Skills in the States: Sector Partnership Policy Toolkit

Middle-skill jobs make up the largest portion of the labor market, yet employers can’t find enough workers trained to the middle-skill level. Sector partnerships help solve this problem. Sector partnerships bring together multiple employers in an industry with education, training, labor, community-based and other organizations to address that industry’s local skill needs. States should adopt policies to establish, scale, and sustain local sector partnerships in their communities.

Through a 50-state scan, National Skills Coalition has identified 21 states with sector partnership policies that authorize ongoing state support for local sector partnerships through funding, technical assistance and program initiatives. Of these 21 states, only 10 have policies that include all three components. States without policies can use this toolkit to establish them, and those with policies can use it to strengthen or scale-up their existing policies.

This toolkit includes the components of a robust state sector partnership policy, including funding, technical assistance and setting criteria; strategies for managing and assessing those sector partnership policies, within the context of the Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act; a legislative template to be used to establish sector partnerships; and case studies of efforts in Massachusetts, Maryland and Colorado.