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Workforce Development


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Workforce Development

The Department of Commerce’s mission is to create the conditions for economic growth and opportunity for all communities. Essential to that mission is the need to build sustainable, employer-driven career pathways to meet employers’ need for talent and to connect Americans to quality jobs. As outlined in its strategic plan, the Department of Commerce has a three-pronged approach to this work:

  1. Invest in employer-driven regional workforce education and training systems that lead to quality jobs.
  2. Foster transformative employer practices to address their challenges in recruiting and developing a diverse, skilled workforce.
  3. Produce and disseminate timely, clear data and information to help Americans discover and participate in opportunities for skills development and economic advancement.

The Department’s workforce development agenda is guided by a set of best practices and principles. Highly effective workforce investments:

  • Are employer led to ensure skilled workers are connected to quality job opportunities.
  • Are guided by multiple community partners such as educational institutions, labor unions, community-based organizations, and economic development organizations.
  • Include wrap-around services to support the most vulnerable populations.
  • Increase educational and workplace diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Prioritize proven earn and learn models like Registered Apprenticeships.
  • Lead to stackable, industry-recognized credentials and ensure that information about credentials is publicly accessible through the use of linked open data formats that support full transparency and interoperability. 
  • Measure and evaluate outcomes such as workers’ employment and earnings. Ensure that data is transparent, actionable, and linked back to those executing programs.
  • Build sustainable systems and partnerships that endure to serve employers and workers beyond the federal investment.
  • Connect workforce development to economic development.
  • Are coordinated across the federal government.
  • Encourage the use of other government and private funding.

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