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

Aligning State Systems for a Talent-Driven Economy: A Road Map for States

Aligning State Systems for a Talent-Driven Economy: A Road Map for States

Summary The National Governors Association (NGA) released a comprehensive report, Aligning State Systems for a Talent-Driven Economy: A Road Map for States. The road map highlights the current disparities in ...
NGA releases report advising states on decreasing the skills gap in the labor force

NGA releases report advising states on decreasing the skills gap in the labor force

The National Governors Association (NGA) released a comprehensive report, Aligning State Systems for a Talent-Driven Economy: A Road Map for States, on June 20th. The road map highlights the current ...

Education and Workforce Appropriations for FY 2019

Letter to Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Chair Roy Blunt and Ranking Member Patty Murran and U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, ...
Policy Academy on Scaling Work-Based Learning: Knowledge Exchange Learning Lab

Policy Academy on Scaling Work-Based Learning: Knowledge Exchange Learning Lab

The National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) held a learning lab exploring strategies states can use to expand and scale work-based learning opportunities for youth and young ...

Building Inclusive Talent Pipelines for People with Disabilities

May 9-10, 2018 | Madison, WI The National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) held a Learning Lab exploring strategies states can use to develop talent pipelines for ...

Parents And Children Thriving Together: Two-Generation State Policy Network Midpoint Meeting

March 19-20, 2018 | New Brunswick, NJ Two-generation strategies seek to promote children’s learning and healthy development while simultaneously promoting the parents’ success as both caregivers and breadwinners. The National ...

States Expand Opportunities for People with Disabilities

WASHINGTON—The National Governors Association (NGA) today announced a new project aimed at helping states expand training and employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Five states – Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Indiana and Maryland – have ...

NGA Letter on Professional Licensure Reciprocity

March 27, 2018 The Honorable Mark T. Esper Secretary of the Army 101 Army Pentagon Washington, DC 20310-0101 The Honorable Richard V. Spencer Secretary of the Navy 1051 Navy Pentagon ...
NGA 2018 Winter Meeting

NGA 2018 Winter Meeting

Session videos from the National Governors Association Winter Meeting 2018 which took place February 24 & 25 in Washington DC View Full Playlist ...

Economic Policy Library

Testimony – ARRA Oversight

Chairman Towns, Ranking Member Issa, members of the committee, on behalf of the nation’s governors, thank you for holding a hearing to review and discuss state efforts to implement the ...

Testimony – Stimulus Oversight

Chairman Lieberman, Ranking Member Collins, members of the committee, on behalf of the nation’s governors, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today to discuss state efforts to ...

Testimony – Economic and Employment Impact of the Arts and Music Industry

Chairman Miller, Ranking Member McKeon, and members of the committee, my name is John Thomasian and I am the director of the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA ...
Arts & the Economy: Using Arts and Culture to Stimulate State Economic Development

Arts & the Economy: Using Arts and Culture to Stimulate State Economic Development

Through the creative industries, states have an opportunity to create jobs, attract investments, generate tax revenues, and stimulate local economies through tourism and consumer purchases. (View/Download) Arts and culture are ...
Promoting Film and Media to Enhance State Economic Development

Promoting Film and Media to Enhance State Economic Development

Film and media arts can play a key role in state economic development. As economic impact studies continue to demonstrate the ability of the film industry to create high-paying jobs, ...

Testimony – Business Activity Tax

Chairwoman Sanchez, Ranking Member Cannon and members of the Subcommittee, I am pleased to be here on behalf of the National Governors Association (NGA) to communicate governors' strong opposition to ...
State Efforts to Promote Reading and Literary Activities in Communities

State Efforts to Promote Reading and Literary Activities in Communities

Policies and programs that support reading can help create a culture of reading and community action. By promoting literary reading, states can help build vibrant communities and compete in the ...

Testimony – Rural Development

Good morning, Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee. Thank you for inviting me here to testify. I am John Hoeven, Governor of the State of North Dakota, and I ...