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Feb. 2, 2017


CSG and Partners to Research Occupational Licensure Barriers
through New U.S. Department of Labor Grant


LEXINGTON, Ky.—The Council of State Governments will collaborate with the National Conference of State Legislatures and the National Governors Association to research ways to make it easier for people with occupational licenses to work in multiple states, following a $7.5 million grant award from the U.S. Department of Labor.
On Thursday, Feb. 2, representatives from the three groups met in Washington, D.C., for an initial planning discussion. The organizations will work collaboratively to guide a group of 10 states in improving licensure portability across state borders; the states will be selected at a later date.
“Finding ways for states to work better together to reduce barriers for licensed professionals to serve others is just one of the many important ways CSG works to cultivate multistate solutions,” said CSG Executive Director/CEO David Adkins.
CSG will work with its partners to identify relevant studies and reports and compile the results into a summary analysis; research and collect comprehensive information on licensure requirements for selected occupations across all states; review existing research regarding barriers to entering the labor market for impacted populations; analyze sunrise and sunset provisions related to occupational licensing; and research specific topics related to states’ action plans.
The project will provide research and technical assistance materials to help states tackle the issue.
States participating in the consortium also will have the opportunity to request assistance from the CSG National Center for Interstate Compacts, or NCIC, to work on the creation of a licensure compact related to a specific occupation selected by the states. Such an interstate compact, or contract, could provide reciprocity between states in the recognition of an occupational license.
More than one-fifth of the current U.S. workforce is made up of workers in licensed occupations, according to a White House press release announcing the grant award on Jan. 12, 2017. Current licensing systems, however, can be inefficient, resulting in barriers for workers trying to enter a profession and restricted worker mobility. 
Over the course of the last three years, CSG's NCIC has worked with associations representing physicians, physical therapists, nurses, EMS officials and psychologists in the creation, implementation and administration of interstate compacts designed, in part, to reduce the regulatory barriers to interstate mobility and cross-state practice. These licensure compacts allow states to work collaboratively to ensure greater consumer choice in care and represent an opportunity for practitioners in good standing, relocating military spouses and providers in state border communities to provide needed care without unneeded barriers.
“Last year, CSG worked with NCSL to develop best practices and policy recommendations to help states remove employment barriers for people with disabilities,” said Elizabeth Whitehouse, CSG director of education and workforce development. “We’re excited about continuing our work together to help states address workforce barriers in this new project. Our states need strong workforces, and we’re going to do everything we can to help them achieve that.”
About The Council of State Governments
The Council of State Governments is the nation’s only organization serving all three branches of state government. CSG is a region-based forum that fosters the exchange of insights and ideas to help state officials shape public policy. This offers unparalleled regional, national and international opportunities to network, develop leaders, collaborate and create problem-solving partnerships.
For more information about The Council of State Governments, visit csg.org.