Accelerating State Adoption of Sector Strategies


This project develops state strategies that support sector initiatives. Sector initiatives – leading-edge workforce-development approaches that are tailored to an industry and region – typically include a package of success-enhancing components such as training and skills development for specific industries, business development, and community outreach. Regional partnerships of key stakeholders leverage resources and develop a comprehensive, strategic initiative for each identified industry.

The National Network of Sector Partners (NNSP), a project of the Insight Center, collaborates with the National Governors Association and the Corporation for a Skilled Workforce to assist state teams to develop state strategies. These strategies include reshaping financing and policy, increasing support for regional approaches to industry-specific workforce and economic development, building interagency coordination, and developing capacity at the state and regional levels. Team members include governors’ representatives, key state agencies, and sector partnerships.

Additionally, this project provides resources to policy makers and sector initiative leaders throughout the United States through its website, The website provides expertise from sector experts, examples of promising practices, and access to the latest research and reports. Its resources include webinars, a publications library, audio files, and access to news and alerts.


Phase I of the project engaged over 30 states in activities, with concentrated work in 11 states through a Policy Academy and Learning Network. These states are building policy frameworks that reach across state workforce, education, social-services, and economic-development agencies to support sector initiatives. Additionally, the Learning Network developed an evaluation framework to help states and regions measure the impact of their sector strategies on workers, the value to employers, the quality and effectiveness of stakeholder partnerships, and systems change. Project webinars each averaged more than 100 participants, and has hundreds of registered users.

Phase II of the project began in early 2008, engaging another 7 states in the Policy Academy and Learning Network. The work of Phase II will include developing a toolkit for states seeking to develop their own sector strategies.

Participating States

Arkansas Colorado Georgia Illinois
Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota
Mississippi Nevada New Hampshire New York
North Carolina Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania
Washington Wisconsin