Skip to Content

Learn more about the Models in Action search tool. Return to previous page

What does this tool do?

Models in Action search tool helps users learn about the many innovative ways that the workforce investment system, employers, and educators are using the CareerOneStop competency models to address their workforce challenges.

These examples of how the models are being used and nearly all have detailed case summaries that can be downloaded in PDF format. You can search Models in Action easily using its keyword search.

How do I get started?

Enter a keyword to search for a particular case summary, industry, occupation, location, or workforce use and click "Search." Or you can click on View All Models in Action as your first step.

What can I do with these results?

Your results page provides a list of all case summaries in our database that relate to your search term. You can narrow your results using the filters on the left-hand side of your screen.

From your list of results, you have several options:

  • Click on any User's name to see a detailed page including, if available, the state, industry, workforce use, description, and case summary submission date.
  • If you see a pyramid image next the column "User," that means there is a detailed case summary available in a PDF downloadable format.
  • Sort your list of case summaries by User, Workforce Use, Industry, or Date.
  • To start over with a new search term, click the blue "New Search" button on the top left side of the page.
  • You can download and save your list of case summaries in Excel, PDF, Word, or RTF using the "Download" button at the bottom of your results list.
  • To email or print your results, use the controls at the top right of the page.

Where does this information come from?

All of the competency resources information is compiled and maintained by the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment & Training Administration (ETA).

Who can I contact for help?

Contact the Competency Model Clearinghouse Service Center by email at

How are competency models used to support workforce development initiatives?

Competency models articulate the business and industry requirements that are essential components for the development of curriculum, apprenticeship work process schedules, job descriptions, career pathways, and certifications. Competency models are the foundation for important human resource functions such as recruitment and hiring, training and development, and performance management.

Who benefits from competency models?

Competency models benefit all partners and stakeholders in the Workforce System including Workforce Development Boards, American Job Centers, business and industry, economic developers, educators and training providers, professional and trade associations, career counselors, students, and their parents.

How can competency models be used to develop career paths?

A career path may include many steps: career and technical education in a traditional or alternative high school, community college experience, Job Corps training, apprenticeship training, military training and work experience. The competencies articulated in the industry models provide the core foundation and technical competencies that must be addressed regardless of the source of the education, training, or skill development. The models reflect not only the entry point on a career path, but the entire continuum of technical and foundation competencies needed to advance in careers in the industry.

How can Workforce System partners use competency models?

Competency models can serve as a bridge for information sharing between workforce system partners. Working together, postsecondary educators and workforce training providers can partner with employers, industry consortia or trade associations, or labor organizations to define performance levels in the identified competency areas to prepare workers at different career levels.

By establishing a framework of the skills required in an industry, competency models can serve as a starting point to evaluate the education and training needs in a community, assess the current organizations and institutions that are addressing those needs, and identify gaps in current education and training offerings.

By providing a common language for discussion of regional skill needs, competency models foster industry-education collaboration in developing curricula, planning and assessing career and technical education programs, and developing career pathways of educational courses and programs, as well as career ladders and lattices that help workers progress among jobs within an industry.

For specific examples of how workforce system partners are using competency models, visit the Models in Action.

How do business and industry partners use competency models?

Competency Models enable business and industry partners to maintain a competitive edge by:

  • Clearly articulating their workforce needs
  • Defining requirements for employee success on a job and at different levels of a career
  • Improving recruitment, hiring, performance assessment, and retention practices
  • Focusing on the knowledge, skills, and abilities that have the most impact on effectiveness and productivity
  • Increasing return on investment for training and development efforts
  • Informing succession planning practices

How do Workforce Development Boards use competency models?

Competency Models serve as a resource to Workforce Development Boards for program planning efforts. Competency models provide a blueprint for identifying and comparing the:

  • Knowledge and skill needs of employers
  • Competencies of the available labor pool
  • Programs in the local area that train in the required competencies

How do American Job Centers use competency models?

Competency Models enable American Job Centers to:

  • Design and provide services to meet the needs of employers and workers in the region served
  • Compare the skill base of workers and job seekers to required competencies to identify gaps
  • Provide credible guidance and counseling to workers about the kinds of jobs or training they should consider
  • Serve the needs of workers transitioning from declining industries by identifying transferable skills and skill gaps

How do education and training providers use competency models?

Competency Models enable Educators and Training Providers to:

  • Work with business and industry to identify skill requirements to ensure that the curriculum and/or technical training programs are responsive to these requirements
  • Design and develop course and program curriculum based on skills required by business and industry
  • Determine which competencies are in highest demand and help students plan their courses accordingly
  • Promote articulation between secondary and postsecondary education offerings

How would an industry competency model be used?

An industry model is intended to contain the foundation and technical competencies needed for entry and advancement within a particular industry or occupational cluster. An industry model can also be used to identify the training needed to upgrade incumbent workers skills to adapt to new technology and new work processes.

Are there any tools or resources that provide guidance in using these competency models and career ladder/lattices as tools?

The Competency Model Clearinghouse features a section called Models in Action. It contains a series of case summaries and Case-in-Point Stories that provide best practice examples of organizations effectively using competency models.

What is the difference between case summaries and Case-In-Point Stories?

The case summaries are full descriptions of specific applications of the industry competency models. Case-in-Point Stories are briefer, and many of them are short versions of the case summaries.

How can I connect with others who are interested in developing and implementing competency models and career ladders/lattices to facilitate regional workforce development efforts?

You can connect with other workforce professionals through WorkforceGPS, a knowledge sharing Web space that provides access to Communities of Practice around common topics.

Can competency models be used to develop programs for registered apprenticeship?

The regulations for apprenticeship programs provide for a competency-based (as well as time-based) approach which requires the apprentice to demonstrate competency in defined subject areas. Competency models provide a resource for identifying the knowledge, skills, and abilities to include in training and assessment. See

Where can I find information on obtaining certain competencies through apprenticeships?

The U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, Office of Apprenticeship provides technical consultation services on the development of apprenticeship standards. Employers or groups of employers and labor organizations design, organize, manage, and finance registered apprenticeship programs under a set of apprenticeship standards, which include an on-the-job training outline, related classroom instruction curriculum, and the apprenticeship operating procedures. Occupational competencies learned through apprenticeship programs are described in the Work Process Schedules included in the standards. Search the Competency Model Resources Database (Search by Model type 'Apprenticeship') to view competencies acquired through apprenticeship training or access them through the Office of Apprenticeship website at

Return to previous page