Accelerating State Adoption of Sector Strategies

This website is part of an ongoing project focused on accelerating the adoption of sector strategies as a state policy framework. State sector strategies support sector initiatives, which are defined as regional, industry-specific approaches to workforce needs, implemented by an employer-driven partnership of relevant systems and stakeholders. They are part of a growing movement by states and local areas to adopt industry-focused strategies that are rooted in the economic, human capital and community strengths of a region. They rely on strong partnerships of employers and stakeholders to make data-informed decisions about workforce needs and solutions that will keep regional industry strong and provide quality jobs and advancement opportunities for workers, particularly low-income and at risk workers.

To design and implement the project, the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA) joined with two national leaders in the workforce development and sector strategy fields, the Corporation for a Skilled Workforce (CSW) and the National Network of Sector Partners (NNSP). Recognizing a rejuvenated focus by policy makers on regional skills-based economic growth models, the project partners sought to design a project that would lead to a greater understanding of how governors and state policy leaders might develop the infrastructure and policies that best promote sector strategies as one way to grow regional economies.

About the Project

The project is now in its second 2-year phase. It includes a Learning Network of twelve states with significant sector strategy experience, and a Policy Academy of six states that are just beginning to implement sector strategies. In addition, this website is designed to support the work of those member states, but also to provide resources and tools more broadly to any state interested in pursuing sector strategies. Learn more about the first phase of the project.

About the Partners

National Governors Association Center for Best Practices

The National Governors Association Center for Best Practices develops innovative solutions to today’s most pressing public policy challenges and is the only research and development firm that directly serves the nation’s governors. Through the NGA Center, governors and their advisors:

  • Learn what works, what doesn’t, and what lessons can be learned from other states grappling with similar challenges;
  • Obtain specialized assistance designing and implementing new policy programs or improving the effectiveness of current programs;
  • Receive up-to-the-minute information about what is happening in other state capitals and Washington, D.C.

Corporation for a Skilled Workforce

Corporation for a Skilled Workforce is the national nonprofit that leaders trust most to help them create good jobs and education opportunities so that families and businesses can adapt and thrive in the changing economy. We help governors innovate to make their states more competitive. We make sure that businesses have the talent they need to flourish. We ensure that people have the skills they need to compete for well-paying jobs. We embrace collaboration and have made it the cornerstone of our approach. Our expertise and experience gives us the tools to tackle the toughest problems and discover the greatest opportunities.

National Network of Sector Partners

The National Network of Sector Partners (NNSP), an initiative of the Insight Center for Community Economic Development, is a nation-wide membership organization dedicated to promoting the use of sector initiatives and the strategies that support them. Our purpose is to improve employment and economic opportunities for low-income individuals, families, and communities; to strengthen industry sectors that are important to regional labor markets; and to increase regional economic vitality. NNSP’s members include sector initiative leaders, policy makers, researchers, representatives from industry and labor, funders, and other supporters. NNSP works in partnership with these and other stakeholders to design, implement, improve, and scale up sector initiatives, and to help workforce, economic development, education, and social service systems serve their customers effectively.

About the Funders

Charles Stewart Mott Foundation

Charles Stewart Mott Foundation is a charitable foundation founded in 1926 by Charles Stewart Mott of Flint, Michigan. The foundation administers funds through four programs — Civil Society, Environment, Flint Area, and Pathways Out of Poverty — and is committed to supporting projects that promote a just, equitable and sustainable society.The Mott Foundation, and particularly program officer Jack Litzenberg, has been an active partner in conceiving and developing this project to Accelerate Adoption of State Sector Strategies.

Ford Foundation

The Ford Foundation's goals are to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. To meet those goals, it funds initiatives by those living and working closest to where problems are located; promotes collaboration among the nonprofit, government and business sectors; and seeks to ensure participation by men and women from diverse communities and all levels of society. 

Joyce Foundation

The Joyce Foundation primarily funds organizations in the Great Lakes states. It supports efforts to protect the Great Lakes, to reduce poverty and violence in the region, and to ensure its residents good schools, decent jobs, a strong democracy, and a diverse and thriving culture.