For Immediate Release: September 15, 2015

LEXINGTON, Ky.—The Council of State Governments recently released a report that outlines recommendations for state-level policies that help ensure students are prepared for postsecondary education and the workforce. The report, “A Framework for State Policymakers: Developing Pathways to Ensure a Skilled Workforce for State Prosperity,” is the brainchild of CSG’s 2014 national leaders who sought to help states prepare today’s students for the jobs of tomorrow. Tennessee Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris (R-Collierville), who served as CSG’s 2014 national chair, led the State Pathways to Prosperity initiative, a multi-year effort to identify obstacles—and alternative pathways—to prosperity for many Americans.

With the continued commitment and leadership of CSG’s 2015 national chair, New York state Sen. Carl Marcellino, the National Task Force on Workforce Development and Education reviewed barriers to success, including child poverty; hunger and nutrition; veterans’ concerns; and criminal justice issues. The report is the work product of the task force and four subcommittees, representing more than a year of study, dialogue and deliberation by state officials from both parties, all regions of the U.S. and from diverse perspectives.

“Workforce development and relevant education present, at once, some of the greatest challenges—as well as opportunities—of our time,” said Leader Norris. “We all want to see the kind of improvement in quality of life that flows from a skilled workforce gainfully employed in our states. State Pathways to Prosperity is The Council of State Governments’ workforce development and education initiative designed to facilitate that objective.”

“This report reflects CSG’s continuing role in the effort underway across the United States to build a ready workforce equipped with a relevant education to embrace the advanced manufacturing opportunities now returning to our shores,” Norris continued. “In short, this report and its recommendations demonstrate CSG’s commitment to be an active participant in the nationwide effort to close the ‘skills gap’ standing between too many of our citizens and opportunities for meaningful employment.”

David Adkins, CSG’s executive director, commended all the leaders and experts whose work is reflected in the contents of the report, which is available for download at www.csg.org/StatePathwaystoProsperity.

“State leaders are keenly interested in growing state economies,” Adkins said. “They have consistently heard from businesses large and small that one of the greatest impediments to business expansion is the lack of an adequately trained workforce.”

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