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Sept. 20, 2017


CSG and Project Partners Select 11 States for Occupational Licensing Policy Study


LEXINGTON, Ky.—Eleven states have been selected to participate in a peer-learning consortium focused on occupational licensing policy in a partnership between The Council of State Governments, or CSG, the National Conference of State Legislatures, or NCSL, and the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, also known as the NGA Center.  
As a member of the consortium, the 11 states will become familiar with occupational licensing policy in their own state, learn about occupational licensing best practices in other states, and begin implementing actions to remove barriers to labor market entry and improve portability and reciprocity. 
The following states were selected through a competitive application process: Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Nevada, Wisconsin and Utah.
“At a time when states are striving to make themselves more attractive to working families, we must continue to tear down barriers that might prevent people from locating and working here," said state Rep. Helene Keeley, Delaware’s team leader for the consortium, and CSG's 2017 vice chair. "We need to provide them with the ability to seek and gain employment. In many cases, that involves helping skilled workers transfer their licenses from one state to another. By joining this CSG consortium, we hope to learn more about some of the best practices in other states that can help Delaware streamline and improve its processes to make the First State more inviting and user-friendly.”
Over the next three years, the 11 states will engage with one another in a structured, peer-learning consortium in which they will be able to share ideas and solutions to complex occupational licensing issues. CSG, NCSL and the NGA Center will provide targeted, state-specific technical assistance and support for the development and implementation of a personalized state action plan for each state.
The partners will also convene three multistate learning consortium meetings where state teams can hear and learn from other states on occupational licensing successes and lessons. The first multistate consortium meeting will be held in December in Tucson, Arizona. For more information about the consortium, click here. Each state will also benefit from up to three in-state meetings to help states implement their action plans.
"Wisconsin is concerned that our current occupational licensing is inadequate to address public safety without inhibiting services, providers and entrepreneurs," said Wisconsin state Rep. Joan Ballweg, vice chair of the state's Committee on Regulatory Licensing Reform. "We appreciate CSG’s commitment to aid our efforts in a collaborative forum."
In January, CSG, NCSL and the NGA Center were awarded $7.5 million from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration to help states reduce barriers to the labor market and improve the portability and reciprocity of occupations across state lines. In addition to working with the consortium states, the partners will provide research on the current state of the national occupational licensing landscape.
“This collaborative effort among elected officials and state and national experts will produce the playbook for policymakers in every state to address some of the barriers that are hindering the full potential of the American workforce and American worker,” said South Dakota state Sen. Deb Peters, NCSL president.
The consortium states will focus on some of the populations most burdened by occupational licensing, including skilled immigrants, people with criminal records, active duty military, veterans and their spouses, and unemployed and dislocated workers. Each state will work to identify areas of their occupational licensing policy that may be creating extra barriers to entry for these populations and will examine potential solutions to reduce related barriers.
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.