A State-by-State Resource for Preparing for the Future of Work

by Laura Maher

The National Governors Association (NGA) recently released a toolkit to help state policy leaders create more resilient local workforces that are adaptable to ongoing technological change, disruption, and innovation. The report and digital resource represent the culmination of Future Workforce Now, a partnership between NGA, the Fab Foundation, and FHI 360 that was funded by Siegel Family Endowment, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Schmidt Futures. Future Workforce Now involved convening a series of workshops, feedback sessions, and fact-finding surveys that served as the backbone for the toolkit, and was designed to source insights that policymakers and influencers at the state level could use to affect change within their own communities.

Reimagining Workforce Policy in the Age of Disruption” maps out potential policy solutions that states can adopt to prepare for the workforce of the future, and a first-of-its-kind interactive digital resource that explores the 10 strategic pathways required to implementing three recommended transformation objectives:

  • Build a statewide ecosystem to promote continuous lifelong learning
  • Invest in an agile, technologically resilient workforce
  • Enable every worker to participate in the workforce of the future through comprehensive support

The report is designed to achieve maximum stakeholder alignment, and is intended to help decision makers in state government, employers, school leaders, community and technical colleges, four year universities, workforce coalitions, and other skills training programs develop a common vision around factors like budget distribution, data sharing, and credentials. It also offers a detailed, step-by-step framework that all of these actors can use to assess local needs, prioritize among various policy interventions, allocate resources effectively, and implement a process of evaluation and continuous improvement. 

This toolkit is more timely than ever, and includes recommendations that state governments and local leaders can use to both plan for the long term effects of workforce change, and to respond to the more immediate impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re proud to see this work enter the public realm, and are excited to see how these lessons and tools shape policy at the state level all over the country.

Laura Maher is a Relationship Manager at Siegel Family Endowment