CSG's State Pathways to Prosperity Initiative

As part of its State Pathways to Prosperity initiative, CSG released a report in August that outlines recommendations for state-level policies to ensure students are prepared for postsecondary education and the workforce. The report, “A Framework for State Policymakers: Developing Pathways to Ensure a Skilled Workforce for State Prosperity,” containing the work of the CSG National Task Force on Workforce Development and Education, represents more than a year of study, dialogue and deliberation by state officials from both parties, all regions of the U.S. and from diverse perspectives. This session featured some of the experts and policymakers who dedicated their time to crafting these options for robust state-level policies and explored how states are preparing today’s students for the jobs of tomorrow.

Aligning jobs with workers who possess the skills to succeed is a challenge that calls for solutions from K-12 and postsecondary systems and employers. Policymakers, education experts and industry leaders discussed emerging innovations in postsecondary education and its successful alignment with workforce development. Specific policy areas addressed included personalized learning, competency-based education, career pathways and flexible routes to college completion. Attendees also came together on a dialogue on best practice strategies and exemplary policy opportunities at the state and institutional levels.

The Council of State Governments released a report last week that outlines recommendations for state-level policies that help ensure students are prepared for postsecondary education and the workforce. The report, "A Framework for State Policymakers: Developing Pathways to Ensure a Skilled Workforce for State Prosperity," is the brainchild of CSG's 2014 national leaders who sought to help states prepare today's students for the jobs of tomorrow. Tennessee Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, who served as CSG's 2014 national chair, led the State Pathways to Prosperity initiative, a multi-year effort to identify obstacles—and alternative pathways—to prosperity for many Americans.

Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago examined the workforce development system in Chicago to discover characteristics and practices common to successful programs. Researchers chose six community-based employment and training programs assisting unemployed or underemployed adults. What can we learn from Chicago?

The issues state leaders from across the political spectrum can agree on are rare, but the promotion and cultivation of homegrown entrepreneurs might just be one of them. State leaders know entrepreneurs not only create jobs, but also contribute to an increase in wages and standards of living.

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