Stackable credentials are an organized sequence of certificates that can be accumulated over time to strengthen individual qualifications and to advance along a career pathway or up a career ladder to different and higher-paying jobs. This sequence has shorter-term skill development blocks which allow students to exit and enter while still having gained marketable skills, which reduces educational and employment barriers for non-traditional and disadvantaged students. These certificates should also be portable, or independently verified and accredited, so student credentials are upheld by employers and educational institutions across the nation and maybe around the world.
This system is already being used by other states to bolster WFD in the energy industry. For example, the North Carolina Community College System has a green jobs curriculum focused on critical growth areas such as building, energy, engineering, environment, and transportation. This project has streamlined over 80 curriculums and affected thousands of students, and students can now earn multiple credentials endorsed by the National Association of Manufacturers while working toward an associate degree. The project also conducted over 40 professional development events for more than 680 faculty participants to provide experience with new technologies and employer-desired skill sets.
States can utilize this system to support increased energy manufacturing in the state by establishing a specific career pathway program with portable certificates for this expanding job field.