Gearing Up for the 2015 Legislative Sessions

September 29, 2014

On September 25, National Skills Coalition organized a meeting of state workforce advocates from 11 states in Indianapolis, Indiana. The meeting was designed to assist advocates in preparing for the 2015 state legislative sessions, which for many states include newly sworn in governors and legislators. Like most advocates, the meeting participants are grappling with issues related to protecting state budget wins, connecting training to job quality strategies, and scaling up promising programs. Through the meeting’s cross-state sharing sessions, participants were able to get advice and swap stories from the trenches with their peers.

Agenda items also featured a discussion of implementation issues associated with the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) as federal agencies prepare guidance and state administrators are deciding whether to become early implementers. Rona Sherriff of the California EDGE Coalition talked about the coalition’s efforts to carry out a skills policy academy for state policymakers and staff, which has led to several legislators authoring skill-building proposals and becoming champions. Finally, Indiana State Representation Ed Clere and Indiana State Director of Adult Education Marie Mackintosh also shared their perspectives on collaborating with advocates to improve the state’s education and training systems.

A special thanks to the Indiana Association of Community Action Agencies and the Indiana Institute for Working Families for all their help in making this meeting possible!