Showcase of Innovative Strategies

California State University and MERLOT designed and implemented the national, open library of workforce programming and training materials called SkillsCommons. The SkillsCommons library is open for educators, workforce development staff, human resources staff, and individual workers and provides free and easy access to the innovative training materials across a wide variety of industry sectors that can be adopted and adapted for the local use.


Gerry Hanley, Executive Director of SkillsCommons and MERLOT talks about how the U.S. Department of Labor's $1.9 billion TAACCCT program and SkillsCommons repository built the capacity for workforce development to bring innovation into curriculum and programs better preparing students for employment in the 21st century. 

Aligning Workforce Development Programs with Industry Sector Needs


Strategic alignment between community colleges, the public workforce system, and business and industry was an integral component to the TAACCCT initiative. Many states and regions created meaningful strides to better align these organizations.

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Programmatic and Pedagogical Innovations to Improve Student Outcomes


New academic and industry credentials were created as well as innovative teaching methods designed to engage students in effective learning activities.

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The administrators of the U.S. Department of Labor’s TAACCCT program, Robin Fernkas and Cheryl Martin, provide the essential background on the TAACCCT program and the significant value produced by the $1.9 billion investment in workforce development capacity building and innovation.

Strengthening Student Support and Improving Student/Worker Outcomes


Student support services were crucial to helping students enroll, persist, and complete. A number of TAACCCT grantees implemented new procedures and policies delivered by new support staff, often known as navigators, success coaches, or career coaches.

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Field Guide of TAACCCT Innovations


The SkillsCommons Field Guide:The Gallery Edition is a collection of innovative and successful workforce development strategies developed by community colleges across the U.S. with funding from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) program. 

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