Statewide Solutions

Large scale changes are occurring in the world of work and education. Jobs requiring lower skills did not recover after the 2008 recession and most will never come back. Only 47% of Americans have credentials beyond high school diplomas, but it is predicted that 65% of jobs will require greater than a high school education within the next decade. (Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, Recovery- Job Growth and Education Requirements Through 2020) 


What and how people learn is also changing. For jobs of the future – and increasingly today – people need sophisticated, higher level thinking and reasoning abilities, as well as technical skills that will need to be continually updated throughout one’s life.  


WDI plays a critical role to support New York’s workforce system in the midst of these significant changes in the world of work and education. We scan national best practices and work with state and national partners to pilot solutions that can improve workers’ ability to gain entry to jobs, or move ahead in careers. Our goal? To help New York build an educated, trained workforce that can continually adapt to new skill requirements. 

Examples of current projects/pilots that we think may have broader potential include:

  • Core Score – A foundational skills assessment for manufacturing that has already been validated for Health Care, Retail, and the IT sectors in other states. WDI is working with several NYS manufacturers to adapt it and validate it for this sector. 
  • Soft Skills Assessment and Training Pilot - In partnership with New World of Work, a non-profit associated with the CA community college system, this program has had excellent outcomes in California. We think it has potential for NYS as well. 
  • Accelerated Apprenticeship Program (AAP) – This bootcamp/pipeline to manufacturing apprenticeships is a program that started with Vermont HITECH, but which WDI has helped to adapt successfully in NYS for manufacturing. The program is growing and has potential applications in other sectors as well.
  • Future Skills Exchange – An online platform, under development in partnership with Innovate & Educate and Credential Engine. The goal: to enable employers and job seekers to search, compare, and connect with credentials and assessments related to their jobs, and then find appropriate training to fill any gaps.

To obtain further information about any of these initiatives, or to inquire about a partnership with WDI, contact Lois Johnson, Director of Workforce Strategies at