For Business & Workforce

Employers and workforce development leaders are grappling with a common set of challenges. How to meet the future workforce demands of their state and regional economies? How to target recruitment and training efforts in high demand sectors to create a steady stream of highly-trained labor for current and future job openings? How to improve the skills of the current labor force? At ESG, we specialize in strategies to address the education to workforce challenges, bringing years of experience and expertise to bear to achieve greater impact.

Communities leading the way

In our work with states and regions, we have seen how well-implemented strategies to improve economic alignment can make a difference in the lives of students and the well-being of communities.

  • Louisiana developed a robust model for employer engagement through its Workforce Investment Council, putting industry in charge of defining the pathways and credentials most essential in today’s economy.
  • Nevada created a Governor’s Office of Workforce Innovation to promote a skilled, diverse, and aligned workforce through establishing mechanisms for cooperation and collaboration among K-12, higher education and business leaders.
  • Indiana is working to reengage adults with some college, but no degree to return to postsecondary education by offering free courses to complete credentials in priority workforce sectors, simultaneously helping meet the state’s attainment and workforce goals.
  • Rhode Island’s postsecondary and workforce leaders are partnering to develop a joint action plan to meet the state’s 70% credential attainment goal, with a focus on how to serve returning adults and offer programs and pathways that align with the current and future industry needs.
  • Boston, MA’s Private Industry Council partners annually with the local school system to help place over 3,000 students in summer work-based learning opportunities, creating pipeline to the future for students and employers.

Why cross-sector alignment is critical to reach your goals

To support long-term success for students and states, K-12, postsecondary and workforce leaders must look beyond their sector. The data are clear that a high school diploma alone is not enough for long-term student success. Four out of five employers report gaps in recent high school graduates’ skills. The unemployment rate for individuals without some postsecondary education or training is more than double than their peers. Nearly every job created after Great Recession is for individuals with more than a high school education. In the next few years, two-thirds of all jobs will require some postsecondary education or training.

Approximately 70% of all undergraduate and graduate students work while enrolled in school, many averaging more than 30 hours per week. Most students work in the service sectors, which is a missed opportunity for employers and students. With stronger partnerships between states, institutions, and employers, students could have more robust opportunities to earn certificates that have value in the labor market, filling workforce gaps and providing more consistent wages and opportunities to advancement while they work toward a postsecondary credential.

All individuals deserve opportunities and options to succeed in their chosen path. States need deep alignment—between K-12, postsecondary and workforce systems—to ensure that all youth and adults receive the supports necessary to prosper in education, work and life.

How ESG can help achieve impact

Education Strategy Group’s mission is to increase educational attainment rates and expand economic opportunity in the U.S. We work with K-12, postsecondary, and business and industry leaders to scale programs aligned with labor market needs, strengthen partnerships between educators and employers, and expand work-based learning opportunities. As a team, we bring years of combined local, state, and national experience building networks, developing policies, and implementing programs to support students. Learn more about Our People.

We currently support education to workforce alignment activities in a number of settings. We are partnering with the Council of Chief State School Officers and Advance CTE on the New Skills for Youth initiative to engage employers in partnerships with states to develop high-quality pathways and offer work-based learning opportunities. We have partnered with Rhode Island to help the K-12, postsecondary and workforce systems collaborate on an action agenda to deliver more postsecondary credentials in the fields with the most significant labor market needs. We partnered with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation to bring business and industry leaders to the table to guide career readiness efforts in states and communities. Learn more about our current and past Clients.

For more information about our work, visit our Focus Areas and Services.

Learn more

To discuss how we can help you achieve greater impact, Contact Us.