Sector strategies ― regional, industry-focused approaches to building skilled workforces ― are one of the most effective ways to align public and private resources to address the talent needs of employers. 

While not new, there is a growing body of evidence showing that sector strategies are workforce interventions that can simultaneously improve employment opportunities for job seekers and the competitiveness of industries. As such, sector approaches have received renewed interest from government, the business community, and philanthropy.

Sector strategies are not add-on programs. They are not individual training initiatives in a particular sector. Rather, they represent a new way for workforce organizations to conduct business: moving from a “program administration” focus to a more strategic role building regional talent pipelines, addressing skill gaps, and creating meaningful career pathways for a range of workers in important regional industries.

The ETA Sector Strategies TA Initiative produced a framework for how workforce organizations can implement strong sector approaches. The resources on these pages align to that framework.

ETA Sector Strategies Framework 1.0

Are you a local or regional partnership? Take this sectors self-assessment.

Are you a state? Take this sectors self-assessment.

Here are some general resources useful for state-level organizations seeking to develop their role within a sector strategy. They are listed on the left-hand side of the screen under “Related Content.” These resources provide a background to the impact sector strategies can have on a state’s economy, as well as offering some insight into potential pitfalls and recommendations for success.

  • Tuning in to Local Labor Markets: Findings from the Sectoral Employment Impact Study: Illustrates specific advantages of implementing a sector-based strategy, including common elements of sector approaches. Outlines the kinds of benefits workers see when taking part in a sector strategy, including salary and career longevity.
  • Sector Strategies in Indiana: A Summary of Efforts Paper: Provides a snapshot of how sector strategies might look at a state level, including some pitfalls and recommendations. Includes a spotlight on how a sector strategy and career pathway models might work together and an evaluation framework
  • The Policy Intersection between Sector Strategies and Low-Income: Focuses on the policies needed to support a State sector strategy in order to support the needs of low-income workers.