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September Newsletter | Join Us for the 2023 Skills in the States Forum: A Gathering of SkillSPAN Partners in Baltimore, Maryland


2023 Skills in the States Forum

NSC’s annual state policy convening is coming up! Here’s what SkillSPAN partners need to know:


The Forum takes place in Baltimore, Maryland on Nov 16 – 17.


All SkillSPAN leads are invited to two closed-door, pre-meetings taking place on Nov 15. More information on these pre-meetings will be shared with leads in the coming weeks.


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

  • A People-Powered Infrastructure pre-meeting, which 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, and environmental groups.


General registration is open and a tentative schedule is available with more information on the topics that will be covered during our plenaries and breakout sessions.


SkillSPAN Spotlight

Indiana SkillSPAN coordinated a sign-on letter to Senator Braun and Senator Young’s offices in support of the 21st Century Workforce Act. The bill would create formula and competitive grants for states to train workers who have lost their jobs and to upskill workers with key digital skills. Stakeholders from the coalition also met with both offices in support of the bill, which is being led by Senator Kaine (D-VA) and is in search of a Republican Senator co-sponsor. NSC’s 2 Government Affairs team is happy to organize similar efforts with SkillSPAN leads if interested.


New York SkillSPAN successfully advanced language in the state budget that established a six-month income disregard for individuals participating in state or federally subsidized employment programs. This ensures participants of qualified work activities can retain full public benefits for six months as a strategy to mitigate a "benefits cliff". This win is a product of the coalition's advocacy over the last three years, which included research and analytics to inform strategic relationship-building and educating of leaders whose districts would benefit the most.


NSC Resources

Why the Farm Bill Matters to Skills Advocates: NSC partners across the country are closely watching the 2023 reauthorization of the Farm Bill as it will have significant implications for the communities we serve and the programs they are served through, including SNAP E&T. Our latest blog shares what skills advocates in NSC's network need to know about the bill, including its history, the challenges and bright spots that emerged through implementation over the years, and the opportunities to address barriers in this next stage. We will continue to keep partners informed of the bill's status and federal advocacy strategies to help inform policymaker decision-making.


Digital Equity Campaign Update: This blog shares the latest moves on the Hill, in states, and by federal agencies to advance the priorities in NSC's Digital Equity @ Work campaign. Read about the actions leaders at every level are taking and the opportunities it provides for SkillSPAN partners and their communities.


Workforce News and Insights

Michigan Women Are Landing Good-Paying Construction Trades Jobs (The Gander): Women in Skilled Trades (WIST) is a 16-week program, designed specifically to help Michigan women succeed in construction careers by providing basic industry training in the classroom and hands-on activities. The program is 3 free and was recently expanded from 11 to 16 weeks through state and federal investments, including $6.2 million in federal grants to expand apprenticeship programs statewide. WIST students are taught a variety of industry basics, including framing, electrical work, welding, and roofing, and graduates are guaranteed an interview for a full-fledged apprenticeship program with a Michigan labor union.


Federal Update

As mentioned in our network call last month, government funding will run out on September 30th unless Congress comes to agreement through a Continuing Resolution or an omnibus bill that funds the government for FY24. Currently, the House and Senate are far apart in spending priorities, with the House bill seeking drastic cuts and the Senate bill keeping funding levels flat. In response, SkillSPAN partners are encouraged to join and share NSC’s sign-on letter urging congress to pass FY24 appropriations without cuts and to invest in key network priorities like industry sector partnerships, short-term Pell grants, digital skills, and career pathways.

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