2023 Post-Conference Summit: Education and Workforce Development
CSG East Education and Workforce Summit
CSG East hosted an Education and Workforce Summit in August at the conclusion of the 61st Annual Meeting in Manchester, New Hampshire. Summit attendees learned about strategies for addressing employment shortages by supporting career pathways for job seekers. State and local policymakers also learned how they can support diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility in the workforce. Speakers included representatives from six states, the U.S. Department of Labor, and CSG partners and associates.
Solving the Employment Crisis: Looking Toward a Bright Future
The first panel featured a discussion of how states can solve the current employment crisis. Dr. Thomas Kochan from MIT shared national trends of the changing workforce and economy. Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment, Taryn Williams, provided an overview of the policy options for modifying workplace systems and supports to meet the needs of the changing workforce. Specifically, she highlighted how the U.S. Department of Labor is collaborating with state policymakers to address workforce shortages across industries. This session concluded with a synopsis by David Donaldson on how organizations, notably school districts, can develop their future workforce through Grow-Your-Own programs. Tennessee, for example, is utilizing a Grow-Your-Own model for teacher apprenticeships. The panelists responded to questions on how states can develop and fund workforce training initiatives to prepare for changes in state economies.
Training the Workforce of Tomorrow: Developing Career Pathways for Youth and Young Adults
The second session of the day focused on high-quality career pathways for youth and young adults entering the workforce. Speakers highlighted approaches used by the public and private sectors to help youth reach their full potential through early employment, work-based learning and mentoring experiences. Discussions highlighted ways that policymakers can engage with youth and young adults from underserved communities and improve outcomes for all members of society. Connecticut, New Jersey and Vermont were represented on this panel. Speakers discussed the policy and practice considerations effective career pathways programs for youth, including Apprenticeships, Career Accelerator Programs and Mental health supports.
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility in Employment and Hiring Efforts
The third session brought together a variety of experts who provided an overview of strategies for enhancing diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEIA) in the public and private sector workforces. Panelists represented the State Exchange on Employment and Disability, Connecticut, New York and Virginia. The panelists discussed the role of government in supporting diverse workforces, including through legislative and administrative directives. The session highlighted approaches to supporting the recruitment, retention and promotion of members of historically underrepresented populations, including individuals from immigrant communities, individuals with disabilities and women of color. Notable legislative initiatives discussed included New York’s Assembly Bill 6328A. This bill amends existing discrimination laws to prohibit discrimination on the basis of citizenship or immigration status, including in hiring practices and employer-employee relations. Another notable policy is Virginia’s House Bill 1993, which requires state agencies to adopt DEIA plans and integrate them into their mission, programs and operations, such as hiring and workplace engagement.
Training, Reskilling and Upskilling the Workforce: Utilizing Apprenticeships to Fill Employment Gaps
The final session focused on how well-designed and implemented apprenticeships can support the future workforce. By increasing labor participation and lowering unemployment, apprenticeships train career aspirants for high-demand and high-quality jobs. Technology-based industries and other sectors benefit substantially from apprenticeships. Session attendees learned about the key components of apprenticeships and the benefits of the German model for training. In addition, panelists discussed the importance of state-expansion of apprenticeships, and how apprenticeships can support a path to high paying jobs in underrepresented communities. This session featured apprenticeship experts from Bitwise Industries and the Urban Institute, along with Deputy Majority Leader Angela McKnight of the New Jersey State Legislature.
Programming for the post-conference summit was supported by The State Exchange on Employment and Disability, The Center for Advancing Policy on Employment for Youth and Bitwise Industries. For more information, please visit the Education and Workforce Development Committee webpage.