In this week’s post from Further Together, we’re highlighting a workforce ecosystem resource, the Workforce Almanac, that was included in our research reception, as well as a complementary platform, the Learn & Work Ecosystem Library. Both were featured in a recent webinar on June 11.  

The Workforce Almanac, launched in November 2023 by the Harvard Project on Workforce is an open-source, interactive portal of nearly 17,000 workforce training providers across the U.S. The portal maps providers of short-term, post-high-school workforce training, including institutions of higher ed, federally registered apprenticeships, nonprofit organizations, and WIOA-eligible training organizations. The Almanac combines four publicly available data sources (IPEDS, RAPIDS, IRS 990 and into one new dataset. The Almanac has created interactive visualizations for field practitioners and funders to interact with and export the data for learning. 

As Nathalie Gazzaneo shared on the webinar, the team behind the Almanac hoped that this map of the workforce development sector in the US might help orient resource allocation towards equity, effective providers/programs, and areas of highest need. 

In the presentation, Nathalie identified a few use cases: 

  • A case manager or coach might help individuals looking for training in a specific career or industry sector by searching for providers on the map and finding information such as provider name, type and subtype. 
  • An employer or industry association looking to develop or participate in apprenticeship opportunities might search for and identify educational partners in order to target them for outreach and collaboration tailoring or designing a sector-specific pathway.
  • A funder might utilize a demographic data visualization overlay to inform strategies to direct more funding for training to regions most in need of services and training initiatives. 

The Learn & Work Ecosystem Library (“the Library”) launched in December 2022. Built on a Lumina-supported map of various funder initiatives in the credentialing reform space within the learn-and-work ecosystem between 2018-2020, the Library now comprises some 300+ glossary terms; more than 300 initiatives and more than 275  organizations working to improve components of the learn/work ecosystem; and 95+ topics addressing key subjects. The Library also includes relational maps that help depict how different efforts are connected. 

As founder and GWU research professor Holly Zanville and librarian Matthew Valdez shared on the webinar, the hope is that funders and other stakeholders can use these tools to inform their investments and collaborative efforts. Users are also encouraged to submit information for inclusion in the Library if they see something missing. 

Of note, the Library recently launched a Research Center that includes open access to scholarly materials, tools, and professional development resources related to the learn-and-work ecosystem. It also launched  an AI Chatbot that can accommodate natural language searches and build relational maps. Holly and Matthew noted that they would be glad to work with funders on specific mapping needs/interests.

We encourage members to check out these two resources and let our partners know what you think! Missed the webinar? Watch it here and download the slides