High Priority Occupations

The commonwealth's workforce development strategy targets education and training investments to High Priority Occupations, or HPOs. HPOs are used to identify workforce programs that provide individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to enter, maintain, or advance their careers.

 

HPOs are job categories that are in demand by employers, have evolving skill needs, and are likely to provide family-sustaining wages. They are occupations that generally require some amount of training but no more than a four-year college degree. Local HPOs were identified via a two-step process developed by the commonwealth's workforce development strategiests.

 

2017 HPO PETITONS must be submitted with the authorization of the local workforce development board, and are due by July 12, 2017. Please include all documentation required for your petition's justification and complete item numbers 1-5 on the HPO Petition Form. The local workforce development board will not submit incomplete or insufficient petitions.

 

Who may submit petitions? Local educational institutions (K-12 and higher education) and economic development agencies can petition their Local Workforce Development Board to propose adding an HPO. The petitioning organization must provide documented evidence to their Local Workforce Development Board that wage threshold and job openings criteria are met:

  • 2017 HPO List Self-Sufficiency Wage is $33,086
  • 2017 HPO List Openings Threshold is 7 openings for each of the next three years

What are justifications for filing a petition?

  • Unmet Employer Demand: Hiring activity by local employers that is not captured in traditional data sets. Justification must include letters from at least three businesses that when combined have a total number of job openings (specific to the occupation petitioned) that meets your local openings threshold for each of the next three years. Employer letters must also document wages paid at or above the local self-sufficiency level.
  • Career Pathways: Occupation represents an entry point into career pathways leading to hother HPOs. Justification must include letters from at least three businesses that when combined have a total number of job openings (specific to the occupation petitioned) that meets your local openings threshold for each of the next three years. Employer letters should also include data on wages paid to these positions. In addition to employer letters, an explanation of the career progression from the petitioned occupation to other HPOs must be included with specific mention of any job experience and/or education requirements needed to advance in the career pathway.
  • Local Workforce Initiatives/Sector Partnerships: Local efforts by an established group of workforce development partners have determined a need for the occupation(s). Documentation should include a description of the local efforts, including the name or description of the partnership, and details on why the occupation was chosen, why it is difficult to fill positions, and why this is a great career within the area. The summary of the occupational need should include total job openings and self-sustaining wages that exceed the local thresholds. While letters from specific employers are not necessary, the documentation should list a few examples of area employers that support the occupation.

Occupations successfully added via this petitioning process will appear on the relevant local HPO list for three years.

 

 

High Priority Occupations Information

DRAFT Northwest High Priority Occupations List
Petitions for additions are due by July 12, 2017.
 
CURRENT Northwest High Priority Occupations List
This list is valid from September 1, 2016, through August 31, 2017.
 
CURRENT Statewide High Priority Occupations List
This list is valid from September 1, 2016, through August 31, 2017.
 
Information on How to Submit HPO Petitions
This is the state's webpage dedicated to HPO Lists and Petitions. Please review this information carefully while preparing your petition.
 
NEW HPO Policy
April 2017. (Sample documentation included)
 

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