Workforce Development & Economic Policy

Governors are working to expand economic opportunity and advance the nation’s global competitiveness by developing the skilled workforce and economic environment required for individuals, businesses and communities to thrive.

As the chief executive officers of their states, Governors set strategic priorities to align workforce and economic development activities to build a shared vision of societal and economic well-being. The NGA Workforce Development & Economic Policy program supports Governors and their appointees in developing and executing on these priorities.

Featured Initiatives 

NGA Workforce Development Technical Assistance Program

NGA provides advisors and other Governor-appointed state workforce system leaders with technical assistance on a broad range of workforce development policy issues through policy memoranda; in-state site visits and presentations, and facilitated connections with subject matter experts. The team also holds biannual convenings and monthly briefings and issues a weekly newsletter.

Workforce Strategic Planning Collaborative

The NGA Center’s joint project with the U.S. Department of Labor supports Governors and their advisors as they develop and implement their federally required four-year strategic plans for workforce development. Technical assistance offerings include an emphasis on implementation of federal investments that passed during the 117th Congress, namely the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, CHIPS and Science Act, and Inflation Reduction Act.

NGA Economic Policy Advisors and Economic Policy Technical Assistance

NGA provides Governor-appointed state economic development leaders and advisors with highly responsive and customized best practice research, strategic planning facilitation, timely information from federal partners and subject matter experts, and other support on a broad range of economic policy priorities. This includes an upcoming virtual event series as well as a bi-weekly newsletter.

Meet The Team

Focus Areas

  • Apprenticeship and youth apprenticeship
  • Sector-focused workforce and economic development strategies
  • Workforce development financing, governance, and innovation
  • Outdoor recreation & economic development  
  • Service-to-career pathways and public sector employment
  • IIJA, CHIPS and IRA implementation Future of work, digital transformation and digital skills
  • Disability inclusive workforce policy

Services Available

  • Strategic planning facilitation and best practice guidance on workforce and economic development topics or initiatives
  • Strategic guidance, feedback and meeting facilitation services for Governor-appointed state workforce development boards
  • Convenings for workforce and economic development advisors and state leaders on emerging issues
  • Regular newsletters for state workforce and economic development leaders
  • Customized research briefs and best practice presentations upon request

Workforce Development Library

How Governors Scale High-Quality Youth Apprenticeship

(View/Download) Executive Summary The outlook for high school graduates who have no postsecondary or industry-recognized credentials can appear bleak. Today, it is critical that young people obtain at least some ...
Education Topic Papers a Governor’s Dual Enrollment Framework for Success

Education Topic Papers a Governor’s Dual Enrollment Framework for Success

Summary This topic paper details how dual and concurrent enrollment programs can help states overcome workforce readiness and postsecondary access and completion challenges and how governors can strengthen these programs ...

Improving Workforce Readiness Through Social-Emotional Skills and School Climate

Oct. 21-22, 2019, Santa Fe, NM The National Governors Association (NGA) Solutions: The Center for Best Practices Education Division (NGA Education) hosted a cross-state Learning Collaborative on the topic of ...

Future Workforce Now State Policy Forum for Action

Oct. 16-18 | Chicago, IL States were invited to assemble teams to convene in Chicago, IL for the Future Workforce Now: State Policy Forum for Action from Wednesday, Oct. 16, ...
NGA 2019 Summer Meeting

NGA 2019 Summer Meeting

Governor Steve Bullock, 2018–2019 NGA Chair, formally opens the 2019 Summer Meeting, welcoming all participants to Utah and presiding over a conversation about his initiative, "Good Jobs for All Americans." ...

Improving Outcomes for Disconnected Youth

One in eight youths in America between the ages of 16 and 24 is considered to be “disconnected,” meaning they are neither in school nor employed, and they lack the ...
Governor’s Action Guide to Achieving Good Jobs for All Americans

Governor’s Action Guide to Achieving Good Jobs for All Americans

This guide offers a toolbox of high-impact strategies that governors can take to connect workers to good jobs today and in the future. (View/Download) Summary NGA Center for Best Practices ...

Entrepreneurship in States: Fostering a Startup-Friendly Economy

Summary The National Governors Association (NGA) released a comprehensive report, Entrepreneurship in States: Fostering a Startup-Friendly Economy. States are increasingly devoting more attention to an important, yet sometimes overlooked, tool ...

State Summit on Opportunity Zones

June 19-20, 2019 | Annapolis, MD NGA Solutions: The Center for Best Practices hosted NGA’s first-ever State Summit on Opportunity Zones. This was a collaborative effort between NGA Solutions, NGA ...

Economic Policy Library


The Honorable Greg Walden Chairman Energy and Commerce Committee United States House of Representatives 2185 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515 The Honorable Frank Pallone Ranking Member Energy and Commerce ...

NGA, NCSL Oppose Preemption Bill Under Consideration by Congress

The National Governors Association (NGA) and the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) today issued this statement in opposition to H.R. 2887, the No Regulation Without Representation Act of 2017: ...

2017 Policy Institute for Governors’ Economic Advisors

July 18–21, 2017 | Annapolis, MD The 2017 Institute for Governors’ Economic Policy Advisors allowed governors’ top economic development staff to network, learn from each other, and hear from experts ...

NGA Comments on Federal Tax Reform

MEMORANDUM To: Senator Orrin Hatch, Chair Senate Finance Committee Re: NGA Comments on Federal Tax Reform NGA believes that no fundamental tax reform can succeed unless it is an intergovernmental ...

Drone Innovation Act

The Honorable Jason Lewis United States House of Representatives 418 Cannon House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515 The Honorable Julia Brownley United States House of Representatives 1019 Longworth Office Building ...

Drone Federalism Act

The Honorable Diane Feinstein United States Senate 331 Hart Senate Office Building Washington, D.C. 20510 The Honorable Michael Lee United States Senate 361A Russel Senate Office Building Washington, D.C. 20510 ...

State Officials Stress Importance of 2018 Farm Bill

The National Governors Association (NGA), National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) released the following statement today on states’ priorities for the 2018 Farm Bill: “Governors, legislators and chief state ...

Farm Bill Reauthorization

The Honorable Mitch McConnell Majority Leader United States Senate U.S. Capitol Building, Room S-230 Washington, DC 20510 The Honorable Charles Schumer Minority Leader United States Senate U.S. Capitol Building, Room ...

State, Local Governments Applaud Online Sales Tax Collection Bill

The National Governors Association (NGA), the Council of State Governments, the National Association of Counties, the National Conference of State Legislatures, the National League of Cities, the U.S. Conference of ...