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Through this program NGA provides state workforce system leaders with best practice research, strategic planning and meeting facilitation, access to federal partners and subject matter experts, and other support on a broad range of workforce development policy and program administration issues.


Governors play a central role in guiding the strategic vision, development, and implementation of workforce development policy and programs in their states. Leaders of state workforce development systems are responsible for actualizing their Governor’s vision and goals for workforce development. To assist in this work, the NGA Center for Best Practices provides  robust, ongoing assistance and peer support—known as the Workforce Development Technical Assistance Program—to support these leaders in their roles. Specifically, through this program NGA provides state workforce system leaders with best practice research, strategic planning and meeting facilitation, access to federal partners and subject matter experts, and other support on a broad range of workforce development policy and program administration issues.

Specific areas of focus:

  • State workforce development policy and innovative practices;
  • State administration of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and other federal employment and training programs;
  • The relationship between workforce development and related programs to economic development, secondary and postsecondary education, and human service programs;
  • Strategies for building a high-performing state workforce development board; and
  • Professional development and capacity building for state workforce system leadership.

Each year, more than 30 states and territories participate in activities through this program. Participating states can designate any of the following individuals in their states as participants:

  • Governor’s workforce, education, and/or economic policy advisor
  • Governor-appointed state workforce board chair
  • State workforce board staff director
  • State liaison from the state’s workforce development agency

Support To States On Workforce Development Policy

  • General and customized technical assistance including facilitation of state workforce development board meetings or strategic planning sessions; best practice research papers or presentations; facilitated dialogue with peers in other states; and more.
  • Analysis and regular updates from the NGA Office of Government Relations on federal workforce and education legislation and the implications, implementation requirements, and challenges for states.
  • Direct access to colleagues in peer states, national experts, and NGA staff, including through:
    • – Biannual convenings of two national NGA Center affiliate associations that address cutting edge education and workforce issues confronting states;
    • – Monthly calls for state workforce system leaders on pressing federal legislative concerns and current issues impacting state workforce development systems.
  • Regular updates and information on federal activity, state best practices, and more, including through a regular newsletter and private online resource hub 

The Workforce Development Technical Assistance Program is operated by the NGA Center’s Workforce Development & Economic Policy program, with support from other NGA Center policy teams including Postsecondary Education, Children & Families, Infrastructure, Health, and others.

For more information on this program, please contact Rachael Stephens, Program Director, Workforce Development & Economic Policy at rstephens@nga.org .  


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