Coordinating Postsecondary Education and the Public Workforce System in Workforce Planning

Policy Insights, Coordinating Postsecondary Education and the Public Workforce System in Workforce Planning, Cover Graphic
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This brief provides an overview of key components of the public workforce system that are most relevant for state postsecondary education planners and leaders as they address issues of educational attainment and workforce skill needs, particularly among lower-income or less-skilled segments of their state. Among the most notable features coming from the reauthorization of the public workforce system in 2014 are the facets that pave the way for states to make greater use of cross-system partnerships, career pathway models, performance measurement and data-driven improvement, and other mechanisms for bringing their workforce training and higher education agendas into better alignment. Much of this activity will play out at the local level, but state higher education leaders can be instrumental in facilitating the engagement of their institutions with these partnerships at both the state and local levels. Additionally, community colleges in particular will want to pursue a broader dialogue with public workforce agencies because changes in WIOA make postsecondary training a more immediate possibility for workforce customers than was previously the case. This brief presents specific opportunities for forging stronger links between the public workforce and postsecondary education systems and examples of states that are making progress on that front.