Actionable Agenda for the Future of Work & Learning

In 2019, the Bell Policy Center began convening dozens of stakeholders in the future of work and learning ecosystems to create an actionable agenda to address equity gaps within these systems. By first considering a broad array of equity barriers, the Bell’s Future of Work and Learning Advisory Council developed a set of six policy recommendations. These recommendations encompass key structural, programmatic, and policy changes to the K-12, postsecondary, and workforce development ecosystems. 

The Advisory Council’s six priority recommendations for reducing equity barriers in the future of work and learning (FOWL) center on the following.

  1. Improving navigation and coaching programs by:
    • Increasing diversity in staffing and staff’s cultural competency
    • Expanding access to programs
    • Implementing evidence-informed curricula
  2. Expanding stackable credentials career pathway programs by:
    • Creating a statewide body to develop and support stackable credential career pathways in multiple industries
    • Ensuring alignment between credentials and industry needs
    • Designing new career pathway programs
    • Reducing student-borne costs for prior learning assessments
  3. Investing in work-based learning by:
    • Expanding paid internships and apprenticeships
    • Certifying and rating quality internships and apprenticeships and including them in the state’s comprehensive user portal (My Colorado Journey)
    • Convening stakeholders to bridge silos between workforce and postsecondary systems
  4. Providing emergency grants by:
    • Funding new emergency grant programs
    • Ensuring students have knowledge of available resources through student outreach and navigation services
  5. Creating skills-based and non-degree scholarships by:
    • Defining quality credentials
    • Ensuring students have knowledge of available resources through student outreach and navigation services
    • Ensuring alignment between credentials and industry needs
  6. Investing in concurrent enrollment by:
    • Expanding funding for concurrent enrollment programs
    • Expand supports for schools to prioritize addressing equity gaps

Together, these priority recommendations have significant potential to ensure a more equitable future of work and learning. When implemented, these changes promise to lead to better outcomes for Coloradans who have been historically disadvantaged, while simultaneously helping build a workforce that is better prepared, more resilient, and more responsive to future needs.

Read all of the Advisory Council recommendations below (refresh your browser if you don’t see the PDF) or click here to download your own copy.