Collection of educational, workforce data advanced

The state would more closely track educational and workforce outcomes under a bill advanced from general file July 22.

<a href='http://news.legislature.ne.gov/dist26' target='_blank' title='Link to the website of Sen. Matt Hansen'>Sen. Matt Hansen</a>
Sen. Matt Hansen

The data collection system created under LB1160, sponsored by Lincoln Sen. Matt Hansen, would allow the state to track individuals as they progress through the state’s educational system and enter the workforce.

Hansen said the bill would enable lawmakers to make more informed decisions when allocating workforce training resources.

“LB1160 will be the start of what I hope will be a valuable asset to the state of Nebraska,” he said. “It will [provide] for long-term focus on workforce education programs that will allow us to meet the needs of our citizens.”

A Business and Labor Committee amendment, adopted 34-3, removed redundant data collection prescribed in the introduced bill. These changes effectively eliminated any fiscal impact to the state, Hansen said.

Under the amended bill, the state Department of Labor would execute a memorandum of understanding with the data collection system before Dec. 31, 2020, to ensure the exchange of workforce data with all stakeholders.

The bill would establish data collection goals, including:
• providing workforce outcome data to postsecondary educational institutions;
• guiding students to education, training and career pathways that would support occupational success;
• providing comprehensive data reports on students’ workforce results;
• tracking workforce outcomes;
• tracking student outcomes by race, ethnicity, gender and economic status to close educational attainment gaps; and
• identifying long-term return on investment from early education programs.

An annual report of policy recommendations would be provided to lawmakers before Dec. 1, 2021.

Senators voted 33-4 to advance the bill to select file.

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