The Sector Skills Academy was initiated by the Aspen Institute’s Workforce Strategies Initiative (WSI) in 2005 and has since graduated eight national classes and nearly 225 Marano Fellows, named in honor of Cindy Marano, a trailblazer in the sectoral field and a key leader behind the design of the Academy.
SkillUp Washington launched the first Greater Seattle Sector Skills Academy in 2013 in partnership with the Aspen Institute and funded through Social Innovation Funds from the National Fund for Workforce Solutions. Our second local Academy launched in 2016 and was facilitated by the Aspen Institute in partnership with Marano Fellows from SkillUp Washington and the Spokane Area Workforce Development Council. The 2016 Greater Seattle Sector Skills Academy was funded by the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, a member of SkillUp Washington’s funders collaborative.
The model creates a venue for different constituencies (such as community-based organizations, community colleges, workforce investment boards, government agencies, labor-management groups, etc.) to learn about and pool their talents and resources to influence local sectoral workforce strategies.
Past fellowship recipients used this as an opportunity to showcase their skills and creativity working on capstone projects identified by prominent workforce leaders and funders.