Workforce Development

While the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act plays a role in workforce development, state policymakers actively seek ways beyond WIOA requirements to connect education with workforce and economic development efforts in their states. To achieve this, states adopt policies to connect education, postsecondary attainment and economic development with state workforce development.

If you are new to workforce development, start with this three-part blog series, which explores board membership, duties and incentives.

We also have the following general resources that provide more state-by-state information on the issue.


50-State Comparisons

How all states approach workforce development policies.


Policy Reports

Relevant context and state policy examples on workforce development.

Blog Posts

Legislative trends and other news with implications for workforce development.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold, we have seen many changes to daily life and work.

Riding the crest of the Roaring ‘20s, the Casa Loma Orchestra recorded the iconic song “Happy Days Are Here Again” on October 29, 1929. On the same day, not far from their New York City recording studio, the stock market collapsed and hastened the Great Depression.

Not a day goes by that I don’t read an article or hear an anecdote about how the future of the workforce requires more postsecondary credentials. By the year 2030, the U.S. could lose $1.7 trillion in revenue because of labor shortages.

Word on the street is apprenticeships create a direct pathway to in-demand jobs by providing an on-ramp for individuals to enter the workforce while learning the skills needed to enter specific jobs and careers.

In this series we examine current research and state examples of work-based learning in practice.

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State Information Requests

Brief issue scans, typically provided within 48 hours, that provide top-level information on workforce development.

Unemployment Benefits While Pursuing Postsecondary Education or Training
CTE Funding
Workforce Development Boards
State CTE Offices

Searching for something different?

View all available workforce development resources:

Explore our State Education Policy Tracking resource:

Browse pending legislation on our State Education Policy Watchlist: