Successful sector partnerships are driven by active employer and industry partners working alongside education and workforce stakeholders. These WSS resources detail promising strategies for creating or enhancing these relationships. They describe the role of workforce development boards in implementing sector strategies, explain linked learning can act as a sector-based approach, and provide a landscape of sector partnerships for all 50 states.

Promoting the Adoption of Sector Strategies by Workforce Development Boards Under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. 2017. The authors of this resource “sought to contribute to the literature regarding sector strategies by identifying five Workforce Development Boards that have successfully implemented sector strategies, interviewing individuals involved with each effort, and documenting each effort via a case study. The aim of this research documents the processes by workforce boards use to adopt a sector‐based approach and the roles take on in doing so.” “Among the key roles workforce boards…can play in advancing sector strategies are: [c]onveners…[, f]iscal agents…[,s]ystems change drivers…[, and d]ata brokers.” The report also provides recommendations to help strengthen sector strategies, such as: “[i]ndustry engagement…[, f]inancing…[, s]ystems change…[, and u]tilizing data.”

Now and Then: Balancing Quick Wins with Lasting Progress When Working Across Sectors to Change Systems. 2017. This resource describes the challenge of balancing short-term accomplishments with long-term goals for sector systems change through the implementation of the Linked Learning Regional Hub strategy. The initiative “bring[s] together [a range of partners] to implement a coordinated…[industry-sector themed] strategy…to increase the number of low-income youth…who graduate from high school and achieve a postsecondary credential by age 25.” It presents three emerging principles based on the experiences from four regional hubs in California: “(1) Design to include meaningful, easily understood, early wins – connected to ultimate goals; (2) Create a narrative that helps stakeholders understand the work they are seeing; (3) Build a foundation that fits all sectors.”

Sector Partnership Policy 50-State Scan. 2017. This work defines and details criteria for state sector partnership policies and, following up on an initial scan in 2015, presents an updated state-by-state scan of sector partnership policies in all fifty states and the District of Columbia. It finds that in 2017, “[t]hirty-two states have sector partnership policies in place and are well-positioned to use state, WIOA, and other resources to strengthen or expand sector partnerships in their state.” “Twenty-two of these states provide funding to local sector partnerships….Twenty-seven of these thirty-two states provide technical assistance to local sector partnerships.”