The last decade has seen enormous growth in the number and variety of labor market credentials – college degrees, educational certificates, industry certifications, occupational licenses, and such micro-credentials as badges. This growth has intensified already existing confusion among employers, workers, job seekers, and students about the quality and value of credentials – what they mean, what stands behind them, and how they relate. A coherent and transparent credentialing marketplace – one that all users can understand and use effectively – is essential to advancing the interests of the American workforce and economy, and is the vision that motivates this initiative.

The grant is for the second phase of a project that began in 2013. [see related article] Since its introduction, this project has involved more than 50 major stakeholders in the development process and includes an executive advisory committee from the American Council on Education, the American Association of Community Colleges, Business Roundtable, the Committee for Economic Development of The Conference Board, the Manufacturing Institute, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

In addition to creating the credential registry, the project staff will develop and test an “app” to allow registry users to access the websites of participating credential issuers, build customized directories of credentials based on their own criteria, and publish the results.

The grant also allows for the design of three additional applications: one that allows employers to communicate their competency and credentialing requirements; one that supports the review and analysis of “competency-based” resumes, transcripts, and portfolios based on transfer policies and recommendations; and one that allows colleges, certification organizations, and other stakeholders to develop more transparent and assessable competency statements based on employer requirements and competency frameworks.

The project is led by a partnership among the George Washington Institute of Public Policy (GWIPP), Workcred (an affiliate of the American National Standards Institute), and Southern Illinois University (SIU) Carbondale’s Center for Workforce Development. The leadership team consists of GWIPP’s Stephen Crawford and Robert Sheets, Workcred’s Roy Swift, SIU’s Jeanne Kitchens, and consultant and former Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training Roberts Jones.

About the George Washington Institute of Public Policy

The George Washington Institute of Public Policy is a research institute at the George Washington University that engages in and supports a wide range of high-quality policy research.

About Workcred

Formed in 2014 as an affiliate of the American National Standards Institute, Workcred is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to strengthen workforce quality by improving the credentialing system, ensuring its ongoing relevance, and preparing employers, workers, educators, and governments to use it effectively.

About SIU

Southern Illinois University Carbondale is a public doctoral research university serving 17,989 students. SIU’s Center for Workforce Development implements education, leadership and technology advancement initiatives that support the development of a college- and career-ready workforce.

About Lumina Foundation

Lumina Foundation is an independent, private foundation committed to increasing the proportion of Americans with high-quality degrees, certificates, and other credentials to 60 percent by 2025. Lumina’s outcomes-based approach focuses on helping to design and build an accessible, responsive, and accountable higher education system while fostering a national sense of urgency for action to achieve Goal 2025.

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