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WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT RANKINGS
From Site Selection magazine, January 2023
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The 2023 Regional Workforce Development Rankings

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT RANKINGS
by MARK AREND
T

he rankings on the following pages are high-level measures of states’ workforce development climates. They do not reflect which states in a region have the most effective workforce training programs or labor boards or tools for connecting job seekers with potential employment opportunities. Rather they recognize states that performed well in a set of measures that can be applied to all 50 states, measures that gauge workforce-related aspects of states’ overall employment climate.

Analysis of variables on the ground, such as programs and resources for job seekers, are still the best way for companies with significant hiring plans to factor workforce development into their site searches. These rankings might serve as a starting point.

The components used to assemble these rankings are: (1) CNBC’s America’s Top States for Business, 2022 Workforce sub-ranking; (2) U.S. News’ 2021 Best States for Education ranking; (3) ACT National Career Readiness Certificates for 2021 — percent improvement in ACT National Career Readiness Certificates earned by working-age adults between Dec. 2021 and Nov. 2022; (4) the Workforce Preparation and Development component of the Council for Community and Economic Research’s State Economic Development Program Expenditures Database; and (5) whether or not the charge of the state workforce board or council that connects education to workforce development goes beyond the requirements of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014, according to the Education and Workforce Development Connections 2021 report from the Education Commission of the United States.

Northeast 2022 2021
Connecticut 1 3
New Jersey 2 2
New York 3 1
New Hampshire 4 5
Vermont 5 4
Massachusettes 6 6
Pennsylvania 7 7
Maine 8 8
Rhode Island 9 9
East North Central 2022 2021
Illinois 1 2
Indiana 2 1
Michigan T3 4
Ohio T3 3
Wisconsin 5 5
South Atlantic 2022 2021
Virginia 1 1
North Carolina 2 2
Florida 3 3
Georgia 4 4
Maryland 5 5
South Carolina 6 6
Delaware 7 7
West Virginia 8 8
South Central 2022 2021
Alabama 1 1
Arkansas 2 2
Louisiana 3 3
Mississippi 4 6
Texas 5 4
Tennessee 6 5
Kentucky 7 8
Oklahoma 8 7
West North Central 2022 2021
Iowa 1 1
Kansas 2 2
North Dakota 3 3
Minnesota 4 4
South Dakota 5 5
Nebraska 6 7
Missouri 7 6
Mountain 2022 2021
Colorado 1 2
New Mexico 2 3
Idaho 3 1
Nevada 4 4
Wyoming 5 8
Utah 6 5
Arizona 7 6
Montana 8 7
Pacific 2022 2021
California 1 1
Washington 2 2
Oregon 3 3
Hawaii 4 4
Alaska 5 5

Mark Arend
Editor Emmeritus of Site Selection magazine

Mark Arend

Mark Arend is editor emeritus of Site Selection, and previously served as editor in chief from 2001 to 2023. Prior to joining the editorial staff in 1997, he worked for 10 years in New York City at Wall Street Computer Review, ABA Banking Journal and Global Investment Technology. Mark graduated from the University of Hartford (Conn.) in 1985 and lives near Atlanta, Georgia.

 



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