Working with State and Regional Workforce Development Partners

By Scarlett Howery

February 5, 2024

Partnerships with state and local workforce development groups are an important component of a multi-faceted approach to solving the short and long-term challenges that are unique to your organization. With the right partners, you can take another step toward closing the skills gap, unleashing the potential of your existing talent, recruiting new talent and supporting the needs of the employee learners who represent the future of your enterprise.


By leveraging state and regional grant funding and partnerships with economic development entities, DeVryWorks is building multi-layered workforce solutions that fuel the growth of advanced industry in our communities. We work with industry leaders and innovators to help tackle some of the industries’ greatest challenges and seek out useful tools to help identify key talent cohorts for upskilling and reskilling.

The Workforce Solutions You Need Today

By listening to the needs of state and regional economic development leaders and employers, we’ve developed a deep, data-driven understanding of employers’ demands for real-world experiential learning and upskilling/reskilling programs. We know they must be aligned with employers’ needs to remain competitive, respond to shifts in market demands and continue to grow and innovate. When successful, these experiential programs instill an appetite for continuous upskilling.

Solutions must produce results on three important fronts:

  • Strengthen the connection between economic development and workforce development solutions.

  • Offer degrees or certificate programs that align with state or regional economic needs and the jobs required to meet those needs.

  • Fill the need for entry and mid-level talents’ access to, and preference for, learning pathways that are more affordable and convenient, with brief program completion timelines available so they can prepare to pursue career goals more quickly.

Unlocking Workforce Development Funding, Unleashing Your Workers’ Potential

By connecting with DeVryWorks and our Public Workforce Solutions team, you can fill talent shortages, support the advancement of incumbent workers and activate underutilized talent in your region through upskilling and reskilling. We can help solve short-term upskilling/reskilling challenges and strengthen DEI initiatives while potentially increasing employee utilization of your tuition benefits program and reducing or eliminating employee learners’ reliance on student loans. DeVry also offers a variety of scholarships and grants1, that can help make tuition more affordable.

Our multi-pronged approach includes an exhaustive search for applicable state or regional funding and a review of your tuition benefits program to boost employee utilization and clear the way for new learning pathways to flourish. Tuition benefits programs often go underutilized, indicating a need for those policies to be reskilled before employees can be upskilled.

DeVry University’s inventive Completion Grants can be used to achieve a little to no debt educational outcome for employee learners. Our partnership with Microchip Technology, an Arizona-based semiconductor manufacturer with 23,000 employees, is an example of how a company with an already robust internal training program is using DeVry’s Completion Grants to provide employees with formal learning pathways without saddling them with debt.

Supporting the Employee Learner

Results of a 2023 DeVry University study, Closing the Activation Gap: Converting Potential to Performance by Upskilling the Workforce, reveal that the vast majority of workers (96%) agree that their company-paid upskilling has a positive impact on their careers, but two-thirds also report facing challenges with upskilling in the workplace. For the majority of workers, significant challenges stand in the way of them acquiring new skills as they struggle to balance the work of learning with other priorities at work and home.

Our approach supports the employee learner in several substantial ways. DeVry University’s courses, certificate and degree programs are the cornerstone of this commitment. In DeVry’s study, 67% of workers said they would prefer to receive a formal degree, certificate or certification as an outcome of upskilling, and more than half said they prefer to take their upskilling in bite-sized portions. This underscores the importance of working with an education partner like DeVry that can offer programs with formal credentials while satisfying workers’ desires for streamlined upskilling.

To further customize the learning experience, Scholars Programs like DeVry’s Future Cyber Defenders add a further level of career support for the employee learner, while offering employers access to new high-potential talent through internship and apprenticeship programs.

And to drive learner success, DeVry’s Digital Care Engine leverages technology, predictive analytics and observational insights to support students with outreach – both digital and humankind – as they need it. It’s an important component of the DeVry Care Formula that is intended to support busy adult learners at each step of their journey.

Closing the Skills Gap

For employers, upskilling is a matter of significant urgency. In cyber security alone, the talent shortage is dire. In the DeVry study, 70% of employers said skills are getting outdated faster as the pace of technology accelerates, but study results also indicate there is plenty of catching up to do, with only one in three workers believing employers or workers are living up to their responsibility to prepare for the workplace of the future. Federal and state government funding can certainly play a role in closing the skills gap in the American workforce. Nearly half of workers responding to the DeVry survey said they’d be much more likely to pursue upskilling if state or federally funded programs were in place.

Through community college skill pathways and high school dual enrollment programs at the state and local levels, time to program completion can be accelerated, enabling workers to apply new skills on the job faster.

DeVry University has a diverse array of coursework and programs to close the skills gap and expand the tech workforce. Coursework can be curated to fit employers’ skills needs, and qualifying certificate and degree programs in technology and leadership are “stackable2,” providing employee learners with clear and efficient pathways for educational advancement beyond the certificate level.

Why Partner with DeVry University?

We have specialized in career-focused learning for busy working adults for more than 90 years and we’ve been teaching online since 1998, so you might say that upskilling is in our DNA. When your goal is to cultivate a workforce that is skilled, agile and ready to take on the new opportunities you foresee, reasons to work with DeVry are abundant:

  • Specialized: Highly tailored certificate and degree programs are designed to meet hard and soft skills requirements in technology, business and healthcare.

  • Accreditation: DeVry University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC),

  • Accelerated learning: DeVry maintains a year-round academic calendar with 8-week sessions, enabling students to accelerate program completion and put their new skills to work faster.

  • Accessibility: Our virtual modality reaches across the country. Online learning allows our students – including your employee learners – to study when and how it suits them. In many programs, a hybrid option allows them to include an in-person classroom experience3.

  • Nationwide network: Our extensive student and alumni network spans the United States and represents a fertile talent pool. Events like our Virtual Career Fairs make it easy for employers to tap into this rich resource.

Our DeVryWorks Team is Ready to Help

Let’s discuss your challenges in skills development, recruiting, employee retention or succession planning. Our DeVryWorks team can help you analyze skills gaps and curate the learning pathways to transform your teams. To learn more, contact DeVryWorks today.

1Student loans, grants and scholarships are available to those who apply and qualify. Students may participate in only one DeVry University-based scholarship, grant or group tuition benefit program at a time. Those who qualify for more than one program will be presumed to accept the program with the highest reduction in by- session cost. Students who qualify for and prefer a different tuition benefit program must confirm, in writing, the alternate program in which they wish to participate prior to starting classes at DeVry. Scholarship and grant terms and eligibility conditions are subject to change. Scholarships are available to those who apply and qualify. Click here for more information.

2At the time of application to the next credential level, an evaluation of qualifying transfer credit will occur and the most beneficial outcome will be applied. Future programmatic changes could impact the application of credits to a future program. Refer to the academic catalog for details.

3Program and course availability vary by location. In site-based programs, students will be required to take a substantial amount of coursework online to complete their program.

About Scarlett Howery

Vice President, Public Workforce Solutions

Scarlett Howery is the vice president of campus and university partnerships, providing strategic leadership for DeVry University’s 45+ campus operations. In this role, Howery drives community engagement and onsite student enrollment in each market, as well as forms local strategic partnerships to foster student learning and offer workforce solutions.

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