National Governors Association Work-based Learning Policy Academy and Governor Summit on Career Connected Learning Summit Overview
In December 2015, Washington was one of six states selected by the National Governors Association (NGA) to participate in a Policy Academy, led by the Governor’s Office and the Workforce Board, to identify promising practices, resources and policies aimed at increasing career-related opportunities in high demand jobs for Washington youth. As part of the NGA Policy Academy, a Governor’s Summit on Career Connected Learning was co-hosted by the Workforce Board, the Governor’s Office, OSPI, Washington STEM and WSU Extension.
The Summit was the focal point for all of the work of the Policy Academy. The work done over an 18 month period helped to shape the form and scope of the Summit. The planning for the Policy Academy was a collaborative process involving multiple partners from public, private, and business sectors. Approximately 1,200 people attended—346 at the full-day conference at Microsoft, and 855 Washingtonians participating in shorter, community-focused events at 26 regional sites all across the state (Appendix A). The regional site concept helped to promote increased attendance from employers and other supporters from all over the state who may not have been able to attend an all-day event in Redmond.
Summit attendees were provided with a copy of the Policy Academy’s finalized policy framework (Appendix B)—the culmination of over a year of focused brainstorming of the Core and Home Teams on statutory, administrative, legal, and financial barriers to increasing access to career connected learning opportunities (CCL: the term Washington has chosen to encompass applied, work-based, and work-integrated learning). The policy framework also included a page that listed upcoming events—both in person and via webinar—focused on providing technical assistance and education opportunities for schools or businesses interested in offering CCL opportunities for young adults, ages 16-25.
The Summit featured an announcement by Governor Inslee on the creation of a new public-private task force of business, education, and government leaders focused on increased employer engagement to spur additional investments in CCL. Titled “Career Connect Washington,” this task force will be co-chaired by the President of Microsoft, Brad Smith, and the Chair of the Workforce Board, Perry England. The new task force is responsible for increasing the participation of business in CCL opportunities, and will use the policy framework as a starting point for their work.