NSC releases new sector partnership policy toolkit for states

By Brooke DeRenzis, October 27, 2015

NSC has developed a new toolkit to help states develop or expand policies that support local sector partnerships. These partnerships bring together multiple employers in an industry with education and training providers, labor, community-based organizations, and others to address an industry’s local skill needs. They are a proven strategy for meeting the needs of workers and employers. The toolkit is a companion piece to our recent 50-state scan, which identifies 21 states with sector partnership policies in place.

Under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), states are required to support local sector partnerships. NSC believes states can do this by providing ongoing funding, technical assistance, and program initiatives that set partnership criteria and promote them as a key component of the state’s workforce development system.

NSC’s new toolkit provides information that state policymakers and advocates can use to develop robust sector partnership policies at the state level. It contains:

  • A guide on key elements of a robust state sector partnership policy, drawing from examples in the states
  • A legislative template for a state sector partnership policy, which can also serve as the basis for an executive order or other state policy
  • Case studies of policies in Colorado, Maryland, and Massachusetts and examples of local sector partnerships they support

States looking to establish or expand their sector partnership policies can use this toolkit to inform key policy decisions, learn about best policy practices from other states, and develop legislation or executive orders. Through a recent 50-state scan, NSC has identified 21 states with sector partnership policies in place. Of these states, only 10 have policies that include funding, technical assistance, and program initiatives.

There are clear benefits to having a strong state policy to support local sector partnerships. In addition to meeting new federal requirements under WIOA, states with robust policies can expand local communities’ use of the proven sector partnership strategy, ensure that local partnerships provide quality services to employers and workers in target industries, and align partnerships with other key workforce and economic development strategies.

On November 3, NSC will host a webinar to share tips from its Sector Partnership Policy Toolkit and lessons learned from partners in the field who have worked to establish sector partnership policies in their states. Click here to register.