Welcome to Future Skills Exchange! A large percentage of workers in New York have no formal degrees, but we know that they have skills! The Future Skills Exchange provides tools to identify, grow, and certify work-relevant skills. Inside you will find validated assessments, training opportunities, and certifications aligned with specific skills and competencies. Our goal is to move New York’s jobseekers, employers, workforce professionals, unions, educators, and policymakers towards a more competitive and equitable economy, ensuring access and opportunity to all.

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Skills assessments measure candidate skills. They fall into two major categories:

Foundational Skills (e.g., reading, math, critical thinking, communication and customer service) are broad skills useful across nearly all occupations. Employers use these assessments for pre-hire selection, employee development or employee advancement. EEOC compliance is a must.

There are EEOC regulations to governing the use of foundational skills tests in screening job applicants. Employers with over 15 employees will need to ensure test scores don’t inadvertently cause the hiring process to discriminate against a protected group, such as minorities, women, the disabled, and older applicants (so-called “adverse impact"). In practice, this means integrating tests with other selection criteria and tracking acceptance rates by race, gender, etc. to ensure that hiring overall complies with the EEOC’s 80:20 rule.

Future Skills’ detail page for each specific assessment will indicate whether the assessment has vendor documentation showing it to comply with EEOC’s 80:20 rule “out of the box,” or whether the burden is solely on the employer to track acceptance rates and ensure compliance locally.

Occupation-specific skills (e.g., software development or welding) are typically validated by learning institutions or assessment sites. The former give degrees; the latter give certifications. The credential is then recognized by an employer looking for those specific skills.


Training and Apprenticeships

Future Skills Exchange curates skills and competency based training to assure that the learner, educator, or business can locate training aligned to job readiness and the workplace. This includes apprenticeships - a great way to work and learn at the same time.



Future Skills Exchange is pleased to partner with Credential Engine to assure transparency and availability of credentials. Included are both degrees from formal education and rigorous certifications obtained via 3rd party assessment. Either solely or in combination, these two approaches result in licenses, apprenticeships, badges, micro-credentials, and more.

Additional Resources:
Burning Glass and National Network: Skills Lists for High-Demand Occupations
Skills Commons: Free and Open Classroom Resources for Workforce Teachers and Trainers
Credly: Digital Badges