In a letter to Arkansas state agency directors, Governor Asa Hutchinson directed a review of procedures to ensure full compliance with Act 248 of 2017, which requires agencies to promulgate rules and regulations promoting the portability of occupational licenses for active-duty or recently discharged service personnel and their spouses. “Attracting military members, veterans, and their families to Arkansas enhances our workforce and promotes economic development,” the governor wrote. “I need your help in this initiative.” Governor Hutchinson also asked agency directors to make sure their websites prominently display license portability information.
The National Conference of State Legislatures has produced a new series of four publications that focus on the unique challenges and barriers related to occupational licensing for four specific population groups. Each report outlines specific state policy options to address the unique challenges faced by the individual population.
The National Conference of State Legislatures provides a continually updated database of occupational licensing legislation being pursued nationwide. The database tracks legislation focused on 34 distinct, high-growth occupations as well as proposals affecting licensing for skilled immigrants, individuals with criminal records, unemployed or dislocated workers, and active-duty military, veterans, and their spouses.
The Arkansas Department of Workforce Services earlier this year issued a report detailing high-demand occupations in the state. A one-page summary focuses on occupations in demand by job sector.
Three states have been chosen to work with Credential Engine, a non-profit organization, as part of their strategic education, workforce, and economic development efforts. The organization recently announced partnerships with Kansas, Michigan, and Ohio to increase occupational credential transparency, develop credential literacy, improve alignment between credential offerings and outcomes, and better inform credentialing decisions by students, workers, and citizens.
President Trump on Wednesday, May 9, signed an executive order to benefit military spouses by enhancing employment opportunities at the federal government level and by promoting policies to improve occupational license portability and remove barriers for employment. Accompanying the executive order was a report by the Council of Economic Advisers on employment of military spouses. The report in part examines the effects associated with occupational licensing and observes: “Military spouses are more likely than other workers to be caught up in this country’s patchwork of occupational licensing laws, both because they are more likely to move across State lines and because they are disproportionately employed in occupations that require a license.”
A survey of the Occupational Licensing Advisory Group offers preliminary insights into how group members view occupational licensing issues in Arkansas. Dr. Derek Slagle designed and conducted the survey and offers this executive summary of its results.