The Workforce Almanac

Overview

Launched in November 2023 by Harvard University, the Workforce Almanac is an open-source, interactive portal of nearly 17,000 workforce training providers across the United States.

The Almanac defines workforce training as short-term (lasting less than two years), post-high school training opportunities in which learners gain work-relevant skills to help them find a job.

The first edition of the Almanac contains 16,781 providers operating across the U.S. It includes non-degree-granting and sub-baccalaureate degree-granting institutions of higher education, private nonprofit organizations, private for-profit organizations, and apprenticeship programs. Higher education institutions that provide workforce training, such as community colleges, technical colleges, and departments of four-year colleges offering associate's degrees or workforce programs have the most robust coverage in the Almanac.

The Almanac combines training provider information from the following four sources into one new dataset:

  1. Federal Registered Apprenticeship providers
  2. Nonprofit providers
  3. Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)-eligible training providers
  4. Higher education providers.

The dataset offers a comprehensive view of workforce training providers, depicting how workforce training providers are spread geographically across the U.S. and view their names, addresses, and types.

Users of the Almanac can explore workforce training providers at the local, state, and national levels. Examples of users include:

  • Policymakers such as state and local workforce boards.
  • Philanthropies looking for investment opportunities in high-need communities.
  • Training providers looking for benchmarking data and collaborators.
  • Intermediaries and employers wanting to understand the local and regional training provision landscape especially related to opportunities for training and employment.
  • Researchers wishing to explore components of the workforce development sector such as labor markets, and metropolitan and rural areas.

The Almanac project is led by the Project on Workforce at Harvard University.

Background

The project addresses a number of pressing workforce development issues, including a lack of open-access, systemic data and evidence about the workforce development sector:

  • Over 60% of American workers do not hold a four-year college degree. These almost 70 million American workers without a bachelor’s degree have gained crucial skills through on-the-job training, bootcamps, microcredentialing programs, community colleges, and other types of job training programs.
  • Short-term workforce training programs have been growing in demand. Polling data finds that Americans are increasingly seeking education programs that are relevant for work and suited to their personal needs. For example, bootcamps and online training programs are growing in size and market share; and billions in federal, state, and private philanthropic dollars support an expanding set of non-profit, for-profit, and public programs where learners gain work-relevant skills in service of job attainment.
  • However, system-level data about the workforce development sector is sparse or incomplete, program-level data is fragmented, and replicable drivers of program success remain ill-understood. There is no validated benchmarking information about costs, pedagogical approach, program characteristics, duration, equity, or performance outcomes across the field.

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