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Extension Workforce Development Network

The Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) Workforce Development Program Action Team (PAT), in partnership with the Extension Foundation, is in the process of developing an Extension network for workforce development. This Connect group will bring professionals at each land-grant university together to learn and collaborate on Extension's workforce development efforts.

Blog Posts

Is CES Positioned to Support High School Career & Technical Education

Schools across the nation are experiencing challenges in filling teaching positions in career and technical education. This article provides more information about this needs and prompts the question, "Is the Cooperative Extension Service positioned to help bridge this gap by partnering with schools?". *Accompanying image created using Microsoft CoPilot AI.

NTAE Workforce Program Action Team Fellowship Position Available

One individual is needed to fill an Economic and Workforce Development Program Action Team (WF PAT) Fellow role. The Fellow will support the PAT co-chairs with PAT operations; assist with meeting planning; assist the PAT working group chairs with documentation and reporting; and assist with the development of a Workforce PAT convening and with writing of a post-conference white paper. Learn more about the Fellowship and apply here: ...

ICYMI - Urban Ag & Food Systems Program Action Team & AgriProspects Coordinator Position Available

One individual is needed to fill an Urban Agriculture and Food Systems Coordinator role across the LGU system with the Urban Ag and Food Systems PAT and AgriProspects. As Urban programs are active across the country, the incumbent will serve as a lead with assistance in program execution from other AgriProspects coordinators, specifically those where CES regions overlap. This critical position will help build and engage our national network of partners working to provide access to skills...

How Can Extension Support AI Literacy in Workforce Education?

A recent news article revealed that only a handful of states have issued guidance for educators on the subject of AI in K-12 education. Despite this, there’s a swift transition towards supporting youth education that focuses on the skills and ethics required to utilize generative AI tools in professional settings. The Cooperative Extension Service system, a significant advocate for workforce development opportunities for both youth and adults, urgently needs to create high-quality...

Extension and Credentials - What's Your LGU Doing?

A recent higher ed article (link) has indicated that apprenticeship opportunities could provide a key method of reducing the worker shortage experienced by many industries. Apprenticeships, along with other alternative career pathways such as academic Certificates, non-credit credentialing, and on-the-job upskilling are possible solutions to this shortage. Extension in many states is positioned to help support these efforts by offering educational content or training opportunities. Extension...

Can Microcredentials Bring Learners Back to College? (Article Link)

Microcredentials, stackable credentials, certification, and badging are just a few of the names for alternative training and credits that focus on providing needed skills to students and workers. As our system continues to evolve the understanding of the importance of these types of programs in both the workforce and academic sectors, there is an opportunity for the Cooperative Extension Service (CES) to leverage their connections with communities and the Land-Grant University System. With a...

Nondegree upskilling still hampered by lack of awareness

Employees in nondegree pathways leading toward "upskilling" feel like they are workforce ready and receive the necessary skills needed for success. However, many people still are not aware of non-degree options for improvement, advancement and continuing education. The following article discusses this lack of awareness and how employees could attract workers and improve job outcomes through on the job training.

Twelve Coordinator Positions Available: Extension Foundation and ECOP WorkForce Development Program Action Team Launches AgriProspects Workforce Development Network

The Extension Foundation, in partnership with the ECOP Workforce Development Program Action Team, is seeking dynamic, collaborative individuals to help lead the AgriProspects Workforce Development Network . AgriProspects , supported through a USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture AFRI Education and Workforce Development Competitive Grant 2023-67037-40533, establishes a National Working Group supported by six Regional Working Groups focused on growing and refining the national...

What Is the Role of CES In Supporting Alternative Education Pathways?

A recent infographic released by the Council of Post-Secondary Education In Kentucky indicates that the majority of Generation Z feels pressured to pursue a traditional four-year degree and would rather explore other educational options that allow them to learn skills over a lifetime rather than all at once. For those staff and faculty in traditional higher education, this begs the question as to the role that these individuals should have in supporting and developing these alternatives. For...


Using Labor Market Information webinar

The U.S. Department of Labor is offering a two-part series on using labor market information (LMI) and occupational skills and sector competency models to inform decision-making, policy, and program improvement. Part 1 of a two-part series about using Labor Market Information. Information on part 2 of the two-part series is available online at

Resources for Advancing Racial Equity in Rural Communities

Here is a new set of resources from ChangeLab Solutions that you may find useful. "In rural communities across the United States, increasing meaningful participation in the policymaking process for Black, Indigenous, and other people of color (BIPOC) while decreasing place, race, and class divides is essential to achieving prosperity. Adding to our suite of resources for increasing racial justice and equitable economic development in rural America, we have released two new publications for...

Dynamic Discussions: Extension Transformation: preparing for the next 100 years

Dynamic Discussions Extension Transformation: preparing for the next 100 years April 27th, 2023 2 PM - 3 PM ET Register HERE We would like to invite you to join us next week for a Dynamic Discussion session focused on the demographic trends in the United States and the impact it has on Extension's approach to programming and staffing. Changes in population size and make-up, along with economic and political uncertainties, have presented a unique opportunity for Extension to transform its...

DOL Funding Opportunity supporting rural youth, people of color and people with disabilities

The U.S. Department of Labor announced the availability of $15 million in grant funding to support programs that help youth – particularly those in rural areas, people of color and people with disabilities – to overcome obstacles to educational and workforce success with training and career guidance. See the news release here: US Department of Labor announces $15M funding availability to help youth, young adults prepare for college, career success | U.S. Department of Labor ( and...

Recorded: “Extension’s Role in Workforce Development”

August 2022 Dynamic Discussions workshop focused on “Extension’s Role in Workforce Development” led by Robert Russell. Dr. Russell shared information about both the opportunities and challenges for Extension in workforce development as well as the role of the Workforce Program Action Team and its efforts to help lead programs forward. Here is a list of tools/resources that were discussed. Tools/Resources: A link to the recording is available here ; A link to the slide deck is available here...

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About the Extension Foundation

The Extension Foundation was formed in 2006 by Extension Directors and Administrators. Today, the Foundation partners with Cooperative Extension through liaison roles and a formal plan of work with the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) to increase system capacity while providing programmatic services, and helping Extension programs scale and investigate new methods and models for implementing programs. The Foundation provides professional development to Cooperative Extension professionals and offers exclusive services to its members. In 2020 and 2021, the Extension Foundation has awarded 85% of its direct funding back to the Cooperative Extension System, 100% of funds are used to support Cooperative Extension initiatives. 

This technology is supported in part by New Technologies for Ag Extension (funding opportunity no. USDA-NIFA-OP-010186), grant no. 2023-41595-41325 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the Extension Foundation. For more information, please visit You can view the terms of useat