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

Early Wins: A Tailored Tool For A Big Problem

Early Wins: A Tailored Tool For A Big Problem

Policymakers and technologists who are working to build learning and employment records talk about the ways they could transform how people navigate education and work—supercharging competency-based education, skills-based hiring, and ...
State Workforce Leaders Explore Opportunities for Strategic Leadership at NGA Summer Workforce Symposium in Fargo

State Workforce Leaders Explore Opportunities for Strategic Leadership at NGA Summer Workforce Symposium in Fargo

Last month, the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) convened two affiliate networks for its biannual Workforce Symposium in Fargo, North Dakota– the National Association of State ...
NGA Center Launches Policy Academy to Advance Youth Apprenticeship

NGA Center Launches Policy Academy to Advance Youth Apprenticeship

In partnership with New America, the NGA Center will deliver technical assistance to the six states that were competitively selected to participate in the Policy Academy as they develop and ...
Learning and Employment Records – States And The Infrastructure Of Opportunity

Learning and Employment Records – States And The Infrastructure Of Opportunity

Governors and other state leaders are concerned about the current labor shortage, occurring during a time when many skilled workers are underemployed or even unemployed. Skills-based approaches to hiring and ...
Strategies to Address Engineering Workforce Challenges

Strategies to Address Engineering Workforce Challenges

Public and private sector practitioners highlight best practices to meet generational infrastructure moment. (Download) Passage of the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) in late 2021 was a ...
Regional Workshops Explore Healthcare Workforce Solutions

Regional Workshops Explore Healthcare Workforce Solutions

During the past three months, NGA's Healthcare Delivery and Postsecondary Education teams convened teams from 20 states and territories in a series of regional workshops as part of the Next ...
NGA Holds Summer Workforce Symposium in Fargo

NGA Holds Summer Workforce Symposium in Fargo

With Governors focused on aligning workforce and economic development activities across their states, NGA’s Summer Workforce Symposium brought together state leaders, including North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, to focus on ...
NGA and US DOL Launch the Workforce Strategic Planning Collaborative

NGA and US DOL Launch the Workforce Strategic Planning Collaborative

Today, the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) launched the Workforce Strategic Planning Collaborative. Through this joint effort, the NGA ...
Workforce Strategic Planning Collaborative

Workforce Strategic Planning Collaborative

Today’s tight labor market, coupled with historic federal investments through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), CHIPS and Science Act, and Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), make the 2024 Workforce ...

Economic Policy Library

Travel, Tourism and Outdoor Recreation

Travel, Tourism and Outdoor Recreation

The NGA Outdoor Recreation Learning Network and Economic Policy teams are working with state recreation and economic policy networks and the Oregon State University’s Center for the Outdoor Recreation Economy ...
Protecting Behavioral Health During Economic Downturns

Protecting Behavioral Health During Economic Downturns

Preventing overdose and other drug-related harms is a priority for the nation's Governors, and the illicit supply of drugs remains more lethal than ever. Economic downturns are linked to adverse ...
How Governors Are Addressing Housing Access and Affordability and the Connection to Workforce Success

How Governors Are Addressing Housing Access and Affordability and the Connection to Workforce Success

Governors are increasingly confronting both workforce and housing shortages in a whole of government, complementary manner to not only ensure economic mobility but also to make sure businesses reach their ...
Governors and States are Advancing Equitable Rural Economic Development and Healthcare

Governors and States are Advancing Equitable Rural Economic Development and Healthcare

Supporting rural communities is a top priority for Governors, and states and territories are working to advance solutions in this area, particularly with respect to economic development and healthcare. More ...
Aligning State Economic and Workforce Development Strategies for Resilient and Vibrant Economies

Aligning State Economic and Workforce Development Strategies for Resilient and Vibrant Economies

During the 2023 NGA Winter Workforce Symposium a discussion was held on how state economic development and workforce development activities can become better aligned to meet the needs of employers ...
Governors Propose Bold Economic Investments in 2023 State of the State Addresses

Governors Propose Bold Economic Investments in 2023 State of the State Addresses

In 2023 State of the State addresses, Governors outlined efforts to grow and diversify their states’ economies. In their 2023 State of the State addresses, Governors announced bold investments to ...
Request for engagement on the guidance and rulemakings in the Financial Data Transparency Act

Request for engagement on the guidance and rulemakings in the Financial Data Transparency Act

We respectfully request the opportunity to provide a municipal securities issuers and financial reporting briefing, engage in ongoing dialogues, and participate in industry working groups that will be developed in ...
Governors Engage with Federal Officials

Governors Engage with Federal Officials

The NGA Winter Meeting offers an opportunity for Governors to meet with Federal Partners and share the real-world impact of federal policies. States are famously “the laboratories of democracy,” and ...
Nation’s Governors Meet with President Biden to Urge Action on Debt Ceiling and Bipartisan Priorities

Nation’s Governors Meet with President Biden to Urge Action on Debt Ceiling and Bipartisan Priorities

WASHINGTON – The nation’s Governors met in the White House today with President Biden, Vice President Harris, Cabinet members, and senior White House advisers to discuss economic issues, infrastructure investment ...