Building the Foundation: Strengthening Public-Private Systems for Upskilling Workers

Millions of Americans are employed but lack key literacy, numeracy, or technology-related skills that would enable them to achieve economic mobility. The issue is especially acute in the service sector where 20 million people lack key foundational skills. The National College Transition Network (NCTN) is a partner in a new initiative led by the National Skills Coalition (NSC), Building the Foundation, to help address this challenge.

NSC is providing technical assistance to select states to align public and private investments and policy frameworks that enable adults with basic skills gaps to achieve economic mobility.  

The anticipated outcomes are that:

  • State-level adult education and workforce administrators will take steps toward improved or expanded upskilling opportunities for low-skilled adults in at least three states.
  • Business leaders across a variety of sectors will help inform the development of materials demonstrating the return on investment of upskilling.
  • Three states will have identified and begun to address systems change goals, such as greater public awareness, new multi-stakeholder partnerships, and increased capacity related to upskilling.
  • At least three specific state or federal-level recommendations for systems change or reform will have demonstrated progress aligned with NSC’s set of progress indicators.

The NCTN is providing technical assistance to communities in selected states focused on designing and implementing a variety of upskilling strategies. These strategies may include: integrated education and training to accelerate learning; education and career navigation/advising; applying braided funding approaches; and incorporating technological tools to expand the reach and quality of programs. The NCTN will identify best practices and tools and share expertise gleaned from implementing similar strategies in prior initiatives to assist localities in planning and implementation.

Project Director: Sandy Goodman, Director of Career Pathways, National College Transition Network

Funder: Walmart Giving