people in meeting

Release Date

July 30, 2019

National Governors Association Announces Release of “Good Jobs for All Americans”

The Good Jobs for All Americans report was released last week at the summer meeting of the National Governors Association.  From the introduction:

All Americans deserve a fair shot at a good job. Even though we witness incredible talent in all corners of our country, opportunity and access to good jobs are often limited. The 2018–19 National Governors Association (NGA) Chair’s Initiative, Good Jobs for All Americans, aimed to understand the changing world of work and the factors that affect an individual’s ability to connect to a good job and for businesses to access the talent they need to thrive in today’s global economy.

Based on this understanding of the changes in the working world, “A Governor’s Action Guide to Achieving Good Jobs for All Americans” offers a toolbox of high-impact actions that governors can take to connect workers to good jobs today and in the future. These actions fall into three categories:

  • Workforce of the future: Governors can partner with businesses to identify the skills they will need in the future and how to best equip workers with these skills;
  • Second acts: Governors can help midcareer workers succeed in the workforce through increased access to continuous learning opportunities, improved career transitions and holistic support; and
  • Rural resurgence: Governors can empower the rural workforce.

Release Date

July 30, 2019

ECS Publishes State Policy Models for Connecting Education to Work

Over the next 36 months, Education Commission of the States will release three 50-State Comparisons that capture connections between education and work. The first of the three, this resource released on July 23 explores several areas implicated in ensuring students’ educational experiences prepare them for success in the workplace: workforce investment boards, career pathway systems and financial aid programs.

When it comes to leveraging postsecondary education to support state workforce development and individuals seeking jobs in their local economies, collaborative connections are key. Frequently, making these connections in states relies on multiple agencies working together.

This 50-State Comparison supports efforts to connect by identifying:

  • Existing or potential ways to activate collaboration between state actors and across policies.
  • Key players in each state’s landscape of efforts to connect education to work and to connect governmental actors across siloed agencies who share similar goals for workforce development.
  • State actors currently involved in a state’s career pathway system, illustrating how leadership of these systems varies across states and stimulating conversation about which state actors should be involved.
  • State programs that connect citizens with financial resources to facilitate credential completion, leading to productive participation in a state’s labor market.

Workforce Investment Boards
Each state participates in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, which prescribes certain types of activities and organizational structures for states to direct federal investments in workforce development. Participation in WIOA requires a state to create a workforce investment board with duties such as developing, implementing and modifying the state WIOA plan and reviewing and recommending changes to statewide policy. In addition, the state board is responsible for developing funding formulas for distributing federal and state workforce investment dollars.

Career Pathway Systems
A career pathway system is made up of multiple programs that span educational institutions, workforce entities and support service partners. These systems are oriented around a shared understanding of the needs of industries. Career pathway systems are one of many policy models states use to help connect education and workforce in the K-12, postsecondary and workforce governance systems. Administration of pathway systems varies across states, from single agency oversight — such as the K-12 system — to combined oversight models that are administered by K-12, postsecondary and workforce agencies.

Financial Aid for Workforce Development
States may offer incentives to attract postsecondary students to specific fields of study to fill identified workforce shortages. Identified shortage areas are often referred to as high-demand fields, which vary by state and region. The development of such financial aid programs is typically fueled by analysis of state workforce data or through collaboration with local employers.

50-State Comparisons
Click on a question below to see data for all states.

  1. What is the name of the state entity that fulfills the role of the state’s workforce investment board for the purposes of WIOA?
  2. Which agency is the primary coordinator of the state’s career pathway system?
  3. Does state statute define at least one financial aid program for individuals pursuing a postsecondary credential that is connected to workforce development needs?

To view a specific state’s approach, go to the state profiles page.

Release Date

July 30, 2019

Ten States Selected for Manufacturing-Focused Policy Academy

A July 25 advisory from SSTI

Ten states from across the country have been selected as part of a unique program designed to grow and strengthen their manufacturers. Over the course of the next year, interdisciplinary state teams will meet together in Washington, D.C., and separately in their home states, to develop and refine strategies impacting manufacturing industries.

Based on their specific needs and goals, participating states developed working teams with representatives from areas such as the private sector, governor’s offices, state workforce and economic development departments, Manufacturing Extension Partnership centers, and manufacturing trade associations, among others. The participating states are: Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Wisconsin.

“The Policy Academy process empowers states to make proactive decisions that can improve the competitiveness of their manufacturing industries,” said Dan Berglund, president and CEO of SSTI, which is helping to coordinate the academy. “Although each state is dealing with their own challenges and circumstances, there are a lot of opportunities for states and their team members to learn from each other. We hope that the process inspires states to focus their economic development strategies, improve current programs, and develop new initiatives or policies that diverse stakeholders can rally behind.”

The Policy Academy, which lasts approximately one year, guides states through a planning and implementation process to identify relevant manufacturing-related partnerships and policies to move their economic development strategies forward. Each participant receives customized facilitation and additional assistance through access to national experts, like-minded colleagues, and other resources. Examples of activities pursued by previous participants include developing a manufacturing strategic plan, addressing rural manufacturing needs, improving coordination in the economic development system, and accelerating startups and innovation-based manufacturing growth.

With support from the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) based at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), two national organizations — SSTI and the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness (CREC) – are coordinating the Policy Academy. NIST MEP’s mission is to enhance the productivity and technological performance of U.S. manufacturing which it does through 51 MEP Centers located in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, and more than 1,300 manufacturing experts at over 400 service locations, providing any U.S. manufacturer with access to resources they need to succeed. SSTI works to strengthen initiatives to create a better future through science, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship. CREC works to provide policy-makers from around the world with the information and technical assistance they need to formulate and execute innovative, regional, job-creating economic strategies.

Updated: August 05, 2019