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A Message from our CEO, Robert Espinoza

Since 2001, we have gathered leaders from across the country in Washington, DC, to discuss the latest federal policy developments related to skills training, job quality, career pathways, industry partnerships, and more. We have consistently aimed to ensure that the growing workforce development field has the knowledge, resources, and relationships to move the federal policy needle. Our Skills Summit, held every Spring, has also brought this sector into conversation with thousands of Hill offices so that decisions in Washington are driven by what’s working in communities on the ground.


Responding to demand from our networks, in 2016, we launched a Skills in the States Forum, held every fall, to provide a comparable space for leaders working to advance inclusive skills policy in states. We witnessed how powerful this event was for catalyzing state action on skills training and other workforce development issues while building relationships within and across states.

From a resource perspective, we also recognized that hosting two major national events was straining the resources and capacity of our external partners who wanted access to the content from both events. At the same time, we’ve heard from attendees at both events that they crave more opportunities to be in conversation about the entwined nature of federal and state policy and the unique and powerful role that NSC can play in providing this space.

We’ve taken this feedback to heart and in May 2025, we will launch the workforce development field’s premier policy action conference with opportunities for both state and federal policy to dialogue, build their networks, and develop their leadership at a single combined event. In future years, this conference will expand even more to ensure it meets the many needs of our networks and workforce experts across the country. In that spirit, we’ll solicit input throughout 2024 on how best to structure this premiere policy conference in the future.


This decision has no impact on this year's Skills Summit, scheduled for May 13-15 in DC, so please register if you haven't already! However, it does mean that the Skills in the States Forum will not take place this fall. However, we will convene our twenty SkillSPAN coalitions in the fall to plan for their 2025 state legislative sessions, ensuring the movement to advance inclusive state skills policy continues uninterrupted.  

As always, we appreciate the input that informed this decision and welcome feedback on how best to move into this new, exciting future for our conference programming.




Robert Espinoza

CEO, National Skills Coalition

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