Coleridge Initiative

Data for Evidence-Based Policy Collaborative Workshop 2021

The State and Local Job Crisis:  Building a sustainable, locally-driven, national data infrastructure

SAVE THE DATE:   March 3-5, 2021
Virtual Conference

Registration is now open
Register here for the conference.

Join leaders from across the country, representing state and federal governments, as well as philanthropic foundations and professional associations, for a dynamic two-day workshop celebrating success and mapping a strategy to grow data access, stewardship, and analysis for evidence-based policymaking.

LEARN how states have worked together to develop regional collaboratives around a framework of training, shared products, data standards and governance.
SHARE your expertise and insights to the development of a national agenda and a sustainable, locally driven, national data infrastructure.
GROW the community of data-oriented, evidence-based policymakers and program administrators. 
ACCELERATE data-driven research and policies supporting program management, policy development, and scholarly research.

Questions? E-mail [email protected] with questions about this virtual workshop.


About The Workshop

The workshop will highlight the demonstrated success of a collaboration of state workforce agencies and universities across the country. 

Why Now?
The current COVID-19 outbreak and the resulting employment crisis have made it clear:  state and local data are key to understanding and responding to local social and economic challenges.

While state data systems end at state borders, there is massive potential to develop the cross-state infrastructure needed to collect, mine and use administrative data; share evidence-based practices; and establish common measures and research tools.  

To build sustainable state data infrastructure through partnerships and national support
Highlight tangible evidence about the value of state and federal data

About The Midwest Collaborative

The Midwest Collaborative is a coalition of state workforce and education agencies working in partnership with the Coleridge Initiative and regional university partners to design a system that enables individual states to answer critical questions that are relevant to society. State partners set the priorities, contribute data and establish the agenda for research and data products.

Founding states include: Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio, Tennessee


March 3 – Plenary March 4 – Working Groups March 5 – Regional Collaboratives
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 Welcome and Setting the Stage led by Coretta Pettway, State of Ohio, Scott Sanders, NASWA, and Julia Lane, the Coleridge Initiative 11:00 – 12:15 Unemployment to Reemployment Portal, collaborative discussion led by George Putnam, Illinois Department of Employment Security and Diana Barrett, Indiana Department of Workforce Development 11:00 – 12:15 MidWest Collaborative Governance, led by Josh Hawley, Ohio State University, Jason Owen Smith, University of Michigan, Adam Leonard, Texas Workforce Commission and Alex Hall Bovee, Colorado Department of Labor
12:45 – 1:45 Panel: Addressing the jobs crisis with evidence and data led by Nancy Potok, former Chief Statistician of the United States, and Anna Hui, Director of Labor, State of Missouri 12:30 – 1:45 Education and cross-state workforce flows, collaborative discussion led by Jessica Cunningham, Kentucky Stats and Lesley Hirsch, New Jersey Department of Labor  12:30 — 1:45 Regional Collaboratives
2:00 – 3:00 Panel: Collaborative Achievements: Training, Data Products and Data Models led by George Putnam, State of Illinois, Jessica Cunningham, State of Kentucky, and Pam Gerassimides, NASWA 2:00 – 3:15 Training and Curriculum, collaborative discussion led by Pam Gerassimides, NASWA and Frauke Kreuter, University of Maryland and the Coleridge Initiative  
3:15 – 4:15 View from the Philanthropic Sector  3:30 — 4:30 Report back and next steps  


The workshop will emphasize three themes: Training, Data Products and Data Governance.

  Training Classes

Workshop attendees will address critical questions of governance including: mission, structure, and processes. Building upon the guiding principles established in the Match 2020 meeting of the MidWest Collaborative, participants will progress through a series of sessions that will address the following questions:

What is the mission of the governance system

What is the structure of the governance system? 

What are the rules of the road for the governance group(s) we establish? 

What is the stewardship process?

What are the legal, financial and human capital resources necessary to sustain a national network of regional collaboratives? 

The Midwest Collaborative members will provide a summary of the governance system they are designing as part of the National Jobs Initiative. The governance system emerged from two events in 2018 and 2020 held in Chicago and Columbus, where states convened to discuss key use cases for cross-state administrative data. The emerging governance structure is based on key use cases, especially the Unemployment Claims and Education to Workforce dashboards. The administrative structure, including a set of committees focused on state policy, data stewardship, and technical capacity, will work with NASWA to develop a secretariat that can carry out the vision. In addition to committees, the governance group will also define working procedures that allow states to propose and collaborate on key efforts such as new dashboards or research projects. A standardized governance process also allows research entities such as universities to carry out projects using multiple state data, and allow the Coleridge Initiative to continue to use the ADRF to support the training classes.

  Featured Data Products

(Draft. More materials will be added in the coming months.)

UI Claims Dashboard

States in the Midwest Collaborative are working across state borders to create real-time labor market information that is critical for local pandemic response. This interactive tool draws in the latest de-identified UI claims data, processed through the secure ADRF environment. Through visualizations, state staff can

  • Easily identify which local labor markets and categories of workers are being hit hardest,
  • Estimate the economic impacts of job loss, and
  • Understand the composition of the UI claimants themselves, by demographic, education, industry, and occupational characteristics.

Click here to view a presentation by Illinois Labor Market Information Director, Dr. George Putnam, and Indiana Assistant Director of Research and Analysis, Diana Barrett, showcasing how they have worked across state lines to identify which local labor markets were hit the hardest by COVID-19 induced layoffs, analyze the impact on those economies, and start to build a sense of composition of the claimants themselves, by analyzing demographic, industry, and occupation data.

KY Higher Ed Dashboard

The Multi-State Post-Secondary Feedback Report (PSFR) dashboard will empower States to better understand the employment outcomes of individuals who participated in their State’s education programs. The information presented in the Multi-State PSFR will inform State decision-making in education and workforce policy by providing employment outcome measures from multiple States’ workforce data.

The two primary goals of the prototype Multi-State PSFR dashboard are to demonstrate the value of: (1) combining administrative data from multiple States as introduced above, and (2) standardized data models in reproducing analyses across State lines.

Link to dashboard.

  Data Governance

(Draft. More materials will be added in the coming months.)

The workshop will continue a discussion initiated at the 
March, 2020 Midwest Collaborative: Data for Evidence-based Policymaking workshop held in Columbus, Ohio. At that event, participants developed a set of guiding principles for data governance. A committee chaired by Dr. Josh Hawley of Ohio State University will be developing recommendations to present at the March, 2021 workshop. 

The collaborative:

  • is dedicated to developing responsible, effective means to use inter-agency and interstate data to inform evidence based decision-making and policy
  • should not be geographically bounded
  • seeks to streamline and reduce the transaction costs of responsible, effective collaboration using the ADRF as a technical platform
  • commits to strong but flexible privacy/confidentiality protection and responsible data use practices that address all relevant statutory and ethical requirements 
  • expects all members to benefit from participation and to contribute to the collective good of the group (“there should be no bystanders”)
  • does not and should not require total consensus to undertake projects (minimize veto points, while respecting independence of state decisions)
  • should have multiple touch points with states but a single, authoritative representative whose position and expertise allow them to conduct necessary due diligence within each state participant
  • respects state sovereignty with regard to data, policy needs, and legal obligations. (We seek data sovereignty without data protectionism)
  • encourages individual states to develop internal governance processes that allow multiple agencies to participate without having to negotiate agency by agency.
  • supports research access to data with the proviso that external research projects must address needs/concerns of data providers (states)
  • favors institutional partnerships that formalize inter-personal connections
  • directs use of data through collective identification of common, high value questions that can (a) produce small wins that build momentum and enroll allies, and (b) set guiderails for data sharing
  • encourages standardization of agreements, data formats, disclosure processes etc. 
  • should borrow governance details that fit with these principles from existing consortia where possible



This event is sponsored by Amazon, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and NASWA.