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Supporting Systems

Definition: Entities or networks promoting livelihoods and economic mobility

Examples: Research and advocacy groups, think tanks and community organizations, intermediaries and implementation partners

Roles and Workstreams


  • Ensure broad participation by non-profit organizations, including research partners in the design of standards, tools, and pilots
  • Highlight the use case of LERs for increasing equitable access to opportunity


  • Work with employers and education and training providers to build skills-based career paths


  • Develop holistic support services that help learners and earners to leverage LERs in order to advance their aspirations and goals
  • Conduct usability studies that track attitudes and adoption over time, and across different user groups.


  • Develop competency-mapping efforts across HR, workforce development, and education technology organizations
  • Carry out outcomes tracking on effectiveness

Action Areas

There are key action areas that we believe LER ecosystem stakeholders should focus on to make significant progress towards adoption in service of equity and opportunity. All action areas rely on the participation of stakeholders in pilots, research and advocacy initiatives.

Gathering Data on Impact

How do we know LERs are effective in unlocking opportunities for learners and streamlining processes for employers and educators? Stakeholders across the ecosystem must collect empirical data that confirms value statements about LERs and identifies areas for improvement in work streams.

  • Participate in reference implementations that track effectiveness of LERs and disseminate findings
  • Develop resources and educational materials including models and frameworks for issuers and employers and guidance for learners on how to effective manage and share credentials to their advantage

Support Degree and Skills Based Systems

LERs can be issued for large scale achievements like diplomas and degrees or for more granular ones like courses or even individual skills and competencies. The ideal LER Ecosystem will support recognition of learning and abilities obtained through both traditional and skills-based systems.

  • Develop competency-mapping efforts across HR, workforce development and education technology organizations
  • Conduct market research that identities industries and communities who could benefit from shifting to a skills based system and support implementations and pilots that aim to promote economic mobility through LERs
70+ MILLION adults in the U.S. are skilled through community college, workforce training, bootcamps, certificate programs, military service or on-the-job learning, rather than through a bachelor’s degree. This group is majority Black, Hispanic, essential workers and veterans.
— Opportunity@Work

Business Case

Data-Driven Decision-Making - Leverage this data to inform evidence-based decision-making, policy development, and resource allocation. By understanding the dynamics of livelihoods and economic mobility, stakeholders can design targeted interventions and initiatives that address specific needs and promote sustainable economic growth

Enhanced Opportunities - Individuals can present a comprehensive and credible profile to potential employers or training providers, increasing their access to employment opportunities, entrepreneurship programs, and skill development initiatives

Improved Matching of Skills and Opportunities - Entities and networks can facilitate more accurate and efficient matching of individuals with suitable job openings, training programs, and economic opportunities.

Social Case

Promoting Equity and Inclusion - Mitigate biases and promote fairness in the hiring process by focusing on job-related qualifications and skills rather than irrelevant personal characteristics.

Enhancing Transparency and Accountability - Transparency helps build trust between employers and candidates and ensures that hiring decisions are based on merit.

This work was supported by a grant from Walmart