Resources

The Resource Library is a compendium of tools and resources selected specifically for the Accelerating Opportunity initiative. You can navigate the Resource Library by topic, or by key word (or tag).

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Labor Market Engagement

Resources that promote deep labor market engagement, including strong relationships with employers and the use of up-to-date labor market information.

The annual Fall Technical Institute is an opportunity for Breaking Through and Accelerating Opportunity state teams to receive targeted TA on a variety of topics. For this meeting, JFF recruited 18 subject matter experts from across the country to help state teams work through complex issues such as sustainability planning, employer engagement, and building comprehensive support services. Nine state teams attended this year's Institute.

Meeting Objectives 

  • Provide state teams with targeted technical assistance designed to strengthen solutions, advance the work, and meet outcomes through structured interactions with subject matter experts.
  • Enable teams to exchange effective practices and understand how other states or colleges are addressing key issues through peer sharing opportunities.
  • Ensure that teams leave the Institute with specific actions and plans to further their implementation and sustainability efforts.
Jobs for the Future

For nearly 15 years, the public workforce system has been governed by the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998. Designed to knit together fragmented programs established during the previous 60 years, WIA was regarded as a necessary and legitimate next step in creating a system that would “consolidate, coordinate and improve employment, training, literacy and vocational rehabilitation programs in the United States” (WIA, 1998).

The intention of this report is to start a conversation about a different question, one that is bigger and more appropriate for the times. Rather than tinkering around the edges, wondering how we can become more efficient or more productive, we want to ask something bigger and bolder: What would a 21st Century workforce system look like if we built it for today’s economy, using today’s tools and processes? More to the point, In the new economy, where and how can the public workforce system add true and targeted value?

2012
Kathy Krepcio and Michele M. Martin
John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development

Certificates have swelled to become the second most common postsecondary award in the U.S.: Over 1 million are awarded each year. In the context of concerns about rising college costs and student loan debt, certificates, which are cheaper and take less time to complete than college degrees, have become of increasing interest to researchers, institutions, and other stakeholders in higher education.

In this report, Anthony P. Carnevale, Stephen J. Rose, and Andrew R. Hanson of the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University analyze earnings by field of study, sex, race/ethnicity, and program length. One of the most important factors that affects earnings is whether certificate holders work in the same occupational field they studied in.

The authors also take a close look at the demographic characteristics of certificate holders: sex, race/ethnicity, age, educational attainment, academic preparation/skill, family income, and parents' education.

Last, the authors analyze the institutions that most commonly award certificates—such as community colleges and for-profit institutions—and the states where certificates are most prevalent and provide the highest earnings returns.

2012
Anthony P. Carnevale, Stephen J. Rose, and Andrew R. Hanson
Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce

Employers can improve their fortunes by investing in training and development for their lower-wage employees according. This business brief, released by the National Network for Sector Partners (NNSP), is based on structured interviews with employers around the nation who have achieved significant bottom line benefits by undertaking innovative training and career development efforts targeted at their lower-skilled, lower-wage workers, and providing significant wage increases for those that develop skills the employers value. Many of the employers participate in sector initiatives.

2010
National Network of Sector Partners, The Insight Center for Community Economic Development

To highlight the growing importance of business engagement in education, the National Career Pathways Network (NCPN) and the Institute for a Competitive Workforce (ICW), an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, have released a joint publication titled Thriving in Challenging Times: Connecting Education to Economic Development Through Career Pathways.

The publication’s title reflects an increasing awareness among American employers and business leaders of the critical role they must play in supporting successful education models in their local communities, particularly in challenging economic times.

Thriving in Challenging Times profiles 17 local and two statewide career pathways programs from across the U.S. by documenting the challenges, strategies, results, and business engagement each partnership has experienced.  Featured industry sectors range from aerospace to healthcare to nuclear energy with business involvement ranging from small businesses to multinational corporations.  Each program includes three essential elements for ensuring students are prepared for college and careers –secondary, postsecondary, and business/industry engagement components.

2009
Institute for a Competitive Workforce and National Career Pathways Network

The purpose of this Credential Resource Guide is to provide information on the types of credentials available to workforce program participants and explain how they can acquire and leverage these credentials to build lasting careers. This resource guide is organized into five sections.

  • Section 1 - Defining Credentials
  • Section 2 - Understanding Credentials 
  • Section 3 - Tools for Identifying Credentials
  • Section 4 - Acquiring and Leveraging Credentials 
  • Section 5 - Current Models of Industry-Recognized Stackable Credentials
2011
U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration

For over a decade Corporate Voices for Working Families (Corporate Voices) has provided leading best-practice employers a forum to improve the lives of working families, while strengthening our nation’s economy. Many employers accomplish this by supporting the educational attainment of current and future employees. In order to ensure that individuals have the skills to succeed in the workplace and are on education and career pathways to earning family sustaining wages, employers often partner with community colleges in Learn and Earn models of talent development. These partnerships integrate important aspects of employment and education for working learners and do so at an attractive price point for working families.

This blueprint, which is intended for business and community college leaders who have limited expertise in forming partnerships and are interested in undertaking such an endeavor, is divided into four sections:
• Overview: Explains how partnerships serve businesses, community colleges and working learners.

• Section I: Targets businesses with strategic ways to leverage community college expertise.

• Section II: Identifies business and community college divisions where partnerships can be integrated.

• Section III: Targets community colleges with the advantages of partnering with business.

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, the Competency Model Clearinghouse provides validated industry competency models and tools to build a custom model and career ladder/lattice for your industry.

Industry competency models promote an understanding of the skill sets and competencies that are essential to educate and train a globally competitive workforce.

2012
U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration

The Career Pathways Toolkit: Six Key Elements for Success was developed as part of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration’s Career Pathways Initiative to help guide state and local leaders in building and sustaining career pathway systems. This Toolkit offers a clear and user-friendly road map for administrators, service providers, practitioners, and policy makers seeking to develop career pathway systems at local, regional, and/or state levels. It details the Six Key Elements Framework, highlights promising practices, and provides tools designed to support visioning and strategic planning.

2011
Social Policy Research Associates
Developed on behalf of the U.S. Department of Labor by Social Policy Research Associates

The U.S. economy will emerge from the Great Recession radically transformed from what it was a generation ago. Changes are afoot affecting which occupations and industry sectors will produce employment growth, as well as what education credentials, competencies, and skills will be required to do those jobs.

Community colleges already take steps to address the workforce needs of local employers, but their efforts often are hampered by a lack of detailed, up-to-date information about occupations and skills in demand. A promising, yet still-evolving solution to that problem can be found within the large pool of job openings posted on the Internet.

This paper discusses new sophisticated “spidering” and artificial intelligence technologies that can aggregate and analyze these online job ads and provide a more comprehensive, “real-time” source of information about the hiring and skill needs of local employers. If proven accurate and reliable, analyses of online job ads could complement traditional ways that community colleges determine labor market demand for program and course offerings.

2011
David Altstadt
Jobs for the Future