NSC State Policy Director Bryan Wilson’s article, “Closing Skill Gaps” is included in the Council of State Governments’ new 2015 edition of The Book of the States. The Council of State Governments (CSG) is the nation’s only governmental organization serving all three branches of state government. Published annually since 1935, CSG’s The Book of the States is a reference guide to state governments and policies.
“Closing Skill Gaps” provides state policymakers and others with a brief, introductory overview of state strategies to close skill gaps and meet employer skill needs. The article discusses how each state has multiple programs that help individuals prepare for middle-skill jobs. Most of these programs operate outside the traditional K-12-to-university pipeline. Too often these programs operate in silos rather than as part of a broad workforce development system, even though they serve many of the same individuals. When the programs do not work together, they are less effective in closing skill gaps.
Some states have coordinated middle-skill programs around common strategies. Key strategies are sector partnerships, career pathways, job-driven investments, and cross-agency data and measurement. These strategies align programs with employer skill needs and are incorporated in the new Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)—the main federal law providing a workforce development framework for states.
As we look to the future, there is great opportunity for states to move workforce development systems forward using proven strategies to close skill gaps.
The entire article may be found here.