Departments of Education, Labor, and Health and Human Services Want Ideas on How to Better Prepare Our Workforce

Categories:
Jobs/ Employment, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

 

Young woman in a business suit shaking a job interviewer's hand.On April 23, the Departments of Education, Labor and Health and Human Services put a call out for feedback to find out what works, what doesn’t and what can be improved.

Better aligning intern-agency services at the local level will help American workers earn the industry-recognized credentials to apply and get those coveted jobs that pay living wages.

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius agrees. “We’re working to create high-quality job prospects for hard-working families by matching careers in growing fields with people who are eager to fill them. Community feedback will help us improve the ways we address our country’s workforce needs,” said Secretary Sebelius.

Ensuring robust economic growth, a thriving middle class, and broadly shared prosperity will require a significant expansion of the skills and knowledge of American workers over the next few decades. With that goal in mind, the departments are working together to explore opportunities to improve the alignment of their programs at the state, tribal or local levels to support robust career pathways systems.

The Request for Information marks the first time that the departments are jointly collecting and analyzing information, a process that we believe will yield important insights on:

  • Benefits of and challenges to aligning diverse funding streams, programs and stakeholders around career pathway systems
  • Current and potential future use of career pathways systems to help at risk populations gain skills and access the middle class.  At-risk populations include:
    • Low-income youth and adults
    • Low-skilled youth and adults
    • Out-of-school youth
    • Individuals with disabilities
    • Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) recipients
    • Tribal communities
    • English learners
    • Immigrants
    • Rural populations
    • Veterans
    • Currently and formerly incarcerated individuals
    • Dislocated workers
    • Trade-affected workers
    • And many others

In addition, the joint analysis will generate essential information that will inform policy development and the next generation of investments and technical assistance by providing us with greater clarity on the catalysts and obstacles to career pathways systems development.

We encourage you to respond and to forward this request along to other people and/or organizations that have important insights to share.