Skillful works with business, educators, and government—powered by technology—to help the nearly 70% of Americans without college degrees get good jobs based on the skills they have or the skills they can learn.

Skillful, a non-profit initiative of the Markle Foundation, is dedicated to enabling all Americans – particularly those without a four-year college degree – to secure good jobs in a changing economy. In partnership with Microsoft and others, Skillful is developing skills-based training and employment practices in collaboration with state governments, local employers, educators and workforce development organizations. Skillful and its partners are working to create a labor market in which skills are valued, and people can more easily access the information and education they need to keep pace with technology’s impact on work. Skillful currently operates in two states, Skillful Colorado and Skillful Indiana, bringing investment, training, tools and innovative methods to augment local workforce development efforts. It formed and facilitates the Skillful State Network, a collaboration among 26 state governors to accelerate the development and deployment of effective skills-based practices to transform their labor markets. Skillful is grateful for support provided by Walmart, and its partnerships with the states of Colorado and Indiana, Microsoft, Lumina, Purdue University and Purdue Extensions.


46 Percent


 1 Manpower Group, “2016/2017 Talent Shortage Survey”



2 “America’s Divided Recovery.” Georgetown Center for Education and the Workforce, June 30, 2016.



3 “The State of American Jobs.” A Pew Research Center survey, conducted in association with the Markle Foundation, October 2016.


  • Facilitating widespread adoption of high quality skills-based employment practices.
  • Aligning educational programs to employment needs by informing and driving collaboration through industry-specific approaches.
  • Driving increased transparency and data around educational outcomes to make it easier for job seekers to understand the value of different training programs.
  • Encouraging widespread understanding of the multiple pathways to success that are available in the digital economy.
  • Creating a system of effective, evidence-based coaching to help job seekers successfully achieve career growth and opportunities for good paying jobs in high growth industries.

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