This Policy Snapshot by Education Commission of the States reviews 2019 enacted legislation pertaining to postsecondary education and workforce development.

It breaks legislative activity into four main categories – career pathways and skills, partnerships and working groups, financial incentives and workforce data – with state examples for each.

Almost 65% of jobs today require education after high school — and that proportion is only expected to grow, leaving behind millions of Americans in states across the country. Currently, 44 million Americans are jobless or lack the skills, credentials and networks they need to earn a living wage.

State leaders face an immediate need to connect postsecondary education to family-sustaining work, especially for those early in their earning years. States, of course, are committed to addressing that need — and in the past few years, many have enacted new legislation and rolled out initiatives designed to improve the connection between education and work.

To support that work, Education Commission of the States and Strada Education Network have partnered to better understand the consumers’ perspective on education and work.

This work centers on the belief that we must listen to consumers about their goals and motivations in order to design statewide and local education and workforce policies that work. Over the past year, we have tapped into insights from the Strada-Gallup Education Consumer Survey to understand what adults — both those with postsecondary education and those without — in all 50 states want from education and career, and what motivates them to pursue additional education and training.