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Integration of Education and Workforce Development: A Courtship Funding Opportunity



Momentum around education and the workforce is on the rise. It is a courtship with potential funding opportunities resulting from the reauthorization of Carl D. Perkins; possible merger of the US. Department of Education and Department of Labor; increase interest for apprenticeships; investment of future workforce talent in K12 by businesses; and state focused emphasis on career readiness. 


Throughout the nation, there is an “integrating behavior” happening between workforce and K12 education.  Many organization and schools are combining efforts to uncover multiple pathways to help students prepare for the future and contribute to the economy. And with this courtship, funding sources are emerging. Check out grants such as GEAR UP and YouthBuild. 

Private sector funding in career readiness is also joining in to support infinitives. In 2016, JP Morgan and Chase invested over $75 million in the New Skills for Youth Initiative. Twenty- four states and the District of Columbia participated in their first phase of this work.

In 2017,JP Morgan and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) announced an additional $20 million in 10 states. Check out the states here:

ESSA plans offered new ways that state embraced career readiness. The Education Strategy Group and Advance CTE reviewed all state ESSA plans and mapped opportunities to improve career readiness in grades K-12. The report found 35 states included a career-focused measure in their high school accountability rating systems, with completing dual enrollment, earning an industry-recognized credential, and participating in work-based learning opportunities as the most selected measures.

Find out how states are prioritizing career readiness. Look to the state insights in locations such as AZ, DE, RI, NV, VT, TN, MA, NE, MT, OK, LA. 


RFPMatch Analysis:

  • If you have products and services for career readiness, think about revisiting your target states based on their ESSA plans and other efforts mentioned above that are under way in key states. 
  • Make friends with CCSSO. Check out the Career Readiness Collaborative for the 2018-2019 program year. This collaborative is being formed to support states interested in improving access to a high-quality education that provides pathways into college and a career for each and every child.
  • Another huge influencer in funding and policy support is Jobs for the Future (JFF). Look to this national nonprofit for case studies and research and design in best practices They shape ideas into action! This group can provide marketing insights and future product development offerings. See https://www.jff.or
  • Also check out JFF’s Pathways to Prosperity. Many states share memberships.
  • Check out the College and Career Readiness and Success Center from the American Institutes for Research(AIR) to find implementation tools including key definitions and status on each state, and evidence based practices,