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June Newsletter | Advancing an Equitable, Resilient Workforce System

NSC Resources

Creating an Equitable, Resilient Workforce System: NSC’s newest campaign is dedicated to advancing state and federal policies ensuring a dynamic and inclusive workforce system that creates pathways to quality jobs. As part of this campaign launch, NSC released a new policy brief offering ideas to transform, modernize, and reform WIOA. These recommendations were developed with the input gathered by 15 listening sessions including over 160 stakeholders representing 140 organizations. Our blog dives deeper into this process, the campaign, and how we plan to leverage the recommendations with our partners moving forward.

Equity on the Agenda: Growing a Truly Inclusive Workforce at the 2023 Skills Summit: NSC is grateful for the over 430 partners from 36 states that came together in May to talk and learn about opportunities to advance federal skills training policies. This blog showcases highlights from the event, information on the plenaries and breakout sessions, and includes a link with recordings of each session.

SkillSPAN Spotlight

The Ohio Workforce Coalition released a new report showcasing research on the role racial equity plays in the state’s workforce and public systems. Conducted in partnership with Ohio’s BLU affiliates and through the support of NSC’s Racial Equity Learning Group, the coalition convened a group of state advocates and explored the conditions of low-wage workers in the state, including the wages they earn, the public benefits they are eligible for, and the policy priorities that may best support them. This report, the first in a series, shares their findings and policy recommendations for state leaders and will continue to contribute to the group’s advocacy in upcoming legislative sessions.

The Maryland SkillSPAN coalition successfully advanced HB 0454, which expands access to healthcare jobs for immigrant workers by addressing barriers related to occupational licensing. Existing state law required all applicants for occupational licensure to provide a Social Security Number, creating a burden for immigrants residing in the US with individual taxpayer identification numbers. In response, the coalition released a factsheet with information on the issue and its policy recommendations, and used these insights to guide their advocacy efforts. The new law will go into effect in October 2023.

Workforce News and Insights

Measuring Quality for Non-Degree Workforce Training (Open Campus): In response to workforce demands, more states are investing in non-degree and short-term credentials

and examining the quality of their programs and the data systems collecting this information. Through its participation in NSC’s Policy Academy, Minnesota has emerged as a model for states to look to and learn from. It has the nation’s most robust quality framework, a strong data infrastructure, and buy-in from leaders to empower learners with publicly available information on programs aligned with meaningful career pathways.

Federal Update

NSC Skills on the Hill: What the Debt Ceiling Bill Means for the Workforce: On June 3rd, President Biden signed a deal into law that would suspend the cap on how much the federal government can borrow to pay for existing costs until January of 2025, pushing the next debt limit fight until after the 2024 Presidential election. Watch our latest Skills on the Hill video to learn what advocates need to know about this deal, in addition to the takeaways below:

• The deal includes a slight increase in defense spending over current spending levels, while maintaining non-defense levels in FY24. Unfortunately, this means that the best-case scenario for critical workforce programs like those under WIOA Title I, career and technical education, and adult education is flat funding rather than the robust increases that advocates have championed.

• Although NSC and network partners spoke out against the inefficiency and harm of work requirements, the agreement does expand work requirements for both TANF and SNAP. Changes to the SNAP program expand work requirements for able bodied adults without dependents to 54 by 2025 but the agreement also exempts veterans, the unhoused and certain individuals who were in foster care as children. For TANF, the law alters the Caseload Reduction Credit comparison year from 2005 to 2015. This change will increase the number of TANF recipients who must meet work requirements.

WIOA Reauthorization: Members of NSC’s Government Affairs and Policy and Research team brought our latest recommendations to modernize and transform WIOA to key federal policymakers through a series of meetings with the Dept. of Labor, Senate HELP committee, and the House Education and Workforce committee. While informal conversations on reauthorization have started in the House, members of the Senate see a clearer path for moving a different workforce package forward focused on topics such as apprenticeships and industry/sector partnerships.

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