A Credential Makes the Difference


In today’s employment market, New York workers without college degrees too often lose out on jobs, even when they have experience and skills. In those situations, an industry-recognized credential can make all the difference.

The Consortium for Worker Education recognized this need and recently launched the Enhanced Credentials to Careers Initiative (ECCI) demonstration project, with support from the New York State Assembly and Senate and funding through the New York State Education Department.

"As a viable alternative to traditional channels of skills and technical knowledge acquisition, credentialing, combined with specific occupational training, is a timely and expeditious pathway to employment attainment and advancement," says Beverley O'Donnell, Deputy Executive Director of the Consortium for Worker Education.

The project targets workers who are seeking new jobs, as well as current workers who need new credentials or licenses to keep their jobs or get promotions. The ECCI program provides occupational training, credential preparation services, credential acquisition assistance, job placement services, and employment retention support.

So far, CWE has developed credential programs in information technology, transportation, telecommunications, and health care as part of the project, with a goal of expanding into additional industries in the future.

Since the program's launch, CWE and its partners have delivered industry-recognized credentials and certifications to over 200 workers. Two-thirds are formerly unemployed and underemployed workers who have gained quality jobs. The remainder are low and middle-income workers who required specific credentials to retain jobs or advance in their career tracks.

CWE thanks New York state government for its support of this demonstration project in its first year and looks forward to working with our partners to bring more credential opportunities to New York workers in the future.