Governors’ Investments to Build a Strong Workforce in Emerging Sectors

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear and Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon led an Economic Development and Revitalization Task Force meeting to discuss “Governors’ Investments to Build a Strong Workforce in Emerging Sectors.”

Governors were joined by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, Dan Brouillette, President & CEO of Edison Electric Institute, and Shari Liss, Executive Director of the SEMI Foundation. The panelists discussed the workforce needs and opportunities created by federal investments under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), and the CHIPS and Science Act. They also shared key insights on the industry, government, and educational partnerships needed to attract, retain, reskill, and upskill workers to meet current and future needs.

Governors Beshear and Gordon opened the session by outlining how workforce policies are playing out in their states and in Task force discussions.

“Over the past three years, our Task Force has worked in a collaborative and nonpartisan manner on some of the most important issues America faces: growing our states’ economies, creating good-paying jobs for our people, and modernizing our infrastructure,” stated Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear. “We’ve worked to ensure states and territories have the federal resources they need to succeed – especially in terms of infrastructure investment and keeping America competitive with advances in technology. In Kentucky, we are working to meet the needs of new and growing employers by working with industries and our local governments, school districts, and career and technical colleges.” 

“Like Kentucky, Wyoming is tailoring its economic development strategy to build a strong workforce for both emerging and existing sectors,” stated Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon. “In 2021, I created the Wyoming Innovation Partnership (WIP) to ensure that the right people, including education and business partners, are all at the table to develop innovative, data-driven workforce solutions. As part of our work to attract, train and retain workers of tomorrow, I’m focused on the housing, education and childcare systems that will be needed to support them. And of course, I’m always thinking about the unique challenges that our rural communities face in finding talent to complete projects.”

During the meeting, Governors highlighted innovative strategies they are leading in their states and territories to support workforce in the infrastructure, energy and technology sectors. The conversation centered around energy resilience, the critical minerals supply chain, strategies to bring people back into the workforce, K-12 educational opportunities and the childcare challenges faced by the modern workforce.

This important conversation and work will continue through the National Governors Association following the successful adoption by Governors of the Task Force’s 2024 federal priorities, which include implementation of IIJA, IRA, and the CHIPS and Science Act.

Watch the full session below