Job Skills, Education and Workforce Development Resources



States have employed an array of strategies to encourage workforce development including getting students prepared for a career or college and training new and incumbent workers to meet the demands of evolving industries. Economic development policy is often consulted in relation to workforce development and job creation. 

Below is a list of resources compiled from all NCSL programs that conduct research on workforce issues and job creation, organized by topic and date.

Send questions about specific topic areas to the designated contact listed below. 

Economic Development

States provide support and incentives to attract and grow businesses of all sizes to boost economic activity and to create jobs.  As budgets recover, legislators are looking at the effectiveness of these incentives to strengthen the state economy. 

Note: This database covers state tax incentives across multiple domains including workforce development. To see incentives that relate only to workforce development, select "job creation or retention" or "job training and workforce development" in the "Incentive Types" search box of the database. Users can also filter results by topic, states and years.

NCSL Contact: Mandy Rafool 


School is where students learn many of the skills needed to succeed in K-12, higher education and in their careers goals.  As workforce needs shift, education systems are aligning their programs to meet the needs of industries so that students graduate with the qualifications to fill available jobs.

NCSL Contact: Education Program 

NCSL Labor and Economic Development Committee

The NCSL Labor and Economic Development covers state and federal issues related to labor, employment, workforce, economic development and international trade. The committee educates Congress and federal agencies about state concerns related to federal actions that impact the states based on policy positions adopted by the states through NCSL's policy process. In addition, the Committee serves as a forum for legislators and legislative staff to learn about and share information about policy options being considered in states.  The Department of Labor, United States Trade Representative, the Small Business Administration, Department of Commerce and Housing and Urban Development work with the committee and are examples of federal agencies that aim to strengthen the nation’s economy through business and workforce initiatives. 

NCSL Contacts: Jon Jukuri and Jackson Brainerd

Health Care

State policymakers play key roles in health care workforce issues, such as creating and funding programs to address shortages in underserved areas, funding and crafting laws related to health information technology initiatives (i.e., telehealth, electronic medical records and more), determining the licensure and scope of practice for health professions.

NCSL Contacts: Richard Cauchi

Human Services | Public Assistance

Over the past two decades, state and federal reforms transformed welfare programs to incorporate work requirements and other employment-related services. State legislatures have flexibility to create work-focused programs that not only require individuals receiving assistance to participate in work or training activities, but also provide additional supports such as child care and transportation. Some states are targeting noncustodial parents in order to increase their earnings and improve their ability to make child support payments.

NCSL Contact: Human Services Program

Workforce Development

Industries are in need of skilled workers throughout the nation.  States are partnering with business and nonprofits to help upgrade the skills of current workers and train potential workers for available jobs. 

NCSL Contacts: Children and Families Program

Employing People with Disabilities

In the states and territories, employment rates and educational achievement rates for people with disabilities continue to trail the rates for individuals without disabilities. State and local government recognizes the need to address these issues through policy with creativity, resolve and commitment to their constituents with disabilities. State legislatures are working to increase employment of people with disabilities through a variety of policy approaches.

NCSL Contact: Josh Cunningham