About the Project

The Sector Strategies for Equity initiative was launched in early 2017 to investigate the potential of sector partnerships to address race- and ethnicity-based workforce disparities.

In the workforce development field, "sector partnerships" (sometimes called “industry partnerships”) bring together a group of employers with similar skill needs – typically within a specific industry or cluster of occupations - to jointly develop and implement solutions to their regional workforce challenges. These partnerships coordinate resources and align strategies across a range of workforce development stakeholders, including businesses, education and training providers, the public workforce system, community-based organizations, and philanthropy.

There is growing evidence that sector strategies produce positive results for both workers and their employers, including positive employment, income, and career advancement outcomes for lower-income workers. Meanwhile, despite gains in recent decades, significant racial/ethnic gaps in median income and labor market participation persist, with African Americans and Latinos working and earning less, on average, than Non-Hispanic Whites.

As a result, several prominent workforce development investors are interested in investigating whether sector partnerships can be a tool for reducing race-based economic inequalities and advancing equity (i.e.,"The systematic fair treatment of people of all races that results in equitable opportunities and outcomes for everyone").

Over the course of the next year, the Sector Strategies for Equity project will conduct a national survey of sector partnerships along with a series of in-depth interviews to better understand the extent to which sector partnerships have adopted equity goals and to identify lessons learned among those that have done so. The findings will be summarized in a final report and published on this website along with other tools and resources on equity.

Research Team


Heath Prince

Director and Research Scientist

Ray Marshall Center for the Study of Human Resources

Dr. Prince is the Ray Marshall Center’s director and a research scientist.  He has over fifteen years’ experience in the education and workforce development fields as a researcher, project manager, policy analyst, and evaluator. More...


Dazzie McKelvy

CEO and Owner

Workforce Matters

Dazzie McKelvy has worked as a public sector manager and a nonprofit executive. She now owns her own business leading a team of expert consultants in the areas of workforce development, education, and human resources. More...

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Sarah Oldmixon

Visiting Researcher

Ray Marshall Center for the Study of Human Resources

Sarah Oldmixon is a Visiting Researcher at the Ray Marshall Center specializing in issues related to workforce development, college access and success for working learners, youth development, and adult education. More...

Charles Demakis
Graduate Intern
Ray Marshall Center for the Study of Human Resources

Charles Demakis is a first-year Masters of Public Affairs student at the LBJ School of Public Affairs. Charles graduated from Stanford University in 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Studies, with an emphasis on comparative ethics. Upon completing his degree, he moved to Prague in September 2007 to get his certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language and work as an English language teacher. More...

Chance Nettles
Undergraduate Research Assistant
Ray Marshall Center for the Study of Human Resources

Chance Nettles is an Undergraduate Research Assistant at the Ray Marshall Center for the Study of Human Resources. He is currently a junior at the University of Texas working on his Bachelor of Science in Public Health. Previously, Chance interned in the External Relations division of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services and was a House messenger for the 85th Texas Legislature.

The Sector Strategies for Equity project has been made possible through the generous financial support of the Annie E. Casey Foundation.