The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) announced the launch of the Reskilling and Recovery Network with support from Lumina Foundation and the Siemens Foundation. Through the end of the year, the network will join state and community college institutional leaders to offer targeted assistance and identify fast strategies to give workers the skills necessary to succeed in an economy reshaped by the pandemic.
The states in the network are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Colorado, Louisiana, Maryland, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin.
COVID-19 and measures taken to limit the transmission of the coronavirus, including widespread business closures, have led to 14 million jobs lost in the United States. The national unemployment rate increased from 3.8 percent in February to 11.1 percent in June.
The pandemic has disproportionately affected lower-income workers who are concentrated in service-sector jobs that do not lend themselves to telework. According to the Federal Reserve, among people who were working in February, almost 40 percent of those in households making less than $40,000 a year had lost a job in March.
Women and communities of color have also borne disproportionate impacts. The Reskilling and Recovery Network will strive to address equity disparities that have increased during the economic and health crisis.
Through the network, participating states will:
- Engage with a collaborative network of like-minded state leaders to strategize economic and workforce recovery efforts;
- Receive access to innovative tools designed by peers in the field and be paired with experts engaged by the NGA Center and AACC; and
- Access technical assistance including webinars, facilitated peer-to-peer learning, virtual state site visits and more.
Education Strategy Group and the National Association of Workforce Boards will work with NGA and the AACC on the network.