Industry: Government Partnership: Innovate+Educate Business Need: Goodwill & Community

The City of Albuquerque embraced a skills-based hiring method to create an innovative new economy for its community and secure a talented workforce.

"The New Options Program approached us with a proposal [and] said we have this whole skills-based hiring ecosystem that we are looking at. Using the WorkKeys profiling system, assessment system and the Key Train system to skill-up people and identify those people with those skills set that you are having a hard time finding, giving them credit for their critical thinking and experience versus just our traditional path . . . Well, now we have a whole new pool of people that we can look at that we never saw before."
Michael Smith, Director

Proud Partner With

Innovate+Educate is a national 501c3 nonprofit recognized as a leader in building new pathways to employment in high demand fields. Located in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Innovate+Educate is led by a Board of Directors from top industry across 35 states. Innovate+Educate implements research-based, demand-led strategies that will lead to the national adoption of competency-based hiring and training by employers. Innovate+Educate believes that the natural outcome of a demand driven approach will be increased awareness of and access to career-building skills for young adults often overlooked through traditional hiring methods (degree, resume). Innovate+Educate's vision is to open multiple pathways to learning and employment that results in economic success for all.

Innovate+Educate has developed and is currently implementing a ‘Skills to Jobs’ framework that builds new pathways to employment within an industry sector and/or regional location. At the most basic level, the goal of the ‘Skills to Jobs’ competency-based framework is to create a common language between supply and demand. In this transparent system, employers can search and hire based on identified skills and competencies and job seekers can easily demonstrate or ‘train up’ to the skills and competencies employers need.


In the face of increasing unemployment, the City of Albuquerque needed to develop a recruitment program that would assess the skill levels of potential employers and attract businesses to the area.



In cooperation with community organizations, including Innovate+Educate’s Skills-Based Hiring Initiative, the City of Albuquerque implemented ACT’s WorkKeys skills assessment to screen potential job applicants for entry-level open positions. The partnership allows the city to identify skilled workers for the positions based not just on traditional educaitonal achievements, but on the skills needed to excel in the job. The city now has access to a previously untapped pool of talent.


  • Increased pool of applicants
  • Stronger community engagement


Source: New Options Project. Employer Story. City of Albuquerque.

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