Postsecondary education and credentials are key to economic mobility for individuals and economic competitiveness for our nation. Yet too many low-income adults and disadvantaged youth are locked out of the opportunity to earn credentials and are falling further and further behind. The Center advocates for better policies, more investment, and increased political will to address this national challenge. Learn more »

Resources & Publications

Policy Areas for Action

Reengineer Education and Skill Development Systems: Federal, state, and local policies can help increase opportunity for low-income adults and disadvantaged youth by connecting education and training systems and funding innovative education and training strategies. Learn More »
Expand Student Financing and Supports: The nation needs robust student financing policies and student support services to ensure more low-income adults and disadvantaged youth complete postsecondary credentials. Learn More »
Increase Investment in Services and Capacity: States and communities can better serve more low-income youth and disadvantaged adults who seek postsecondary credentials by increasing investment in and coordination of funding for education and training. Learn More »
Strengthen Data and Accountability: Education and training systems should work together to better evaluate individual outcomes and improve services for low-income adults and disadvantaged youth. Learn More »

CLASP to Present at Transforming U.S. Workforce Development Policies for the 21st Century Conference

By Manuela Ekowo and Vickie Choitz

On October 15-17, key leaders in workforce development will gather for Transforming U.S. Workforce Development Policies for the 21st Century at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ. The conference is sponsored by the Atlanta and Kansas City Federal Reserve Banks and the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University.

Participants will explore strategies to expand educational and economic opportunity for job seekers, students, and workers—especially those who face the greatest difficulties in the labor market—while meeting employers’ need for a highly skilled workforce.  The conference will also discuss how federal, state, and local/regional governments; educational institutions; businesses; and nonprofits can best deliver effective solutions.

Vickie Choitz, CLASP’s senior policy analyst and director of the Alliance for Quality Career Pathways, will speak at a workshop on emerging strategies that are transforming how individuals are educated and trained.

Improving the skills of lower-skilled, low-income individuals and ensuring our workforce has enough skilled workers for the jobs in demand will require thoughtful action and ongoing conversation. Conference participants will engage in discussions around how economic trends are changing the nature of work, the labor market, education and workforce institutions, public policy, and how we measure success through research, evaluation, and data.

Workforce development providers; postsecondary educators; federal, state, and local policymakers; community-based organizations; researchers; business; the philanthropic community; and students are encouraged to attend.

The October conference will precede the 2015 release of the Federal Reserve Banks’ and the Heldrich Center’s book Transforming U.S. Workforce Development Policies for the 21st Century. CLASP has been invited to write a case study on the Alliance for Quality Career Pathways’ and Minnesota’s FastTRAC program, a key initiative in Minnesota’s “suite” of career pathways. The Alliance for Quality Career Pathways, a collaboration of CLASP and ten leading career pathway states, was launched to develop a shared understanding of quality career pathway systems; the Alliance recently released and will soon implement a framework of system performance indicators and participant metrics that partners can use to assess and continuously improve their career pathway systems. The case study is co-authored by Whitney Smith of the Joyce Foundation and Thomas Norman of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

To register for the conference, click here. Receive the early bird rate of $245 by registering before midnight Friday, July 18, 2014 (EST). If you have immediate questions about conference registration, contact Kyan Bishop at

Learn More About the Alliance for Quality Career Pathways


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