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Washington DC - A new report by National Skills Coalition finds that 21 states have policies in place to support local sector partnerships, a requirement under the new Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.
Local sector partnerships, which bring together multiple employers with education, training, labor, and community-based organizations, are a proven strategy for helping workers prepare for middle-skill jobs and helping employers find skilled workers. Nearly every state has a shortage of workers trained with industry recognized middle-skill credentials.
National Skills Coalition’s first-ever 50-state scan identifies 21 states with sector partnership polices in place. Of these, 15 are investing state or federal resources in supporting local partnerships. The scan outlines criteria for state policies that help establish, sustain, and scale local sector partnerships.
“In every state, employers are struggling to find trained workers,” said NSC Senior State Policy Analyst Brooke DeRenzis. “Sector partnerships help solve this problem by aligning workforce development programs with the local area’s economy and industry needs."
The scan found that the majority of states without sector partnership policies have some other state-level workforce activities that target key industries or sectors. These activities may provide a foundation for developing a state-level policy to support local sector partnerships that can help grow these industries.
National Skills Coalition expects the number of states with sector partnership policies to increase as states implement WIOA. Passed with overwhelmingly bipartisan support in 2014, WIOA requires sector partnerships as a local workforce activity and for states to support these local efforts. NSC will continue tracking state-level progress in realizing WIOA’s vision of sector partnerships as a key component of the workforce development system.