Emsi Joins Network to Accelerate Skills-Based Education and Hiring

Published on Sep 16, 2020

Updated on Nov 3, 2022

Written by Remie Verougstraete

Emsi Joins Network to Accelerate Skills-Based Education and Hiring

Today, the Open Skills Network announced its project to advance skill-based education and hiring. As a founding member, Emsi is providing the open skills library that will serve as the foundation for OSN’s groundbreaking work. 

Our library of over 30,000 skills is updated every two weeks to reflect the actual language used by employers in their job postings and working professionals (and job seekers) in their online profiles. These skills are linked to real-time labor market data to provide rich context for understanding their relevance in the world of work.

“Achieving the transformation to a skills-based hiring & learning economy requires broad collaboration,” said Kelly Ryan Bailey, director of Emsi Open Skills. “The Open Skills Network is playing an essential role in bringing together key employers, educators, and technology providers to build an open skills framework that works for everyone. Emsi is proud to be a founding member of the OSN to continue its mission of driving economic prosperity for all.”

Read the full press release below to learn more about OSN’s work to enable skill-based learning and hiring. To see how the open skills library can help your institution map curriculum to work-relevant skills, read about our work with WGU and Purdue Global.

New Network to Accelerate Skills-Based Education and Hiring

Amid record joblessness, the Open Skills Network launches to champion common, open skills libraries to better connect today’s learners with career opportunities


SALT LAKE CITY (September 16, 2020) – The Open Skills Network (OSN), a coalition of more than 40 employers, educational organizations, and technology providers, today announced the group is working to accelerate a shift to skills-based education and hiring by establishing a network of open skills libraries and skills data. Skills-based education and hiring are widely lauded as a more objective, equitable, and efficient way to connect today’s students with available job opportunities through a shared skills language.

Pre-pandemic, many of the nation’s top employers struggled to find talent whose skills matched their needs. And now, with more than 11 million Americans out of work, experts predict that four in 10 jobs lost will be permanent. In a time of labor market upheaval, it is critical that jobseekers be able to clearly articulate the value they bring to employers, including records of learning and skills attained through academic and work-based experiences. 

“We don’t yet know what the long-term effects of COVID-19 will be on our workforce, but we know we can make changes today to better empower today’s students now—helping connect them with life-changing job opportunities,” said Marni Baker Stein, Western Governors University Provost and Chief Academic Officer. “As founding members of the OSN, we’re committed to developing the foundation for a skills-based future, a future in which learners and employers can find each other and connect in real time through a shared language of verified skills.”

Today, skills are developed in a variety of settings: at school, on the job, in the military, and through other settings. Jobseekers rely on a combination of résumés, online profiles, job applications, interviews, and credentials to describe their skills and qualifications. This approach fails to capture the full range of skills that jobseekers gain and can disadvantage low-income and minority applicants. By moving to a shared skills language, education providers can verify learner achievements in a common record, the Learning and Employment Record (LER). LERs are secure student-owned records of transferable skills that will open doors to opportunity, including for the many millions of Americans with some college but no degree. 

“Walmart has been pleased to partner with the Open Skills Network, as we collectively lay down a vision for how skills can become a common currency in the US labor market,” said Andy Trainor, Vice President of Learning at Walmart. “We believe that skills-based education and employment practices will bring greater opportunity to learners and workers across the nation, who seek to understand the skills they need to succeed and find jobs that match their skillsets.”

Much of the data needed to support skills-based education and hiring already exists, but this skills data is siloed, not easily accessible, nor machine-actionable, making the switch to skills-based education and hiring an expensive and challenging endeavor for employers and education providers alike. The Open Skills Network will solve this problem by developing a decentralized network of open, machine-actionable skills libraries and data.

Learn more, including how to join the Open Skills Network, at www.openskillsnetwork.org


About the Open Skills Network

Established in 2020, the Open Skills Network is a group of more than 40 employers, educational organizations, and technology providers dedicated to accelerating the adoption of skills-based education and hiring by establishing a network of open skills libraries and skills data. With coordination from BrightHive, support from Walmart, Western Governors University, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, and building off of the work of Concentric Sky, Credential Engine, Emsi, and others, the Open Skills Network is developing common standards and practices to serve as the infrastructure for widespread skills-based education and hiring practice adoption. Skills-based education and hiring can advance equity, efficiency, and efficacy in job searching and hiring practices. Learn more at www.openskillsnetwork.org.


For media inquiries about the Open Skills Network, please contact Melissa Luke at Western Governors University. For inquiries about Emsi’s open skills data, please contact John Wright at Emsi.