the app, until then, subscribe here to learn more about this project and start living your dream life.