NCSL publishes new reports related to population groups

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.

Database tracks state initiatives on occupational licensing

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.

States work to match occupational credentials to workforce needs

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.

Presidential executive order focuses on military spouses

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.”

U.S. Department of Labor announces new grant for licensing reform

The U.S. Department of Labor announced April 12 a $7.5 million grant to support the current occupational licensing reform movement. In 2017 the Department of Labor awarded a grant of identical size to a coalition of state legislative and executive branch organizations to support launch of the Occupational Licensing Policy Learning Consortium involving 11 states, including Arkansas.