More than half the nation’s states are exploring or implementing sector strategies— partnerships of employers within one industry that bring together government, education, training, economic development, labor and community organizations to identify and solve the workforce needs of that industry within a regional labor market—making them the most consistently adopted approach to meeting businesses’ need for skilled workers and workers’ need for good jobs, according to a report released by the National Governors Association (NGA), the Corporation for a Skilled Workforce and the National Skills Coalition.

State Sector Strategies Coming of Age: Implications for State Workforce Policymakers offers a snapshot of sector strategies today, an overview of what makes them different from traditional workforce and economic development programs and a description of actions that state administrators and policymakers can take as part of a policy framework to support the strategies’ creation and effective operation.

Amid the challenges of the slowly recovering national economy, states can use sector strategies to:

  • Address current and emerging skill gaps;
  • Provide a means to engage directly with industry across traditional boundaries; and
  • Better align state programs and resources serving employers and workers.