By: Carrie Samson, Communications Manager, Credential Engine
This blog is part of a series highlighting the work of Credential Engine’s state partners. Catch up by checking out our last piece here.
In an economy where skill needs are constantly evolving, and an educational landscape where new opportunities and platforms for training are popping up every day, states can often feel overwhelmed by the task of aligning workforce and education in an effort to keep their local economies growing. One critical challenge states face is the lack of clear, comparable credential data. To tackle this challenge and keep their education and workforce systems strong, nine states are taking meaningful steps towards credential clarity.
As previous blogs have noted, Indiana was the first state to recognize the value Credential Engine could bring. Beginning with a focus on the state’s growing healthcare sector, Indiana developed a centralized effort to publish all the healthcare credentials within the public higher education system to the Credential Registry. Once documented in a common language, the state was better equipped to evaluate program competencies, learning opportunities, and assessments in a meaningful way for the first time. Recognizing the incredible value this information has, the state has committed to publishing all of its public higher education credentials to the Registry. With almost 2,000 credentials currently published, the work is well underway to create stronger alignment and pathway opportunities—empowering Hoosiers with the data they need to succeed.
In Kansas, policymakers are also looking for ways to improve alignment. As last week’s piece explained, the Sunflower State has seen an increase in demand for workers with postsecondary education and training. By working with Credential Engine, Kansas is publishing publicly the data they collect about programs offered in public institutions to help the state more efficiently compare and reward credit across state lines, award credit for previous experience such as military service, as well as identify credentials that are in high-demand by employers.
As New Jersey looks to the future, they see an increased demand in the advanced manufacturing, transportation, logistics, and distribution, healthcare, construction and utilities, and retail, hospitality, and tourism sectors. By publishing data to the Credential Registry, the Garden State will be able share better information about the credentials offered at their Talent Development Centers—which are state-based centers that provide training and skill development in key sectors as well as serve as anchors for employer and educational partnerships. The partnership between New Jersey and Credential Engine will also help support Governor Murphy’s priorities related to education and workforce development, helping students better understand their opportunities to access free community college tuition or paid apprenticeships.
Michigan, too, sees the value in better understanding credential data. As the state continues to see growth in healthcare, information technology and computer science, manufacturing, business, and other professional trades, it is more important than ever that students and workers are aware of the education and training opportunities that will lead to the most in-demand jobs. Through this work, Michigan will be able to better identify and track career pathways, as well as have the information needed to expand apprenticeship opportunities in industries that have high demand.
Similarly, Ohio is focusing their work with Credential Engine in high-demand sectors. The Buckeye State is seeing increased growth in information technology and cybersecurity jobs, and the skills and competencies in those sectors are ever-evolving. To keep pace, Ohio is working with Credential Engine in order to map their relevant credentials, discover career pathways, and more efficiently award credit for previous learning.
To take on their economic and educational data challenges, the New England states have banded together as part of the High Value Credentials for New England (HVCNE) initiative. Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island will work together to publish and evaluate data in the life and biosciences, information technology, healthcare and business and financial operations industries. In addition to building stronger pathways, HVCNE will use the data to identify new credentials that meet the needs of the changing economy and strengthen direct relationships between employers and training institutions. As a regional effort, the project will, for the first time, allow users to compare similar data across all participating states, giving students the tools to better understand their opportunities and the possible connections between credentials in the area.
Over and over again, we see that states are recognizing the key role credential data plays in unlocking the mysteries that frequently plague the implementation of strong partnerships between education and training, impede the mapping of credential pathways, stymie progress recognizing credit from previous training, and ultimately restrict the ability for students and workers to get the training they need to flourish. By organizing state credential data so that it is clear and comparable within and across state lines, these states are setting themselves up to overcome each of these challenges and power their economies into the next century and beyond.
Please join us next week to get get a deep dive into why New Jersey is committed to creating a transparent credential marketplace.