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Workforce Alignment in Tennessee


October 2022

Author: Jaymi Thibault

Legislative Brief

The Tennessee Comptroller’s Office of Research and Education Accountability has released a new report on workforce alignment. Workforce alignment occurs when the supply of qualified workers matches up with employers’ demands. This report identifies the state agencies involved in promoting workforce alignment and measures workforce alignment by analyzing the types of credentials earned by public postsecondary graduates in Tennessee.

The report shows that about half (49 percent) of all graduates between 2016 and 2018 earned a credential linked to a high-need field. The percentage of high-demand credentials earned increased from 41 percent to 53 percent over a two-year period, suggesting a positive outlook for workforce alignment in Tennessee. Alignment, however, varies significantly by program field and credential type. Certain fields, such as transportation and materials moving, and certain credentials (e.g., TCAT diplomas and certificates) are linked to relatively high levels of in-demand jobs.

The Comptroller’s Office has developed several policy options for consideration with the goal of promoting and strengthening workforce alignment in Tennessee. The policy options can be found in the full report.