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America Needs a New Workforce Education System

Developing large-scale workforce education programs that enable workers to advance or change industries will not only reduce income inequality, but also support domestic innovation..

The American dream promised that if you worked hard, you could move up, with well-paying, working-class jobs providing a gateway to an ever-growing middle class. Today, however, the nation is seeing increasing inequality rather than economic convergence. Technological advances, combined with profound labor market shifts during the pandemic, are putting quality jobs out of reach for workers who lack the proper skills and training. One of the best ways to address this challenge is to improve workforce education.

Learning on the job has, of course, long been a feature of most occupations. But developing formal programs that allow most workers to advance from their current position or to even change industries has not been a priority for decades. Yet both research and practical experience have shown that such programs, designed to improve skills and education over the course of an employee’s work life, are precisely what is needed. Not just any jobs program will do. They must be carefully focused, flexible enough to meet emerging needs, and tailored to lifelong learning. Failure to meet these requirements could consign millions of workers to dead-end jobs during their most productive years.

The benefits of developing large-scale programs for workforce education will extend beyond the already considerable ones of addressing inequality. A more skilled workforce also contributes to innovation. Industrial policy in the United States has largely focused on two preproduction tasks aimed at earlier-stage innovation: support for agencies funding academic and lab research and development, and support for industry R&D through the federal R&D tax credit. But there hasn’t been a complementary workforce education thrust. Indeed, many economists view science and engineering at the college and graduate school levels as the principal educational key to future growth. Yet as innovation diffuses into production—be it robotic welding or new coating technologies—R&D has proven to be not the only educational need. A skilled technical workforce has an innovation role as well—in programming the robotic welders, for example, and in improving the coating technologies.


Overall, job opportunities for high school graduates have shrunk significantly in recent years. For example, the share of men of prime working age with no college experience who are not working at all reached 18% in 2013. At the same time, median income for men who had not completed high school fell by 20% between 1990 and 2013 and by 13% for those with a high school diploma or some college. In a country that prides itself on its social mobility, this was a clear signal of a loss to middle-income ranks and of growing social inequality, as well as a harbinger of a postindustrial backlash.

A closer look at two sectors—manufacturing and retail—reveals the turmoil. Historically, manufacturing has been an important middle-class pathway for high school educated males—including African Americans and Hispanic Americans. From 2000 to 2010, however, manufacturing employment fell by 5.8 million jobs (or almost a third), from 17.3 million to 11.5 million. And by 2015, it had recovered to only about 12 million jobs, where it remains.

Retail, which often offers a first job or a job of refuge, is in trouble as well, as stores, malls, and entire chains have closed over the past decade. First, the extraordinary expansion in the second half of the 20th century crashed against the 2008 financial crunch. Then the disruptive growth of online ordering accelerated a decline in in-person retail even further. Warehousing positions offset some of this job loss, but they went to different people—female store clerks weren’t hired to do heavy lifting in warehouses. Fifteen million people were employed in retail trades at the beginning of 2020. Then the coronavirus hit.

The pandemic has been a shock not just to retail but to much of the system. The volume of jobs lost has been dramatic. Restaurants lost 5.5 million jobs in April 2020, then reopenings during the summer let the industry regain some jobs, only to lose them again with the spike in infections during the fall. Similarly, retail lost 2.3 million store jobs in April, rebounded by a million jobs by June, but by fall the job numbers were falling again. In travel and tourism, 35% of the jobs have been lost since February 2020. These aren’t the only hard-hit sectors, but they are big ones. Many jobs in retail, the restaurant industry, tourism, and travel won’t be coming back: bankruptcies are already climbing. Millions of workers in these sectors will be stranded.

This latest disruption will make American economic inequality even worse than it was before the pandemic. Workers from hard-hit sectors will need to shift to new sectors where there will be jobs. And to thrive, they must get not just any job but quality jobs. While lower-end services jobs had been growing as the middle class thinned out, new Labor Department data show the coronavirus has now hit that sector, so job openings will tend to require higher skills.

Opportunities exist. Health care, for example, is embracing suites of new technologies that will require skilled technologists at good pay. Manufacturing and utilities have aging workforces that will require millions of new workers in coming years, albeit for increasingly skilled jobs. The trick to minimizing further disruption will be to provide the skills and training needed to educate and shape the current worker pool.


The United States was the first nation to develop mass higher education programs, and we used them as an engine for innovation as well as economic and social mobility. The high school degree was once the acceptable basic credential, but has since been displaced. A college degree is now the key differentiator for economic well-being.

Higher education is also a complex, established “legacy” sector, reluctant to change and adapt its operating modes to fit new needs. Although many of the necessary prerequisites are disconnected from actual job and life skills, college degrees have become a default credential for employers because there are no others that are as widely accepted and used.

Business requires new skills, particularly in information technology, so the workforce as a whole requires upskilling—current workers as well as incoming college graduates and those without college degrees. And yet universities have not embraced or contributed to these workforce developments.

Herein lies an opportunity for institutions of higher learning, particularly at a time when they themselves face increasing financial pressure: they can offer more career-related skills in addition to what they teach now. This approach may enable them to reach beyond their current declining demographic of 18- to 26-year-olds. Some critics have worried that this shift might erode liberal art traditions. We argue the opposite: in fact “human skills” such as critical thinking, creativity, writing, and communicating are in high demand, and can flourish in this new configuration.

Unlike many European nations, the United States never built a comprehensive workforce education system. So perhaps it comes as no surprise that current programs lack the proper focus, are small in scale, and siloed from each other. The Department of Labor’s training programs don’t reach the oncoming higher technical skills or help incumbent workers acquire them. In turn, the Department of Education’s programs tend to target college, not workforce education, and don’t mesh with the Labor programs. With the exception of a few states, such as Massachusetts, the vocational education system in high schools has largely been dismantled. And community colleges, which could provide advanced training in emerging fields, are largely underfunded—not to mention that their completion rates hover around a third.

Most colleges and universities don’t see workforce education as their bailiwick and so aren’t linked to the other participants in the system. Overall, the education system is disconnected from the workplace, and a system for lifelong learning is missing. In addition, the existing workforce education system operates at too small a scale to meet the growing demand. The system needs not only reforms but also the ability to reach many more people, more effectively. Online education is one tool that can help with the scale-up—if applied correctly.   Addressing these problems should help to reduce economic inequality and deepen our capacity for innovation.


Community colleges could become the cornerstone of a robust, much-needed workplace education system. A number of these institutions, some highlighted below, have already begun to show the way. They will all need additional building blocks, however, to achieve the necessary scale and flexibility of offerings.

Asnuntuck Community College is in the middle of an aerospace industry corridor along the Connecticut River Valley. It has developed advanced manufacturing certificate programs, using a new state-supported, state-of-the-manufacturing-art equipment center. Enrollees include not only its own students, but also high school students as well as workers at area companies, small and large.

Valencia College in Florida set out to reach a large economic underclass stuck in low-end, low-paid, part-time service jobs. It tailored various short programs to help students quickly get on a career ladder leading to secure jobs with benefits that can support families. Each program lasted 10 to 22 weeks, five days per week for eight hours a day. Valencia offered industry-standard certificates in advanced manufacturing, construction, heavy equipment, logistics, and health care fields. Importantly, these certificates could be stacked for multiple, certified complementary skills and credits toward a Valencia associate degree.

Trident Technical College in Charleston, South Carolina, worked with area firms and the state’s Chamber of Commerce to develop a new youth apprenticeship program beginning in the junior year of high school. Students employed by participating companies go to high school classes in the morning, where they must take math and science, to the college at midday for technical courses, and to their sponsoring company for well-paying jobs in afternoons. This takes them out of a sometimes-disruptive high school culture into higher-expectation environments. By tearing down the wall between learning and work, the program places entry-level workers on a path to quality jobs and education.

Elsewhere, the US military has pioneered efforts to teach hands-on skills through virtual and augmented reality. The Navy’s Training Systems Division in Florida, for example, has developed programs that use online simulations run on touch screens and high-end gaming computers. The Navy is now shifting a substantial amount of its training for advanced equipment on ships, submarines, and at air bases into these online systems.


Several elements are common to the most successful programs for workplace education. They include:

  • Forming short programs . Programs focused on technical skills should typically run for 10 to 20 weeks. People who have been in the workforce won’t be able to take off time for two- or four-year degrees; they have families to support and obligations to meet.
  • Embracing credentialing.  Programs should provide certificates for specific groups of related skills, based on demonstrated competencies. These should be stacked toward college degrees and credits, which remain the most broadly recognized credentials.
  • Supporting competency-based education . Programs should be organized around demonstrated skills broken down into particular competencies, unlike today’s education that is based on an agricultural calendar and standard completion times. If students show the skill competency, they get the certificate, regardless of how long they have spent in the program. This can cut time in school and student costs, and reward practical experience.
  • Developing appropriate online education.  Online modules will be critical if workforce education is going to scale up to meet postpandemic needs. And yet online education can’t replace effective instructors or hands-on work with actual equipment. Online education is best suited to conveying and assessing the foundational information behind the skills.
  • Breaking down the work/learn barrier . Programs should be linked to industry, as today’s schools have become too disconnected from the workplace. Linkage programs in the form of apprenticeships, internships, and cooperative programs are needed to get students into the workplace, earning money while they build skills. At the same time, they can make a direct connection between the competencies they must learn for greater job opportunities.
  • Improving completion rates . Completion rates at community colleges should be at least 70%, up from the 30% rate at many of them today. Frustration with required remedial prep courses leads many students to drop out. Successful programs have found one solution in integrating the supportive course work into students’ study program for career skills so they can clearly see how the remedial work is relevant to their career opportunities.
  • Embedding industry-recognized credentials into educational programs . Many employers want the assurance of skill knowledge that a credential approved and accepted by industry provides. It creates an additional and parallel pathway to help students toward employment. It also ensures that academic programs are relevant to actual industry needs.

The latest research on workforce education is quite clear. Federal resources need to scale up. States, with backing from federal education funds, must implement the new strategies outlined above. Some states and employers, and the community colleges they work with, are starting to embrace these steps. The workforce disruption from the pandemic could be a driver that forces further action. A more equitable and innovative future is possible, provided we leave our previously scattershot approaches behind.

This story was originally published in Issues in Science and Technology on March 9, 2021.

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Workforce Education

Workforce Education

A New Roadmap

by William B. Bonvillian and Sanjay E. Sarma

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A roadmap for how we can rebuild America's working class by transforming workforce education and training.

The American dream promised that if you worked hard, you could move up, with well-paying working-class jobs providing a gateway to an ever-growing middle class. Today, however, we have increasing inequality, not economic convergence. Technological advances are putting quality jobs out of reach for workers who lack the proper skills and training. In Workforce Education , William Bonvillian and Sanjay Sarma offer a roadmap for rebuilding America's working class. They argue that we need to train more workers more quickly, and they describe innovative methods of workforce education that are being developed across the country.

It's not just that we need a pipeline of skilled workers for future jobs; we need to give workers the skills they need now. Focusing on manufacturing, healthcare, and retail sectors, Bonvillian and Sarma investigate programs that reimagine workforce education, from short intensive courses that offer certification to a new model for apprenticeships. They examine the roles of community colleges, employers, governments, and universities in workforce education, and describe new education technologies that can deliver training to workers. We can't tackle inequality unless we equip our workers for twenty-first-century jobs.

William B. Bonvillian is Lecturer at MIT in the Program in Science, Technology, and Society and Senior Director of Special Projects at MIT's Office of Digital Learning. He is the coauthor of Structuring an Energy Technology Revolution and Advanced Manufacturing (both published by the MIT Press).

Sanjay E. Sarma is Fred Fort Flowers and Daniel Fort Flowers Professor of Mechanical Engineering at MIT, where he is also Vice President for Open Learning. He is the coauthor of The Inversion Factor (MIT Press) and Grasp: The Science Transforming How We Learn .

“Bonvillian and Sarma tackle one of the toughest, and most important problems facing the United States. Their survey of today's decentralized, disconnected 'system' of workforce education is often a tour of disappointments and shortcomings but it also takes us to programs that work and that might lend themselves to replication under committed national leadership. The authors offer no single silver bullet, but a raft of tools and principles for business, government, and educators to follow.” Robert Siegel, former host of NPR's All Things Considered
“Bonvillian and Sarma have given us a thought-provoking assessment of the state of workforce preparation and a roadmap for restoring productivity to the American workforce. They cite innovative examples that, if scaled, offer opportunities for workers, benefits for employers, and advancement for the broader society. This book should be read.” Peter McPherson, President of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities
“Work in America is changing, and the current health and economic crises are accelerating and deepening those changes. Education has and will be the key connector between individuals and the world of work. Bonvillian and Sarma have written a careful, nuanced, and detailed analysis of both the current state of workforce education and its potential, illustrated by real examples and propelled by genuine optimism. Workforce Education is a needed and valuable contribution for policymakers, employers, and educators alike.” Ted Mitchell, President of the American Council on Education
“Bonvillian and Sarma present an alarming problem statement backed by a rich evidence base of data. Their presentation of a compelling set of innovative strategies and policy recommendations at the institutional, state, and federal levels, offers a new vision, or roadmap, to a more equitable prosperity for our country.” Mark Mitsui, former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Community Colleges, US Department of Education
Bonvillian and Sarma make a clear and convincing case for the necessity and potential of this new path. Their work will appeal to a broad readership, particularly those interested in policy change for social good. Library Journal, STARRED Review
"The economic, social and demographic shifts summarized in the early chapters of Workforce Education are breathtaking, being so economically and thoughtfully laid out. This is the best exposition I have seen of the employment-unemployment-underemployment trends in one place." Gordon Freeman Workforce Monitor

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Disparate Measures

What works in workforce development—and how can it work better?

Subscribe to global connection, brent orrell , brent orrell senior fellow - american enterprise institute @orrellaei greg wright , greg wright fellow - global economy and development @gregcwright harry holzer , hh harry holzer john lafarge jr. sj professor of public policy - georgetown university mccourt school of public policy @holzerhar rachel lipson , and rl rachel lipson former director, project on workforce - harvard kennedy school weiner center on public policy @rachel_lipson david deming david deming isabelle and scott black professor of political economy - harvard university @profdaviddeming.

March 8, 2023

For the past two years, a bipartisan group of researchers and analysts convened by the American Enterprise Institute, the Brookings Institution, and the Harvard Kennedy School’s Project on Workforce has reviewed the evidence on the effectiveness of the United States’ federal-state workforce education and training system. Our group—the Workforce Futures Initiative (WFI)—has reached some surprising and hopefully useful conclusions about how our nation can improve its investments in job training.

The good news is that federal spending on workforce development—including the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) system—improves disadvantaged worker outcomes. The bad news is that improvements are quite modest. In the words of one of our group members, we appear to be “stuck in a low-resource, low-efficacy” equilibrium. Small benefits at low levels of funding discourage higher levels of investment; yet without additional funding, it is unlikely we’ll see substantial improvement. At the same time, students and workers lack other options to finance training—for instance, Pell grants do not cover noncredit or shorter-term training efforts. The WIOA system, and the workers who use it, are caught in a policy catch-22.

Greater public investment in workforce development programs is needed. But these additional investments should be targeted toward programs and practices that have proven successful and can be scaled, or that provide information that is critical to diagnose the needs of a rapidly changing labor market. Examples include sectoral employment programs, job counseling and supportive services, improvements to data systems to better track program performance and improve our understanding of changing skill demands, and pilot programs to test ways of increasing system flexibility and innovation.

Sectoral employment programs substantially improve employment and wage outcomes for workers. These programs are distinctive in their focus on high-growth sectors of the economy such as information technology, health care, and advanced manufacturing. The federal government should substantially increase investment in these programs, focusing on replication and scaling of programs with track records of success. For our most disadvantaged students and workers, who sometimes have difficulty qualifying for participation in these programs, additional supports and “on-ramp” programs should be considered.

We should also strengthen the “connective tissue” of supportive services. Education, training, and employment systems are decentralized, and the bewildering array of options can overwhelm workers who are juggling busy lives on top of their training needs. Barriers related to transportation, child care, and mental health often cause program participants to exit programs early. This is a lost opportunity. Moreover, the evidence shows that counseling and supportive services, both of which are integral to the sectoral strategies mentioned above, substantially increase program completion and labor market success. Investments in support services for post-secondary training participants such as community college students and displaced workers can yield high returns.

A third critical need is for innovation in the nation’s workforce data infrastructure. Workers are pressured by technological change and automation, which makes it critical to modernize our education and training systems to keep up with change. We need better information about which jobs are growing and which programs are effective at developing needed skills. For example, one member of our group is developing a framework for decentralizing regional labor market information systems that will help states and regions develop deep and agile data systems for measuring program performance as well as changing skill and employment needs.

Finally, the evidence of “what works” in training and workforce development programs is remarkably sparse . Even if political will existed for a full-scale, far-reaching reform of WIOA, community colleges, and other elements of our workforce system, it would be imprudent, based on what we know, to recommend a one-size-fits-all model for all regions and priority industries.

In light of this uncertainty, we need strategies that unleash innovation at the state and regional levels and among industries. Part of the answer to this challenge is providing state and local officials substantial flexibility in testing new program structures and models that bridge public, private, and nonprofit institutions; are responsive to fast-changing demand patterns; and meet the differing needs of populations ranging from English language learners to working adults to the formerly incarcerated. Such experiments deserve more financial and implementation support from the federal government, opportunities for administrative flexibility, and comprehensive evaluation to help inform future rounds of system reform.

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Why We Must Connect Education and the Future of Work

A lack of alignment among K–12, higher education, and the world of work threatens to compromise our resilience and success as a country. Education leaders at the Corporation argue that we must redesign our educational systems to reach a broader set of students


Fundamental goals for American public education are to ensure that each student is prepared to be an active participant in a robust democracy and to be successful in the global economy. This requires coordinated efforts among government, philanthropy, the business community, and the education sector. However, as our nation’s economic and labor market opportunities evolve, the lack of alignment among K–12, higher education, and the world of work is further exposed and compromises our resilience and success. Our institutions are working to meet the opportunities and demands of the future of work in relative isolation. We must encourage systematic connections that reach across the educational, political, and economic domains to holistically prepare students for life, work, and citizenship. This demands a redesign of educational and employment options for all students. We must ask tough questions about what contributions are needed from each sphere today to prepare the workforce of tomorrow. 

Today’s high school students are arriving at college underprepared: 40 percent fail to graduate from four-year institutions, and 68 percent fail to graduate from two-year institutions. [1] Yet the future of work will require higher — not lower — college graduation rates. Already, our economy has 16 million recession-and automation-resistant middle-income jobs that require some postsecondary credential, as well as 35 million jobs that require a bachelor’s degree or higher. [2] Nearly half of American employers say they are struggling to fill positions — the highest number in more than a decade — citing dearths of applicants, experience, and both technical and soft skills as their biggest challenges. [3]

As our nation’s economic and labor market opportunities evolve, this lack of alignment among K–12, higher education, and the world of work will become further exposed and will compromise our resilience and success as a country. At present, students without access to higher education already experience less mobility and lower lifetime salaries. [4] Looking forward, if K–12 and higher education do not redesign their approaches to reach a broader set of students, we might experience even greater labor shortages and income disparities. If we want to alleviate these issues and prepare students for the careers of the future, it is imperative that we close the chasm between K–12 and higher education. 

Those attempting to reform the education system are familiar with the ways in which it is fragmented. Many have experienced the unintended consequences that come from working in isolation and proceeding with untested assumptions, especially during efforts to scale innovations or foster long-term sustainability. We believe the solution is to work more integratively: to resist the temptation to tackle siloed, singular components and instead collaborate on large-scale transformations designed around a unified vision. 

Looking for­ward, if K–12 and higher education do not redesign their approaches to reach a broader set of students, we might experience even greater labor shortages and income disparities.

That vision, when considering American public education, is to prepare each student for active participation in a robust democracy and success in an advanced global economy. Accomplishing this demands an approach that reaches across educational, political, and economic domains to seamlessly prepare students for life, work, and citizenship. It demands the redesign of educational and career pathways to allow for cross-pollination among all sectors, from business to government to philanthropy — and it demands asking tough questions about what each sphere must contribute today to prepare the workforce of tomorrow. 

Higher education can play a unique role because it has the ability to reach in several directions: toward both K–12 schools and educators, and businesses and future employers. Since it is often under the control of the state, higher education can also reach across to the governor, mayor, and other decision- and policymakers. As such, higher education can do more than effect change within a single institution; instead, it can help to enact networks and policies across an entire city or state. In short, to prepare students to become citizens of the world — who also have economic opportunities in the future workplace — stakeholders must abandon their traditional silos and work together to achieve coherence. 

The Case for Coherence 

Linear, laser-focused strategies are appropriate when consequences are predictable, contexts are similar, and results are easily measured and few in number. But in the world of education, where contexts are diverse, the level of transformation needed is enormous, and the number of stakeholders is high, linear approaches to change do not work. They accomplish superficial, rather than meaningful, improvements and can lead to missteps and frustration. 

To create longer-term solutions at scale, we must accept that education is a complex social system, and design strategies for change around that fundamental fact. If our goal is to move toward 21st-century teaching and learning that better prepares young people for the dynamic world of work, traditional top-down, isolated, programmatic approaches will not succeed. Rather, to effect broad change, we must be thoughtful, flexible, and inclusive, and we must consider myriad factors, including the vantage points and resources of all stakeholders. 

Three Design Principles for Coherence 

In one attempt to catalyze this shift, Carnegie Corporation of New York launched the Integration Design Consortium in 2017. The corporation extended grants to five organizations to design and implement two-year projects aimed at reducing fragmentation in education and advancing equity. During our collaboration with these initiatives — each focused on different disciplines, such as human-centered design, systems thinking, and change management — we saw several themes emerge again and again. Irrespective of the project or context, these principles seemed to be influential in making progress toward coherence. For those striving for educational change, we believe these three principles can serve as a foundation upon which to design innovative solutions, and a lens through which to envision ways of thinking and working differently.

Cultivating a Shared Purpose  Rather than assuming that everyone engaged in educational improvement has similar priorities, deliberate attempts must be made to develop a shared understanding of what students need most during their journeys through the system. The work of defining this purpose cannot be done in an isolated manner; instead, a collective vision should be cocreated by various stakeholders, then anchored by thoughtful implementation planning. Developing a cohesive vision has multiple benefits, including increasing broad buy-in and helping individuals understand how their actions can lead to change at scale. 

One promising initiative that exemplifies this approach is the Cowen Institute at Tulane University, which shares its purpose of advancing youth success with a multitude of stakeholders in its home city of New Orleans. In addition to disseminating salient research and implementing several direct service programs, the Cowen Institute develops and leads citywide collaboratives focused on promoting access to and persistence in college and careers. These include the New Orleans College Persistence Collaborative and the College and Career Counseling Collaborative, bringing together counselors and practitioners from high schools and community-based organizations across New Orleans under the common goal of increasing students’ access to and persistence in college and careers. 

Rather than assuming that everyone engaged in educational improvement has similar priorities, deliberate attempts must be made to develop a shared understanding of what students need most during their journeys through the system.

By engaging in a shared review and understanding of data centered on the needs of all students, these communities of learning play an important role in cultivating a shared sense of purpose across a diversity of organizations and institutions. At the same time, they provide members with professional development, the opportunity to share best practices, and a means of engaging in collective problem-solving centered on improving college and career success for New Orleans youth. 

Cocreating Inclusive Environments  This principle, which has its roots in user-centered design, encourages the consideration of various points of view when developing policies, prioritizing input from those who will be directly affected by the outcome. It also urges individuals to assess their own beliefs before creating policies that reverberate through the entire system, and advocates the shifting of power structures so that those most affected have the opportunity to share their perspectives and play a role in the decision-making process. It is only by identifying the actors in the system, understanding their perspectives, and using their input that we can create inclusive and effective programs. 

Transforming Postsecondary Education in Mathematics (TPSE Math) is one example of a movement to create an inclusive postsecondary environment. It focuses on a discipline that has traditionally been a barrier to student success: math. 

In one study of 57 community colleges across several states, 59 percent of students were assigned to remedial math courses upon enrollment, and, of those, only 20 percent completed a college-level math course within three years. [5] Through TPSE Math, leading mathematicians have convened stakeholders across the country to change mathematics education at community colleges, four-year colleges, and research universities so that it better meets the needs of a diverse student body and their diverse future careers. 

For example, TPSE has provided significant support in the national movement to develop multiple mathematics pathways for students. The goal is for every student to have the opportunity to take a rigorous entry-level mathematics course relevant to his or her field of study and future career and to significantly reduce the time for underprepared students to complete their first college-level math course. This results in more inclusive math departments and courses that focus on success for all students, not only those who will go on to be math majors or to remain in academia. 

TPSE has also promoted cross-sector engagement by facilitating conversations about effective and innovative practices — including the connections between college mathematics and the world of work — and then sharing those learnings across institutions. These math departments are supporting a rich set of interdisciplinary academic experiences and pathways designed to prepare students with the mathematical knowledge and skills needed for engagement in society and the workforce. 

Building Capacity That Is Responsive to Change  To create infrastructure and processes that will be effective over the long term, it is crucial to acknowledge and accept the dynamic nature of the education system. This means prioritizing relationships and trust, and viewing a project’s initial implementation as the first of multiple iterations and trials, each of which considers the potential impact on different stakeholders. This is crucial because achieving broader coherence across the education system can seem daunting, so it is more manageable to identify a specific gap or disconnect to address, such as the transition from college to career.

Focusing on particular barriers and trying out solutions before prescribing them at scale acknowledges the dynamism of the sector and the complexities of coherence, while making meaningful progress on issues that matter. 

The University Innovation Alliance (UIA), for instance, takes an agile, human-centered approach to increasing the number and diversity of college graduates in the United States. Since its founding in 2014, this national coalition of 11 public research universities has produced 29.6 percent more low-income bachelor’s degree graduates per year, amounting to nearly 13,000 graduates annually. The UIA estimates that the total will reach 100,000 by the 2022–2023 academic year. [6] *

True to the nature of the research institutions leading the work, the UIA accomplishes this through experimentation and iteration. One area of focus for the network has been ensuring student success beyond graduation through redesigning college-to-career supports to better ensure students find gainful employment upon graduation. The project uses design thinking, with its rapid prototyping of ideas and short feedback cycles, in service of reimagining career services to better support low-income students, first-generation students, and students of color. 

The process of innovation starts with understanding the perspective of students and the current practices on campuses; providing career services professionals with the capacity, time, and connections they need to generate new campus solutions; and engaging employers and other stakeholders in the redesign. This approach is consistent with the vision of the UIA, that “by piloting new interventions, sharing insights about their relative cost and effectiveness, and scaling those interventions that are successful [,] . . . [its] collaborative work will catalyze systemic changes in the entire higher education sector. [7]

An Integrative Pathway to the Future 

Strides in educational coherence are being made on a regional level, too. Tennessee and Colorado, for example, have adopted holistic cradle-to-career solutions that intentionally plan for the duration of their residents’ lifetimes, and the Central Ohio Compact has mobilized K–12, higher education, community-based organizations, and local industry with the goal of helping 65 percent of local adults earn a postsecondary credential by 2025. [8] Each of these initiatives exemplifies the design principles described earlier, by considering the experiences of key actors and employing a multistakeholder approach that includes policymakers — factors crucial to enacting change on a systemic level.

In most of the country, education, employment, and economic reform remain isolated in both policy and practice. If we continue down this path, limiting ourselves to what is possible within each of our silos, our mutual interests will soon be consumed by our differences.

Though these projects are promising, they are not enough. In most of the country, education, employment, and economic reform remain isolated in both policy and practice. If we continue down this path, limiting ourselves to what is possible within each of our silos, our mutual interests will soon be consumed by our differences. For the revolutionary changes that the future demands, we must move beyond this fragmented way of thinking and working, and accept that history’s boundaries no longer apply. We must take a coherent approach to connecting education and the future of work, harnessing integrative design principles to foster progress, flexibility, and inclusivity. To improve today and prepare for the future, we must build on these ideas together. We must embrace a user-centered approach that is designed around our ultimate goal: empowering and preparing our nation’s youth for fulfilling, engaged lives and productive careers, now and for decades to come.

[1] National Center for Education Statistics, “Undergraduate Retention and Graduation Rates,” May 2019, .

[2] Anthony P. Carnevale, Jeff Strohl, Neil Ridley, and Artem Gulish, “Three Educational Pathways to Good Jobs,” Georgetown University, 2018, , 10.

[3] Manpower Group, “Solving the Talent Shortage: Build, Buy, Borrow and Bridge,” 2018, , 5–7.

[4] Jennifer Ma, Matea Penda, and Meredith Welch, “Education Pays 2016: The Benefits of Higher Education for Individuals and Society,” College Board, 2016, , 3–4.

[5] T. Bailey, D. W. Jeong, and S. W. Cho, “Referral, Enrollment, and Completion in Developmental Education Sequences in Community Colleges, Economics of Education Review 29, no. 2 (2010): 255–70.

[6] The University Innovation Alliance, “Our Results,” .

[7] The University Innovation Alliance, “Vision and Prospectus,” .

[8] Central Ohio Compact, “Central Ohio’s Most Critical Challenge,” .

Excerpted from The Great Skills Gap: Optimizing Talent for the Future of Work (Stanford Business Books, 2021), edited by Jason Wingard, Dean Emeritus and Professor of Human Capital Management at Columbia University School of Professional Studies. Reprinted with permission.

*Note: Since the publication of the book, UIA reports an increase of annual degrees to low-income students by 46 percent since launch. Overall annual bachelor's degrees have increased 30 percent, and annual bachelor's degrees to students of color have increased 85 percent. They have exceeded 100,000 degrees.

LaVerne Srinivasan is vice president of Carnegie Corporation of New York’s National Program and program director of Education, Farhad Asghar is the Education program officer of the Pathways to Postsecondary Success portfolio, and Elise Henson is a former program analyst at the Corporation.

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Bridging the gap between education and employment: Community college and beyond

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The pandemic underscored an urgent need: The best-educated workers are prospering, but too many others are being left behind. To address this challenge, community colleges can be rich resources for educating the higher-skilled workers that industry is now demanding. However, schools, working with employers and policymakers, must do more to bridge the gap between education and employment.

This July, in a statewide effort to build new education models for advanced skills, MIT Open Learning and MassBridge hosted “Bridging the Education/Workforce Gap: Community College and Beyond,” a two-day conference with thought leaders from all parts of the education-workforce equation to explore how to expand and create new training opportunities that prepare students for quality jobs. Building on new models discussed in a recent MIT study ( MassBridge Advanced Manufacturing Education Benchmark Report ), speakers shared further ideas on how to bridge that gap between education and employment across many different sectors.

Throughout the conference, some common themes emerged:

  • The workforce needs agile learners who can upskill easily.
  • Industry needs change rapidly, so training programs need to adapt accordingly.
  • Partnerships with employers in the industry are key.
  • Courses, apprenticeships, and credentialing need to be accessible to all learners.

Day 1: Education perspectives

On the first day of programming, professionals from community colleges, state government, and industry recognized the growing need for adaptable workforce training programs at both the entry level and the incumbent worker level, which will require strong partnerships between educational programs and employers. George Westerman, senior lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management and a principal research scientist at J-WEL Workforce Learning, says “We need a new model for employers to help create the workers they need, rather than trying to find them.” A flexible hybrid online/in-person model would allow a wider range of students to access and complete these programs. Training programs should emphasize “ human skills ” that workers will still be able to leverage even as hard skills evolve.

In “The Changing Face of Community College Education,” panelists who work at community colleges discussed the growing demand for incumbent worker training and fast-tracked entry-level workforce training. Repackaging curricula with tangible milestones such as “stackable credentials”  would accelerate the path to a degree for part-time students, they said. Focusing on “credentials of value” can embed employer needs from local industry in courses.

Moderated by Bob LePage, Massachusetts assistant secretary for career education, a panel on the role of education policy focused on the opportunities to rebuild and modernize the education system. The pandemic has shown that a hybrid education approach could be an equitable strategy that combines the best of digital access and hands-on activities to accelerate student learning. Beyond the classroom, schools need scalable work-based learning opportunities beyond registered apprentices. Federal and state policymakers are also looking to embed industry partnerships into the traditional degree model, speakers said.

In “A Cross-industry Look at Education Needs,” panelists from Mass Tech College and University, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, the University of Massachusetts, and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center discussed the challenges of finding qualified candidates for technical jobs. They envisioned a system for incentivizing these difficult-to-fill positions by partnering with community colleges to offer short-term training for lower-wage workers. By training the existing workforce, employers can better evolve to fit their own needs.

A keynote presentation from Bill Bonvillian, senior director of special projects at MIT Open Learning and lecturer at MIT, and Sanjay Sarma, vice president for open learning, focused on the high labor nonparticipation rates that have been building over the last 15 years and exacerbated by the pandemic. Recent reports show millions of higher-skilled jobs are going unfilled because we lack the workforce education system to train those who can fill them. The labor market information chain is broken: Workers don’t know what skills they need, educators don’t know what skills to educate for, and employers don’t know what skills workers have. “The social contract of universities has to change,” Sarma said. “Ideally, such a contract would provide “a holistic education to people who need it in the workforce.”

Drawing from Bonvillian and Sarma's recent book " Workforce Education ," Bonvillian offered recommendations for new delivery models of training, such as breaking down the work/learning barrier with more apprenticeships; creating “trifecta” programs at community colleges that reach high school students, community college students, and incumbent workers; implementing short courses that lead to certificates and degrees for students who are already in the workforce and have time restraints; and integrating federal programs at the state level. Bonvillian said, “Designing programs that complement each other ... blurring the line between degrees and credentials, filling gaps where Pell grants don't help on workforce needs — these are all programs that have come right out of those combined education-industry efforts.”

Day 2: Industry, government, and student perspectives

Workers of the future will need to be trained in digital literacy, hands-on abilities, and critical thinking. Speakers on the second day of programming indicated a strong drive, persistence, and curiosity from community college students that can be fostered through targeted training programs.

In the panel “Up and Coming,” MIT mechanical engineering lecturer John Liu moderated a conversation with a group of current and former community college students who returned to school after a stint in the workforce to pursue training in another field. Their motivations ranged from pursuing their passions to helping others to creating a more stable future for themselves. One panelist, Mussie Demisse, was a former Bunker Hill Community College student who went on to graduate with a bachelor’s degree from MIT . Demisse said the MassHire program, which supports student success through state funding and industry involvement via individual coaching and internships, “aligned their goals with mine for my betterment, and that made it easier for me to align my goals with them.”

Keynote speaker Celeste Carter, lead program director for advanced technological education at the National Science Foundation (NSF), shared how the NSF developed a program that looked at innovative strategies to educate the skilled technical workforce. Carter said communication with students is hugely important to training programs. “There’s a lot of curiosity, a lot of persistence, a lot of really smart people at two-year institutions. We need to take advantage of it,” she said.

In a panel on statewide agency and collaboration, statewide education leaders who work for different institutions in different states shared how they have seen similar successes through partnerships, listening, and flexibility. Panelists said it’s important to have a flexible program structure that can adapt to these evolving needs of employers and students. Amy Firestone of Apprentice Carolina and South Carolina’s Technical College System shared how their “3D process” (which stands for “discovery, design, and delivery”) informed their program.

Crossing organizational boundaries

Across two days of panel discussions, educators, policymakers, industry leaders, and students spoke to the success of partnerships between educational institutions and employers. If employers have a vested interest in the outcomes of training programs, students will be trained with the current needs of their industries in mind, and will be better prepared for the workforce upon graduation, they said.

"One word we heard a lot during this conference is “partnership,” and that’s so important,” says Westerman. “Because we have a gap, and you can't cross this gap on your own. We all know that crossing organizational boundaries is an unnatural act, and so we all have to find ways to get across there."

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Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Workforce Education

In Heok Lee

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Earning your M.Ed. in Workforce Education is invaluable if you teach in a public school, a technical college or work in business and industry. This degree will provide you with the expertise to guide student learning in career and technical education for both academic and industry settings. The online Master of Education in Workforce Education program addresses the current skills you need to manage careers within a global economy, cultivate work ethic and communication skills, and develop capacity for innovation.

Offered through the  Mary Frances Early College of Education , the University of Georgia’s online Master of Education in Workforce Education is designed for individuals who have completed a bachelor’s degree in education with a specialization in an area of Career and Technical Education (CTE) such as Agricultural, Business, Engineering and Technology, Family and Consumer Sciences, Health Science Technology, Marketing or Trade and Industrial Education. The online Master of Education in Workforce Education program is approved by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission. 

University of Georgia online Master’s in Education programs are ranked #7 in the nation by  U.S. News & World Report   in 2023. 


The University of Georgia is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award baccalaureate, master’s, specialist, and doctoral degrees. The University of Georgia also may offer credentials such as certificates and diplomas at approved degree levels. Questions about the accreditation of the University of Georgia may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website ( ).

Credit and Transfer

Total Hours Required to Earn Degree:  36 (credit hours)

Maximum Hours Transferable into Program: 6

With proper approval, six semester hours of graduate credit may be transferred onto the student’s program of study. A request for transfer of credit cannot be made until a student has been admitted at UGA as a prospective candidate for a degree. The transfer credit must be included on the program of study.

Courses to be transferred onto a graduate student transcript must meet the following requirements: taken at an accredited institution, falls within the 6-year course time limit, received a grade of B or better, and not used to fulfill requirements for another degree.

Online Master of Education in Workforce Education Admission Requirements

Prospective candidates for the Online Master of Education in Workforce Education must hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university, preferably within a Career and Technical Education area however, other academic backgrounds will also be considered.  Admissions are evaluated holistically, and recommendations for admission are based on an applicant’s qualifications, recommendations, statement, match with faculty interests, and the program’s capacity. 

Among other indicators of academic promise, candidates should possess:

  • A strong undergraduate GPA with usual acceptance being 3.0 or higher.

Students applying to The University of Georgia must be accepted by the  Graduate School . Persons holding a bachelor’s degree from any institution accredited by the proper regional accrediting association are eligible to apply for admission to the Graduate School.

Online Master of Education in Workforce Education Application Checklist

  • Application  – Submit the  Graduate School Admissions  online. Application fee: $75 Domestic/$100 International
  • Select Campus  – Online
  • Select Intended Program  – MED, Workforce Education (Career and Info Studies)[MED_WKED_ONL]
  • GRE or MAT (The GRE and MAT tests are waived for this program)
  • International applicants must also submit TOEFL or IELTS scores.
  • Statement of Purpose  – Submit a one-page statement of purpose online to the Graduate School. The statement of intent should clarify the candidate’s relevant background, interests, and goals in relation to the program.
  • Résumé or curriculum vita  – Upload to the Graduate School application.
  • Transcripts  – Submit unofficial transcripts from all institutions attended as part of the Graduate School application. Send official transcripts after you are offered admission.
  • Letters of Recommendation  –  Submit three letters of recommendation online to graduate school. Letters should be from individuals who can evaluate the applicant’s scholarly ability and potential for success in a graduate program. Preferably at least two of them are from faculty who have instructed the applicant in a previous program of study. The application will prompt your recommenders to submit their letters electronically.

Application Deadlines

Domestic applicants .

  • Fall:  July 1
  • Spring:  November 15
  • Summer:  May 1

International Applicants

  • Fall:  April 15
  • Spring:  October 15
  • Summer:  February 15

Tuition & Fees

Tuition rates and student fees can change each year. 

Based on 2022 credit hour cost, a person completing this program at the recommended pace would have paid  $24,644 in tuition .  

Please use the  Estimated Cost Calculator  on the  Bursar’s Office website  to calculate one academic (Fall/Spring) year’s current tuition. 

This program is an E-Rate program, so choose “yes” for the E-Rate line item within the calculator.

Online students pay the following fees: Connect UGA, Green, and Technology. The total for those  fees in the fall semester of 2022 was $147  for students enrolled in exclusively online courses. 

Potential additional costs include textbooks, exam proctoring fees, and technology upgrades. 

The complete cost of attendance can be found at .

Financial Aid

Visit the  Office of Student Financial Aid  for information about financial assistance.

Corporate Assistance

Consult your employer about the availability of tuition reimbursement or tuition assistance programs.

Military Assistance

Active duty military, veterans, and military families should visit  Veterans Educational Benefits  to take full advantage of available financial assistance and educational benefits.

University System of Georgia Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)

The purpose of TAP is to foster the professional growth and development of eligible employees. For more information, see  Tuition Assistance  (refer to the Distance Learning section). 

Technology Requirements

  • Computer with current operating system (Windows, Mac, or Linux). Additional peripherals such as webcam, headphones, and microphone are required.
  • High-speed internet access.

Online Master of Education in Workforce Education Program Structure

This fully online Master of Education in Workforce Education program requires a minimum of 36 credit hours, consisting of 12, 3 semester-hour courses. Two courses are recommended each academic term (including summers).  Students are assigned an academic advisor who will advise them by telephone and/or e-mail.

Course Sequence (potential course options)

WFED 6990E – Basic Research Methods

WFED 6200E – Introduction to International Workforce Education

WFED 7560E – Diversity in Workforce Education & Work

WFED 6100E – Career Development

WFED 8000E – Technology in the Workplace

WFED 7090E – Critical Issues in Workforce Education

EDIT 6170E   – Instructional Design

WFED 8050E – Understanding the Global Marketplace

EMKT 6120E – Human Resource Foundations in Work-Based Education

ETES 7010E – Technology & Society

WFED 8320E – Innovation in Workforce Education

EBUS 6010E – Business Communication

Additional information and disclosures regarding state licensure for professional practice in this field can be found at the  UGA Licensure Disclosure Portal.

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U.S. News & World Report released their 2024 Best Online Programs rankings with several of the University of Georgia online programs in the top 10.

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Student Profile: Whitney Van Atta’s Master’s in Workforce Ed Will Help Her Career Path Transition

Whitney Van Atta thought she had her career planned out when she graduated from Georgia Southern with a degree in business with an emphasis in marketing. However, Van Atta quickly realized that being directly in the business world was not for her. She worked in marketing for a bit, working for a sports social networking company and a trade show company. But it just wasn’t for her. She needed something else, and she found that in the Master of Education in Workforce Ed online program through the University of Georgia.

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UGA Nationally Reaffirmed as a Top Military School

Once again, the University of Georgia has been nationally reaffirmed in 2016 as Military Friendly, Best for Vets and a Top Military College/University. Since the establishment of the Student Veterans Resource Center (SVRC) in the spring of 2013, UGA has made significant progress in connecting student veterans to one another, as well as to campus and community resources. UGA continues to maintain active affiliation with both the Student Veterans of America and the Got Your Six campaign, where faculty and staff attend a training session to become certified as veteran-friendly.

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“I chose UGA to achieve my online degree because they offered workforce education, and I wanted to teach high school, business classes. There aren’t a lot of schools that offer this program. After volunteering with a group of high school students, I realized I wasn’t happy in the 9-to-5 business world, what made me happy was seeing students grow, mature, and figure out who they want to be.” Whitney Van Atta , ’16

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Welcome to Workforce Education at North

We are here to answer your questions about Workforce Education tuition assistance funding and guide you through our application process. Tuition assistance is money that Workforce Education pays directly to the college to cover the cost of tuition and fees. Workforce Education funding may also include a book voucher to be used at the college bookstore to cover the cost of your required textbooks. Workforce Education tuition assistance is money that you do not pay back.

The expandable section below provides additional information about Workforce Education eligible academic program pathways and how to apply for Workforce Education funding.

  • Workforce Education is tuition assistance, which is money paid directly to the college to cover the cost of tuition, fees and may also pay for required textbooks when funding is available.
  • Basic Food Employment & Training (BFET)
  • Opportunity Grant
  • Worker Retraining
  • Pre-College/Basic and Transitional Studies (Adult Basic Education/ABE, General Educational Development/GED, and English as Second Language/ESL)
  • Career Training Certificates and Degrees
  • Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) Degrees * *BAS Degrees are only eligible for  Worker Retraining funding

Workforce Education cannot fund direct transfer degrees or undecided programs. Meet with an academic advisor or do some self-guided exploration by reviewing the resources listed on Career Exploration document and  How Many Credits Should I Take?  to help you decide on an academic program pathway.

  • Take the Start Next Quarter survey to check your funding eligibility; the survey is not an application for funding.
  • If eligible for funding, you should receive a Results page that lists the funding program(s) for which you may qualify. Click the ‘GO’ button to be directed to the Attend a Workshop page.
  • On the Attend a Workshop page, enter your contact information and then click the ‘GO’ button to be directed to the Get in Touch page.
  • The Get in Touch page includes information for the Workforce Education Application and link; click the application link and complete the Workforce Education Application.

Please consider attending our Zoom drop-in hours. More information including the schedule and Zoom links are on our Contact Workforce Education page, select “Virtual Assistance via Zoom.”

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What is a Workforce Education?

workforce education

A workforce education means programs that train, develop, and sustain essential career skills . Those enrolled in workforce education can be high school or college students, employees, prospective employees, and individuals across any industry looking to add skills . Community colleges and technical schools lead the way in quality, affordable access to valuable workforce education. 

Workforce education is typically a comprehensive approach and collaborative effort on behalf of community organizations, educators, employees, funding agencies, and local and regional companies to connect people to employment opportunities.   

Combining in-demand employment skills with students’ career interests, flexible workforce education programs fit into busy lives, develop leadership capacities, and provide excellent practical experience for their future careers.   

Credit Programs . Community Colleges offer Certificates and Associate degrees in majors that match your local job market’s needs. We call these workforce programs and sometimes refer to them as Career and Technical programs. Here are some points to help you decide if they are right for you.  

  • These programs lead to good jobs —a job that pays family-sustaining earnings. Manufacturing, IT and Healthcare are good choices if you want to make $35K – $50K when you get out. 
  • Students completing these programs are in high demand. Colleges work with local businesses and industry leaders and build these programs with the local economy in mind. That means you don’t have to move to move up in the world. 
  • Many of these programs transfer to a four-year college. Remember, these are credit programs.   Many four-year colleges have stepped up and now have transfer pathways for workforce degrees. They are primarily in business and management fields; in case you aspire to work in a management role or want to start your own company. 
  • Many of these programs stack credentials. For example, if you want to get your associates in computer programming, you’ll likely be earning IT certifications along the way. When you graduate, you will have lots of things to talk about in an interview. 
  • Credit workforce programs can lead to very high paying jobs.   Majors matter, but if you get into the right field, your two-year degree can take you into a great career with the pay to match.  
  • Practice work environments. Colleges partner with different businesses and industries to provide you with internships, apprenticeships, and practice learning environments.  
  • Faculty are seasoned employees. Workforce faculty have long careers doing what they are teaching. Some are still working, and others are looking for a way to give back to their communities. They will help you learn and help you find a job. 
  • Credit programs open the doors to more financial aid. There are lots of options at community college, but credit programs require admission to the college, and open you up to receiving Pell grants, State Aid, scholarships, and other financial aid opportunities. 
  • Being in a workforce program gives you an instant relationship with employers . Community colleges have done much of the networking for you. Your degree signals to employers that you know what you’re doing, and you’re ready. 

Non-Credit Programs . These are less known, but a major part of what community colleges do with and for businesses in your community. Here’s how they work:

  • Skill up. Sometimes you already have a degree, and you just want a skill (or two) so you can expand your employability footprint or qualify for a new position.  
  • Get a job fast. You may be looking at a job you want that requires a few skills you don’t have yet, and once you do; you can get the job.  
  • Employers want you to learn more . You might be in a job where your employer wants you to get new skills. Community colleges help by providing customized on-the-job training.
  • Learn a new language. Non-credit language development can teach you English, Spanish, and sometimes, other languages as well.  
  • Connections. Once you get the skills, then what? Your college helps you network by cultivating connections to employment. 
  • Faculty are seasoned employees. Just like in credit programs, workforce faculty have long careers doing what they are teaching. They will help you learn and help you find a job. 

Businesses backing workforce education simultaneously support state and local innovation — growing the economy. When workforce education serves students striving to succeed within their communities, the potential for providing purpose and a better life not only extends to one person but entire populations. By addressing the skills gap and administering or enrolling in workforce education, we hold the power to advance the nation to newfound possibilities and potential. 

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Workforce Education

Our programs prepare students for leadership, university teaching, and other roles in career and technical education. Our faculty are leaders in:

  • Workforce issues and policy development
  • Diversity in the workforce
  • Leadership and career education
  • Community-based education
  • Learners with special needs
  • International education
  • Assessing and enhancing student learning
  • Curricula development

Degree Programs

Double dawgs combined bachelor's and master's degrees.

Help others shape their future career choices with a path that combines a BSFCS in Family and Consumer Sciences Education with an MEd in Workforce Education.

Bachelor of Science in Education (BSEd)

Earn certification as an engineering and technology education teacher in grades 6-12 and contribute to the critical area of career and technical education in Georgia schools.

Master of Education (MEd)

Graduates of this state flagship unit take on roles within career and technical education.

Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)

Graduates of this state flagship unit take on roles within career and technical education. The Master of Arts for Teachers degree is designed for those who are not certified to teach in a career and technical education instructional field.

Educational Specialist (EdS)

As the flagship unit for Georgia on workforce research and education, this specialist program prepares graduates to take on roles within career and technical education.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Delve into the field of workforce education with coursework and a dissertation that will prepare you for research, scholarship, and policy development positions.

Doctor of Education (EdD)

The EdD in Workforce Education prepares students for leadership, university teaching, and other roles in career and technical education.

Non-Degree Programs

Non-degree certifications.

This UGA New Teacher Institute (PACTE-NTI) program is for candidates seeking initial certification in career and technical education. You may take it as post-baccalaureate or professional learning units (PLU), and primarily serves healthcare science and trade and industrial educators.


This endorsement will qualify you to teach P-12 online classes in Georgia. Learn from experts in online instruction to become a leader in this evolving format.

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Enabling workforce excellence with education, staffing, and remote services   The gap between the number of patients and the number of skilled clinical staff available is becoming ever wider. To keep offering high-quality patient care, healthcare providers need to deliver optimal clinical outcomes.

Siemens Healthineers workforce excellence - staff shortage

Workforce Management Tools

Education & coaching, remote imaging services, customer voices  , upskill your staff with targeted education & coaching.

With smart education strategies, you can improve the quality of clinical outcomes and boost productivity while increasing your reputation. Digital, Hybrid Learning solutions enable you to increase skills and coaching helps your staff gain confidence in new complex procedures. 

Hybrid Learning solutions , which provide a personalized mix of learning tools, enables you to: 

  • benefit from application and equipment training that goes beyond equipment usage  
  • build long-term expertise across the entire team and attracts and retains talent 
  • experience individual, expert-guided, virtual, or traditional education methods keep knowledge of your workforce up to date with a life-long education approach.

Book your Training now!

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Optimize your clinical skills to use the full potential of your system and its software applications. Choose from a wide range of education programs and profit from the professional knowledge of our education specialists and clinical partners. 

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Theoretical principles of imaging are supplemented by practical exercises, giving you the opportunity to gain skills for day-to-day clinical work. Wether in a virtual course or an onsite classroom we impact practical knowledge in clear, manageable units and focus on an interactive approach with our face-to-face training.

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helps you achieve safe and efficient operation of the new equipment, as well as its seamless integration into your organization’s processes.

  • Learn more about our Remote Training (pdf) 2.27 MB

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Whether you are a trainer, learner, or staff manager – education is a key topic that concerns everyone. Many of your colleagues around the world are already gaining interactive learning experience with our education solutions. Find out what they think. 9

Staff manager 

Remote MRI Technologist 

Alex Smith 

Alex Smith talks about how he can support customers as a Siemens Healthineers FlexForce CT Technologist. 9

Prof. Louise Rainford 

Associate Dean for Radiography at the UCD Health Science Centre in Dublin, Ireland reflects on the different learning needs of students and the future of medical education. 9

Prof. Dr. Franz Fellner

Dean of Studies/Faculty of Medicine JKU Linz in Linz, Austria, talks about the future of anatomy studies with virtual anatomy. 9

Jaka Potocnik

Jaka Potocnik, Assistant Professor at the School of Medicine University College Dublin, Ireland, shares his thoughts about the importance of communication in medical education. 9

Richard Hutzler

Richard Hutzler talks about his experiences working as a CT Application Trainer at the Siemens Healthineers Trainingscenter in Erlangen, Germany. 9

Aine Gleeson

a Stage 2 Radiography student at the School of Medicine of the University College Dublin in Dublin, Ireland explains what study space means for her. 9

Gabriel Tan

a Stage 2 Radiography student at the School of Medicine of the University College Dublin in Dublin, Ireland talks about what he finds important when it comes to learning. 9

Antonina Tcacenco

a Stage 2 Graduate Entry Medical Student at the School of Medicine of the University College Dublin in Dublin, Ireland shares how interactive learning helps her learn more efficiently. 9

Danielle Coleman

Manager Imaging Service at the WakeMed Cary Hospital in North Carolina, USA tells how she could quickly fill the shift of a highly skilled CT technologist thanks to the FlexForce workforce solution. 9

Here's Mary Gleckler 9 - our first WeScan remote technologist

Get to know her story!

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The products/features (mentioned herein) are not commercially available in all countries. Due to regulatory reasons their future availability cannot be guaranteed. Please contact your local Siemens Healthineers organization for further details. Not for clinical use. For training purposes only. There is no percentage of blend for each of the blended learning pillars and the amount of blend can vary from customer to customer.

Deutsches Krankenhausinstitut e.V., Düsseldorf, Germany. Fachkräftemangel und Fachkräftebedarf in MTA-Berufen (Skills shortage and demand in MTA professions); 2019. Available from:

Revcycle Int. Hospitals target labor costs, layoffs to reduce healthcare costs. Available from:

Subscription required. Availability of subscription depends on country.

Remote Imaging portfolio consists of the remote-scanning-offerings “WeScan” & “syngo Virtual Cockpit”, Expert-I enabled Siemens Healthineers MRI scanner, remote technologist and the remote-reading offering “WeRead”.

WeScan is not commercially available in all countries. Due to regulatory reasons its future availability cannot be guaranteed. Preconditions: Connection to Smart Remote Services (SRS) infrastructure is required and Expert-i enabled MRI scanner from Siemens Healthineers with appropriately trained personnel operating under applicable federal, state, and local laws as to the MRI scanner and contrast.

syngo Virtual Cockpit is not commercially available in all countries. Due to regulatory reasons its future availability cannot be guaranteed. Precondition: Expert-i enabled modality from Siemens Healthineers and appropriately trained personnel operating under applicable federal, state, and local laws as to the specific imaging modality(ies), including radiation and contrast. Use from home: Prerequisite is a secure VPN connection to the department network. Use syngo Virtual Cockpit anywhere/at all locations. Prerequisites include Internet connection to clinical network, DICOM compliance, meeting of minimum hardware requirements, and adherence to local data privacy regulations.

WeRead is currently under development and commercially only available in Germany as BEFUND24. Please contact your local Siemens Healthineers organization for further details. // *) Remote Imaging portfolio consists of the remote-scanning-offerings “WeScan” & “syngo Virtual Cockpit”, Expert-I enabled Siemens Healthineers MRI scanner, remote technologist and the remote-reading offering “WeRead”.

The statements by Siemens Healthineers’ customers described herein are based on results that were achieved in the customer’s unique setting. Since there is no “typical” hospital and many variables exist (e.g., hospital size, case mix, level of IT adoption) there can be no guarantee that other customers will achieve the same results.

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  • CTE Dual Credit Program The Career and Technical Education (CTE) Dual Credit Program at Seattle Colleges allows high school students to earn college credit for completing CTE courses in participating high schools.  

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Maritime Administration Announces Centers of Excellence Designations for Domestic Maritime Workforce Training and Education

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) announced the designation of 32 Centers of Excellence (CoE) for Domestic Maritime Workforce Training and Education. The designated COEs consist of 50 maritime training locations across 17 states and Guam. The designation recognizes and promotes support to post-secondary maritime training programs that prepare students for careers in the maritime industry. 

“Our country depends on a highly-skilled mariner workforce to strengthen both our economy and our national security,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg . “The 32 Centers of Excellence we're designating today will promote training opportunities outside of traditional four-year degree programs and will bring more Americans into these great maritime careers.”   

Section 51706 of title 46 United States Code authorizes the Secretary of Transportation to designate a domestic maritime workforce training and education entity as a “center of excellence” if such entity, among other things, is demonstrably successful in maritime workforce training and education.

“Our Centers of Excellence designations recognize the high standards of maritime education and training provided by these organizations,” said Maritime Administrator Ann Phillips . “These institutions play a critical role in providing domestic mariners with the expertise needed to best serve the maritime industry.” 

MARAD published a solicitation for applications in the Federal Register on July 20, 2023, for eligible and qualified training entities, under the Fiscal Year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act. The approved entities include thirty-eight postsecondary educational institutions; one postsecondary vocational institution; four non-profit structured experiential training programs; four registered apprenticeship sponsors; three maritime training centers; and four organizations containing a combination of the above-mentioned entities.

For additional information, a full list of designees, and a searchable interactive map identifying designee locations please visit the Centers of Excellence homepage .   

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Johns Hopkins Nursing Magazine

Forging Policy: Associate Dean Jermaine Monk and Education After Affirmative Action

workforce education

Last year, the Supreme Court overturned Affirmative Action. The decision means that schools can no longer legally consider race as a determining factor for a student’s admission.

As a result, educational institutions need to find new methods to achieve their goal of matriculating a student body that reflects the diversity of the real world.

Jermaine Monk, PhD, MSW, MS, MA, Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging, wants to take on that question at “Beyond SFFA: Dismantling Barriers and Fostering Innovation Through a Health Policy Incubator.”

Dr. Monk received an Institute for Policy Solutions Grant for the project in November 2023. The grant, funded through the Institute for Policy Solutions at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, awards recipients $100,000 for convenings and research that will identify solutions to improve the health and well-being of individuals, families, and communities. Ultimately, this work will contribute to the Institute’s goal of shifting policy and practice toward preventive, whole-person care while also eliminating racist policies and structures.

For Dr. Monk, the grant, and incubator, is an opportunity to ignite action, and the impact reaches beyond education.

Diversity is critical for achieving health equity and access; diversity in the nursing workforce enhances culturally competent care, improves patient outcomes, and addresses health care disparities. The Brookings Institute now projects that America will have a majority population of people of color by 2045. And while in the School of Nursing’s community, 52 percent of students and over a third of faculty are people of color, 80 percent of registered nurses and nurse practitioners are White.

“We see diversity and disparity in the real world, so we are committed to ensuring diversity, equity, and inclusion are built into nursing education,” says Dr. Monk. Now it is up to schools to find new strategies to foster and sustain inclusive excellence.

We know what the problem is,” says Dr. Monk. “We need to identify solutions .”

A Meeting of the Minds

“Beyond SFFA: Dismantling Barriers and Fostering Innovation through a Health Policy Incubator” will take place at the Institute for Policy Solutions in the new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg Center in Washington, DC in fall 2024. 

The event will convene researchers, policymakers, and practitioners for a two-day “think-and-do-tank,” where they will produce a cohesive plan that encompasses everyone’s input.

Dr. Monk plans to include thought leaders from outside institutions, policy organizations, health care organizations, and more —including students from the School of Nursing.

“It’s important to include their perspectives because, ultimately, they feel the impact,” notes Dr. Monk.

Despite the recent ruling on race and admissions, our resolve remains unchanged to build a school community that represents the rich diversity of America. Dean Sarah Szanton upon receiving the 2023 HEED Award for Diversity

Diversity in the Nursing Workforce

The Supreme Court decision creates a ripple effect throughout the health care field. It impacts the opportunities for individuals from underrepresented backgrounds to pursue nursing, decreases diversity in the nursing student population and, ultimately, the nursing workforce.

It matters because social determinants of health make up around 80 percent of health outcomes. While an understanding of social determinants is built into the foundation of nursing practice, our efforts to address health inequities fall short if they don’t also include efforts to recruit nurses of color.

“The decision is the decision,” says Dr. Monk. “We can’t change that. Now it’s time to come together and find new strategies to reach our goals.”

  • Seizing the Moment on Policy, Equity
  • Creating Inclusive Academic Spaces: The Role of Indigenous Allies
  • Vincent Guilamo-Ramos Offers Healthy Nudge on Policy: ‘We Can Do Better’

About the Author: Sam DiStefano

Sam DiStefano is the Social Media and Digital Content Coordinator for the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. Sam works to bring the latest from JHUSON straight to your social media feeds and online reading.

Sam DiStefano

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2024 Virtual Education Workforce Job Fairs

February 21, 2024

LANSING – In support of Goal 7 of Michigan's Top 10 Strategic Education Plan to increase the numbers of certified teachers in areas of shortage, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) is pleased to share the dates for the 2024 Virtual Education Workforce Job Fairs, presented in cooperation with the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO).

The 2024 virtual job fairs are open to employers of educators and all individuals seeking to work in the education field.

The first job fair will be held on Tuesday, March 19, 2024, in partnership with Central Michigan University (CMU). Through the partnership with CMU, Michigan can continue to meet the demands of districts seeking out educational professionals to fill vacancies. The second job fair will take place on Wednesday, May 8, 2024 .Both job fairs will use the Brazen virtual platform to increase access to individuals seeking education jobs in Michigan.

“From administrative assistants to teachers, from principals to bus drivers, it takes educational staff working together to serve our students and their diverse needs,” said State Superintendent Dr. Michael F. Rice. “Students deserve to have qualified school staff who teach, guide, and mentor them in their learning experiences, and job fairs are one way we are able to assist schools and districts in placing qualified staff in areas of need.”

For information and to register, job seekers and employers should visit the Education Workforce Job Fairs website .

For information on how to become a certified educator in Michigan, please visit the Office of Educator Excellence website .

Staff are also available to answer specific certification questions sent to  [email protected] .  

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Michigan 2023 graduation rates higher than pre-pandemic rates in most categories, explore students and educators featured in latest proudmieducator video, february 10-17 declared as entrepreneurship week in michigan, mde partners with communities in schools affiliates in mi to offer a new grant opportunity, usda celebrates michigan school meals program, michigan expanding summer meal offerings new options available to help fight summer hunger, michigan schools need continued investments, corunna high school student elected 2023-24 national ffa president, library of michigan announces 2024 michigan notable books.


  1. Workforce Education by William B. Bonvillian

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  1. America Needs a New Workforce Education System

    The author argues that the nation needs to develop large-scale workforce education programs that enable workers to advance or change industries, reduce income inequality, and support domestic innovation. He discusses the challenges and opportunities of such programs, such as flexible and tailored learning, social disruption, and human skills.

  2. Workforce Education

    A new book that proposes a roadmap for how to transform workforce education and training in the US, based on the authors' research and experience. The book covers topics such as skills, education, labor markets, and social justice, and offers insights and recommendations for policymakers and practitioners.

  3. Workforce Education A New Roadmap

    Workforce education can raise skills, increase job opportunity, enable better-paying, quality jobs Workforce education now much higher on the policy priority list The question: how do we improve workforce education? Basics on this Report on answers to the "quality job" problem

  4. What works in workforce development—and how can it work better?

    For the past two years, a bipartisan group of researchers and analysts convened by the American Enterprise Institute, the Brookings Institution, and the Harvard Kennedy School's Project on...

  5. Health workforce education and training

    Scaling up and strengthening the quality of health workforce education and training to address the global gap of 18 million health workers, and to support, strengthen and empower the existing health workforce, is a priority in the 2019 multi-agency SDG global action plan and the WHO 13 th General Programme of Work.

  6. Why We Must Connect Education and the Future of Work

    It demands the redesign of educational and career pathways to allow for cross-pollination among all sectors, from business to government to philanthropy — and it demands asking tough questions about what each sphere must contribute today to prepare the workforce of tomorrow. Higher education can play a unique role because it has the ability ...

  7. About The National Council for Workforce Education

    NCWE is a national organization that supports workforce education professionals in their efforts to serve all members of their community inclusively, ensure fair and equitable 'workforce education for all', and advance high caliber workforce programs. NCWE offers a national platform, awards, and strategic partners for practitioners and leaders in workforce education.

  8. Bridging the gap between education and employment: Community college

    The workforce needs agile learners who can upskill easily. Industry needs change rapidly, so training programs need to adapt accordingly. Partnerships with employers in the industry are key. Courses, apprenticeships, and credentialing need to be accessible to all learners. Day 1: Education perspectives

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    National Council for Workforce Education NCWE Board of Directors Appoint Kate Kinder as Executive Director 2023 AWARD RECIPIENTS NCWE is THE national workforce education council. Premier organization, leading and engaging professionals, transforming the future

  10. Workforce Education: A New Roadmap

    Workforce Education: A New Roadmap by W. Bonvillian and S. E. Sarma, Cambridge, MA, The MIT Press, 2021, xi + 349 pp., $34.95 (hardcover), ISBN 978--26-204488-2 David J. Shofstahl Pages 399-400 | Published online: 28 Nov 2022 Cite this article Full Article Figures & data Citations Metrics

  11. Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Workforce Education

    The online Master of Education in Workforce Education program addresses the current skills you need to manage careers within a global economy, cultivate work ethic and communication skills, and develop capacity for innovation.

  12. Workforce Education and Development

    Learn about the academic program and faculty of Workforce Education and Development at Penn State, one of the oldest and best in the field. Explore the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degree options and emphases, as well as scholarships and financial aid.

  13. Workforce Education

    Learn how to apply for Workforce Education funding to cover your tuition, fees and textbooks at North Seattle College. Workforce Education is a program that does not require repayment and supports your education and career goals.

  14. What is a Workforce Education? » CCsmart

    A workforce education means programs that train, develop, and sustain essential career skills. Those enrolled in workforce education can be high school or college students, employees, prospective employees, and individuals across any industry looking to add skills. Community colleges and technical schools lead the way in quality, affordable ...

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    Areas such as partnerships, employer engagement, career pathways, program development, program review, bridge programs from basic skills to credit programs, noncredit industry-based certification programs, work-place readiness skills, noncredit to credit articulation, apprenticeship, work-based learning, micro-credentials, and customized traini...

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    MAT in Workforce Education (Business Education) Graduates of this state flagship unit take on roles within career and technical education. The Master of Arts for Teachers degree is designed for those who are not certified to teach in a career and technical education instructional field. MAT in Workforce Education (Family and Consumer Sciences ...

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    Enabling workforce excellence with education, staffing, and remote services The gap between the number of patients and the number of skilled clinical staff available is becoming ever wider. To keep offering high-quality patient care, healthcare providers need to deliver optimal clinical outcomes.

  19. Workforce Education Programs

    Workforce Education offers a worker retraining program to provide opportunities for eligible laid off, unemployed, and dislocated workers. Balancing work, family, and other responsibilities while attending college can be a challenge. Workforce Education supports students as they continue their education in order to advance their career.

  20. Workforce Education

    Workforce Education Service . Workforce Education Service may provide assistance with tuition, books, fees, tools, and individual support services. Workforce Education Services provides financial support to help connect students with a path into a high-demand, high wage career through grants. These services can help support:

  21. How Students Can 'Future-Proof' Themselves As AI Disrupts The Workforce

    Higher education must guide individuals throughout their careers, ensuring ongoing learning to maintain relevant and productive skills, Fujii says. Some countries will have challenges that are ...

  22. Federal Register :: Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act

    The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) establishes six primary indicators of performance and defines five of those performance indicators. ... U.S. Department of Education: Hugh Reid, Policy, Planning, and Research, U.S. Department of Education, Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, LBJ-4A172 ...

  23. Maritime Administration Announces Centers of Excellence Designations

    WASHINGTON - Today, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration (MARAD) announced the designation of 32 Centers of Excellence (CoE) for Domestic Maritime Workforce Training and Education. The designated COEs consist of 50 maritime training locations across 17 states and Guam. The designation recognizes and promotes support to post-secondary maritime training programs ...

  24. Representatives From Over 100 Countries Took Part in the "Open

    MOSCOW, Oct. 23, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The VIII Moscow International Forum of Innovative Development "Open Innovations" took place in Moscow - the main annual event in Russia in the field of ...

  25. Forging Policy: Associate Dean Jermaine Monk and Education After

    For Dr. Monk, the grant, and incubator, is an opportunity to ignite action, and the impact reaches beyond education. Diversity is critical for achieving health equity and access; diversity in the nursing workforce enhances culturally competent care, improves patient outcomes, and addresses health care disparities.

  26. 2024 Virtual Education Workforce Job Fairs

    LANSING - In support of Goal 7 of Michigan's Top 10 Strategic Education Plan to increase the numbers of certified teachers in areas of shortage, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) is pleased to share the dates for the 2024 Virtual Education Workforce Job Fairs, presented in cooperation with the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO).

  27. The Status of Kentucky's Early Childhood Education Workforce

    So when we talk about early childhood education and the settings and the affordability, accessibility, it always seems to bend towards Dr. Vanover the the quality of the workforce and even having ...

  28. Six competing for three Moscow City Council spots

    Oct 31, 2023 Updated Oct 31, 2023. Three Moscow City Council seats are open for election this fall and six candidates are asking for the public's vote. Sandra Kelly and Drew Davis are the ...

  29. Keeping attendance a priority through the end of year

    Contact the Office of Whole Child Supports at [email protected] for questions. Ohio Department of Education and Workforce. Stephen D. Dackin, Director; 25 South Front Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215; ... Sign-up for Alerts ; The Ohio Department of Education and Workforce is an equal opportunity employer and provider of ADA services.