State Policy Director Shares NSC’s Policy Agenda with Legislators

By Brooke DeRenzis, July 27, 2014

Most state legislatures are no longer in session, and members have the opportunity to join their colleagues from around the nation to learn about policy developments in other states. In recent weeks, NSC’s State Policy Director Bryan Wilson joined legislators at three events to talk about state policies to close the skills gap for middle-skill jobs. Approximately 90 legislators from nearly 40 states attended the sessions.

In Denver, Bryan spoke before the National Conference of State Legislatures’ Forum on Opportunities for Working Families. In San Diego, Bryan presented at the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials’ National Policy Institute on Family Economic Success for Working Families and Children. Both meetings were supported by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. In Chicago, Bryan spoke before the Senate Presidents’ Forum, attended by senate presidents from over 30 states.

Bryan relays, “It was great to see legislators from a wide variety of states and from both sides of the aisle engaging in middle-skill issues. None of the legislators questioned the existence of the middle-skills gap, and they were eager to learn about policy solutions.” Bryan talked about state policies that build sector partnerships and career pathways, and improve policy-maker use of cross-agency data and information. He also addressed the importance of job-driven investments and the need for states to balance their investments in middle-skills training with demand in the labor market.

At the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, NSC Senior Fellow Flavia Jimenez also spoke, informing legislators about immigration reform and its connection to workforce development.