NAWB Joins CWW's College Completion Effort for Adults



National Association of Workforce Boards Joins the
Center for Women and Work's College Completion Effort

The National Association of Workforce Boards (NAWB) and the Rutgers University Center for Women and Work (CWW) are joining forces to explore ways to help workforce development clients complete college degrees. CWW has launched a multi-state initiative to identify adults close to finishing a degree and help them earn the remaining credits they need. This creative effort draws on a range of funding sources and programs to expand the potential pay-off of short-term training by helping workers obtain solid credentials that can lead to higher earnings. Through this collaborative effort, Workforce Initiative Boards (WIBs) and One-Stop career centers can add a tool to their arsenal that will help put the unemployed back to work and improve employment outcomes for incumbent workers the system serves.

“The Center for Women and Work is excited about this partnership, and we look forward to working with NAWB to expand college completion efforts in workforce systems throughout the country,” says Heather McKay, Director Innovative Training and Workforce Development Research and Programs, CWW, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.

At the upcoming NAWB Forum held on March 12 in Washington, D.C., NAWB and CWW will conduct a listening session with WIB, One-Stop, and education representatives to hear about best practices emerging from local and state-level efforts and assess interest among NAWB members in implementing college completion initiatives in new areas. Local workforce areas that join the project will expand options for their clients through small steps to change intake procedures, expanded training choices, synchronized data systems, and reviewed policies and procedures to facilitate completion.

In the recovering economy, the public workforce system still has an unusually high number of clients experiencing long-term unemployment. Many displaced workers without post-secondary credentials have found that the jobs they counted on are no longer available in the changing labor market. Research has shown that a college degree would give many of these workers a greater chance of employment with a sustainable wage. The NAWB-CWW project provides an opportunity to the workforce system and its higher education partners seeking to respond to this reality.

“Local Workforce Investment Boards assist thousands of adults in making informed choices about educational opportunities leading to high demand jobs in their communities. Working with them will help clients compete for longer term, more sustainable jobs in this difficult economy. NAWB is pleased and looks forward to working with Rutgers' Center for Women and Work on this project,” says Ron Painter, CEO of NAWB.

The Center for Women and Work (CWW) is an innovative leader in Research and Programs that promotes gender equity, a high skill economy, and reconciliation of work and well-being for all.

The National Association of Workforce Boards (NAWB) provides comprehensive services that help workforce boards make informed, smart decisions about how to invest in workforce strategies that align with the needs of their communities. NAWB members interested in joining the college completion project or the listening session should email or

Press contact: Heather McKay or Mike Lawrence at