1Effective implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)

WIOA made important changes to a system that was in many ways outdated and inefficient. With its passage, we now have to ensure that the regulatory process by the Department of Labor supports the effective and efficient implementation of the major and important changes made by the law and that necessary resources are available to states and localities as they assess and determine how to modify their current systems.

2Expand available resources and prioritize investments in proven programs

All job training programs should have clear outcome goals (that are appropriate for the population they target) as well as measurement systems that can track their impact. Then resources for effective programs should be prioritized in the budget and new sources of support identified.

3Engage employers as a primary client of the workforce training system

In the absence of meaningful employer input into curriculum design and the training itself, it is little surprise that many trainees complete programs but still find they are unable to secure a position with a family supporting wage, while businesses continue to complain of an expanding skills gap. For our workforce training system to truly thrive, employers will need to be able to see themselves as a central pillar of it.

4Think holistically about education (K-12 and higher education), nonprofit partners, workforce organizations, and employers, and make it easier to assemble and connect resources

Government at every level should work to eliminate the silos that keep entities from working together, and provide incentives for coordinated approaches that make it easy for youth and adults to enter and advance along enterprising career pathways, including education.

5Allow for flexibility to achieve targets and fund outcomes

Policies should specify the desired employment and education-related outcomes (as well as benchmarks along the career pathway) and allow flexibility regarding how these targets can be met, making sure these targets are reasonable and achievable. Competitive grants, Pay for Success systems, and innovation fund-style programming are all tools available to states and communities that are likely to improve results.

6Improve data access and utilization and emphasize accountability

The federal government should prioritize the creation of data systems that connect across silos (such as workforce development, elementary and secondary education, higher education, and employment) and increase access by providers, as well as state and local public agencies so data can be used to improve outcomes.

7Support “bridge building” work experience through social enterprise, internships, and national service

An important way that young people and adults with limited work experience step into the workforce is through work-based learning that provides real job experience while providing training and supports, also known as “bridge building” work. Creative strategies to encourage the development and sustainable funding streams for these “bridge building” jobs are necessary to connect individuals with significant barriers to employment to successful career pathways.

Workforce Development Taskforce