A job-driven workforce contributes to a strong, growing economy by responding to the workforce needs of regional and local employers thereby ensuring positive employment outcomes for job seekers.

Key stakeholders have identified three pressing challenges for workforce development in the 21st century:

  1. A shortage of skilled workers to help employers expand their businesses.
  2. A lack of clarity about what skills these jobs require.
  3. Uncertainty of hard-working Americans about what job-related skills to pursue and whether work opportunities will be available when they finish.

Stakeholders—including employers and educators—need an effective strategy for integrating educational instruction and workforce development that will benefit employers, incumbent workers, and future workers. By working together, employers and educators can help employers meet their workforce needs and make Adult Education and Career and Technical Education job-driven. These partnerships can:

  • Increase foundation skills development within the workplace.
  • Foster new skills development and internal job promotion.
  • Provide stepping stones for low-wage, entry-level workers to more productive employment.
  • Link education/training and workforce development to labor market trends and needs.
  • ENGAGE EMPLOYERS. Work up-front with employers to determine local hiring needs and design training programs that are responsive to those needs.
  • EARN AND LEARN. Offer work-based learning opportunities—on-the-job training, internships, pre-apprenticeships, and Registered Apprenticeships—as training paths to employment.
  • SMART CHOICES. Make better use of data to drive accountability, inform what programs are offered and what is taught, and offer user-friendly information for job seekers to choose programs and pathways that work for them.
  • MEASURING MATTERS. Measure and evaluate employment and earnings outcomes.
  • STEPPING STONES. Promote a seamless progression from one educational level to another and across work-based training and education.
  • OPEN DOORS. Break down barriers to accessing job-driven training and hiring for any American who is willing to work, including access to supportive services and guidance.
  • REGIONAL PARTNERSHIPS. Coordinate American Job Centers, local employers, education and training providers, economic development agencies, and other public and private entities to make the most of limited resources.
This website was developed by NOVA Research Company with assistance from the LINCS Technical Support Contract and funding from the U.S. Department of Education (ED), Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE), under Contract No. ED-VAE-14-O-5014. Opinions expressed herein do not necessarily represent positions or policies of the U.S. Department of Education, and no official endorsement by the U.S. Department of Education should be inferred.