An ACT (American College Testing up to 1996) report introduces the need and associated benefits for establishing a national workforce credentialing system, as we know of no other set of activities more important than getting a critical mass of state, national, and public and private workforce leaders to co-construct this foundational framework to address our national workforce challenges.
‘We believe the energy evidenced through the range of activity and strong employer voice for a better set of workforce development solutions provides America with an opportunity to transform its human capital development system. To this end we must address several intensive and systemic workforce development issues, as outlined in this paper. It is against this backdrop that the following key strategic recommendations are offered:
1. Utilize State-Level Data, including the skill set of the workforce coupled with the emerging job opportunities, to assist states to more deeply understand the picture of their workforce as a platform for
engaging employers and key stakeholders in addressing workforce development issues.
2. Develop a National Workforce Skills Credentialing System as a standard methodology for employers, states, regions, and broad industry sectors to document and understand, with ever greater clarity, the skills and abilities of our workforce.
Establish a coalition of national partners, such as states, federal agencies, employers, workforce development policy organizations, and NGOs, with similar goals to strengthen the nation’s workforce system
and build a common national skills credentialing system.
Initiate a field-building agenda, including high-impact, promising practice examples, applied research and development, and standards and policies in support of a national credentialing system.
Launch a “Skill Up Now” campaign with all 50 states in order to share state-level data, catalyze action toward addressing key workforce development issues, and build the awareness of a national credentialing system.
Codify a common language to ensure that all stakeholders—supplyside and demand-side—are communicating effectively. By capitalizing on existing resources, such as the U.S. Department of Labor’s O*Net, we can articulate for those seeking employment or advancement the competencies required and the underlying skills needed to shape their ongoing education and/or training.
Build a dynamic open-source platform that organizes existing credentials; facilitates creation of quality standards for industry recognized, evidence-based credentials; and interfaces with other information systems to create a global workforce development network. The result will be an open-source skills navigation system
that provides real-time information for the purpose of aligning individuals, employers, educators, public service professionals, and other stakeholders around a common framework for success at work.
America has a transformational opportunity to begin building a 21st-century workforce credentialing system. Do we have the will to seize it? ACT believes there is no alternative and we invite you to stand up with us to be part of the solution so that together we can begin to build a more effective U.S. workforce.’
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