NLC Hosts Dr. Jill Biden for National Briefing on Building Equitable Pathways to Postsecondary and Workforce Success

May 7, 2018 - (4 min read)

Video of Remarks by Dr. Jill Biden and Panel Featuring City Representatives is archived at

WASHINGTON — May 7, 2018 — Today, representatives from six cities detailed how they have generated innovative and scalable models to increase access to locally-applicable postsecondary education and workforce training programs using multi-sector partnerships, policy levers and data to advance equitable economic growth at the National League of Cities (NLC) National Briefing on Mayoral Leadership for Building Equitable Pathways to Postsecondary and Workforce Success, featuring NLC President Mark Stodola, mayor of Little Rock, Arkansas, and Dr. Jill Biden, Second Lady of the United States (2009-2017) and Honorary Co-chair of the Biden Foundation.

The six cities that took part in NLC’s Institute for Youth, Education, and Families two-year technical assistance initiative include Austin, Texas; Charleston, South Carolina; Corpus Christi, Texas; Houston; Jacksonville, Florida; and Nashville, Tennessee.

“Across these cities’ efforts, the importance of mayoral leadership, the power of multi-sector partnerships and the essential role of data driving effective strategies are clearly evident,” said National League of Cities President and Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola. “These cities are also demonstrating that economic growth and equity are not in competition with one another, but rather, they are essential components of any city that aspires to thrive in the modern, global economy. The only chance we have at a bright and vibrant future of work is to make sure all residents are given the opportunities and tools to succeed.”

Mayor Stodola detailed the Future of Work initiative he is pursuing in his year as president of NLC, which intersects with everything from a city’s economic outlook to its education system. From Mayor Stodola’s perspective it is important that city leaders equip their residents with necessary postsecondary credentials that lead to meaningful employment and a livable wage, while keeping equity a central focus of the work. In the NLC’s vision of the future of work, equity is a central focus because we must ensure that people from low-income or ethnic and racial backgrounds, and other disadvantaged populations are benefiting from economic growth and development in their communities.

It is essentially important, Mayor Stodola stressed, that city leaders work with local school districts, community colleges and business leaders to coordinate efforts to ensure these pathways are strong and sustainable. Additionally, Dr. Biden shared her insights on the crucial role that community colleges can play in aligning degree and certificate programs with local industry needs, and in preparing traditionally disadvantaged and underserved populations for emerging jobs in their communities.

“Higher education—be it technical and transferable skills training, two-year community college programs, or four-year traditional schools—is the only way for our nation to stay competitive on a global stage,” said Dr. Jill Biden, Second Lady of the United States (2009-2017), Honorary Co-chair of the Biden Foundation, and community college professor at Northern Virginia Community College. “For years, NLC has worked to help create a better path to career readiness, and the Building Equitable Pathways initiative goes even further to lift up cities, bring experts together, and learn what works so that these practices can benefit every city in our nation.”

Representatives from LinkedIn and Policy Link detailed how they worked with NLC to provide on the ground data and resources to the six cities in the technical assistance cohort., NLC, through its Institute for Youth, Education, and Families and with generous support from The Kresge Foundation and additional support from LinkedIn, has worked with of cities to solve equity issues around postsecondary and workforce access and success as well as make more meaningful connections between education and employment through the Building Equitable Pathways to Postsecondary and Workforce Success.

Learn more about this two-year body of work and other postsecondary and workforce solutions programs offered by NLC here.

REMINDER: Video of Dr. Jill Biden’s Keynote Address and the City Representatives Panel is available at


The National League of Cities (NLC) is the voice of America’s cities, towns and villages, representing more than 200 million people across the country. NLC works to strengthen local leadership, influence federal policy and drive innovative solutions. Stay connected with NLC on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.