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October Newsletter | Join Us for NSC's State Policy Convening! Explore the Final Schedule and Pre-Meetings for SkillSPAN Leads


2023 Skills in the States Forum

NSC’s annual state policy convening is just weeks away! Check out the final schedule and speakers set to join us. As a reminder, SkillSPAN leads are invited to attend the following pre-meetings on Nov 15th:


  • The SkillSPAN pre-meeting will provide space for leads to connect with one another, share best practices, and strategize for advocacy efforts in the coming year.

  • The People Powered Infrastructure pre-meeting will focus on building a diverse, multigenerational infrastructure and clean energy workforce. Attendees will include NSC state partners, labor groups, racial and gender equity orgs, environmental groups, and funders.


NSC's People Powered Infrastructure Campaign

Earlier this year, NSC launched a campaign dedicated to advancing equitable workforce development policies and investments related to infrastructure and clean energy. Since then, we’ve worked with partners in states, federal agencies, and national organizations to build public and policymaker understanding of the opportunities at hand and actions needed. Highlights include:


  • A new analysis shared by NSC and BlueGreen Alliance estimating the workforce needs that will emerge through investments from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Inflation Reduction Act, and CHIPS Act. Spoiler: Nearly 3 million jobs per year will be supported over the life span of the laws.

  • A new state policy playbook to guide policymakers, governors, advocates, and agency leaders who want to cultivate a strong, diverse, and multigenerational workforce capable of driving the development and maintenance of our nation’s new infrastructure. This resource outlines 2 NSC’s six policy planks under our People Powered Infrastructure campaign and includes four case studies of partners who are models to learn from.

  • Twenty-six of NSC’s partners were awarded grants through the U.S. Department of Labor’s Building Pathways to Infrastructure Jobs Grant Program. These funds will support sector strategies to design training programs that support career pathways, promote industry and sector diversity and equity, and provide supportive services to prepare workers for jobs in the renewable energy, transportation and broadband infrastructure sectors.


NSC is actively working to equip our network with tools like our state policy playbook and analysis, including through a series of presentations to SkillSPAN coalitions to help inform the development of their 2024 efforts. Please reach out if you are interested in planning a presentation for your state partners and coalition members!


NSC’s People Powered Infrastructure campaign will be a key topic at our Skills in the States Forum, including the pre-meeting mentioned above. This closed-door, invite-only convening will bring together key partners in states to support the advancement of our shared policy goals, explore the partnership and advocacy strategies required, and provide an opportunity to discuss resources available to support these strategies. The intimate setting will support the relationship building and strategy development needed for cohesive state action and will help set the foundation for ongoing collaborations and efforts moving forward.


SkillSPAN Spotlight

Indiana SkillSPAN lead, the Indiana Community Action Poverty Institute, published an op-ed and testified at a legislative hearing on childcare to advocate for affordable childcare’s role in the financial well-being of families and the development of a skilled workforce. The testimony was developed in partnership with NSC staff and the Indiana Chamber of Commerce and included research that backed policy recommendations to support student parents, invest in childcare 3 providers and workers, increase access to affordable childcare, and support employer-sponsored childcare.


Georgia SkillSPAN lead, the Georgia Policy and Budget Institute, published a new research paper outlining policy solutions to address barriers within the state’s workforce and education systems. Policy topics in the report will inform the coalition’s 2024 efforts and include: addressing occupational segregation, expanding opportunities to upskill workers with rising digital skills demands, strengthening the workforce adaptability and inclusivity through WIOA state planning, and expanding state need-based financial aid programs.


Workforce News and Insights

College Support Programs Tailored to TANF Parents Can Expand Employment Opportunities, Increase Earnings, and Promote Equity (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities): This piece outlines the imperative and opportunity for states to use the flexibility granted within TANF to support student parents in their participation of two-and-four-year college programs. It includes models from several states that can be learned from and replicated. This recommendation aligns with NSC’s Making College Work campaign, which charges state leaders with leveraging policies, like TANF, to help adult students meet their personal, financial and academic needs while completing education and training programs.


Federal Update

Appropriations: Congress narrowly avoided a government shutdown by passing a short-term funding bill at current levels. The bill funds the government until mid November when Congress will either need to pass another short-term stopgap measure or pass funding for the remainder of the 2024 Fiscal Year.


Career Skills Training Grants: The Department of Energy recently announced a new funding opportunity to provide more than $8 million in competitive grants to cover the 50% federal share of programs that provide concurrent classroom and 4 on-the-job training for installation of energy efficient building technologies. Eligible partnerships include those between non-profits, labor, and industries, as well as those with workforce investment boards, CBOs, and educational institutions. The deadline for applications is November 27th.


Skills Training Accounts Bill: Representatives Norcross and Horsford introduced the 21st Century Skills Act, which proposes replacing individual training accounts with a mandatory funding program that supports training, support services, and career services for low-and-moderate income workers. This proposal closely reflects a policy recommendation under NSC’s Creating an Equitable, Resilient Workforce System campaign. Our government affairs team will continue to share more about the legislation and related efforts in the coming weeks.

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