What do they do? Government agencies create and administer policies and programs to serve the workforce needs of a community or region. These agencies oversee the public workforce system, which administers publicly funded employment, training, and supportive services to youth and adults, as well as services to help employers find qualified employees. They also provide assistance to support low-income workers and job seekers and support the development and growth of businesses that create jobs in a community. They may also coordinate with each other and fund organizations to deliver services locally. For example, state government agencies fund and provide guidance to local workforce development boards, which administer Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act programs through American Job Centers.

Who are they? Government agencies can be local, state, and federal governments, and can address economic development, social or human services, and labor, employment, and the workforce.

Why are they important? Government agencies provide the legislative, regulatory, policy, and funding structures for the public workforce system and other government programs to support local workforce and business needs. 

Mayors' offices and offices of the city administrator or county executive often oversee and set policies related to workforce development programs and services. City and county agencies administer some of the functions of local workforce systems, including establishing priorities, managing funding and resources, and monitoring program implementation and performance, especially for Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act programs.

  • Public social services agencies administer programs such as the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which assist workers and job seekers by providing access to support services such as child care, food security, medical aid, and cash assistance.
  • Economic development agencies help new and established businesses start up, expand, and prosper through financial subsidies for location decisions, assistance in navigating regulations, and support for new or expanding businesses’ needs. These agencies may partner with organizations to coordinate workforce needs of new businesses.