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NGA Convenes Ten States to Explore Service as a Pathway to Economic Opportunity


As Governors implement their workforce development policy agendas in the face of labor shortages in nearly every sector of the economy, state and national service programs offer a promising strategy to reduce barriers to workforce participation and meet community and employer needs. Intentionally designed “service-to-career pathways” embed career development opportunities into a term of service – incorporating career exploration, coaching, work-based learning, skills training, and credential attainment as part of the service experience. This month, the National Governors Association’s Center for Best Practices (NGA Center), with support from the Schultz Family Foundation, brought together 10 state teams comprised of Governors’ advisors, state workforce development system leaders, and state service commission leaders to explore service as a pathway to economic opportunity.

Maryland Governor Wes Moore joined the event for a fireside chat in which he shared how his own service in the military, government, and non-profits has shaped his definition of and vision for service in Maryland, and how service-to-career pathways fits into his broader workforce development policy agenda. Governor Moore detailed the impact his signature Service Year Option is set to have in Maryland, saying, “Service does not just change your…

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