Mapping the LER Ecosystem to Drive Equity


  • Applied research
  • Curated focus groups
  • Expert workshop facilitation
  • Content creation
  • Visual design
  • Web development
  • Social and promotional toolkit
  • Targeted social campaign

The need

Learning and employment records (LERs) are a vital solution to accelerating the uptake of skills-based hiring while empowering learners and earners to be recognized for their full set of skills from work, education, credentialing, service and life experiences. However, widespread use of LERs is often hindered by a lack of clarity and collaboration amongst the many necessary stakeholders, including employers, credential providers, learners and earners, and policy makers.

Therefore, Walmart brought NationSwell on to work with a Steering Committee of experts in the education, credentialing, equity and hiring space, to create an LER Ecosystem Map that would help people connect the dots across the ecosystem and more easily see how they can take action to drive equity through LERs.

Organizations in the LER Ecosystem Map Steering Committee: 

  • Competency-Based Education Network
  • Digital Credentials Consortium
  • Digital Promise
  • JFFLabs
  • National Association of Workforce Boards
  • National Governors Association
  • SHRM Foundation
  • T3 Innovation Network
  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation

The action

NationSwell worked closely with the Steering Committee to undertake thorough research to establish the goals and needs for the LER Ecosystem Map.

Through desk research, in-depth interviews, a diverse focus group, workshops, and months of cross-team collaboration, content drafting, design work and data visualization, our teams engaged 50+ individuals to help develop an interactive digital experience, accessible to stakeholders across the ecosystem, that clearly demonstrates opportunities for engagement, collaboration and action.

Through our three workstreams — establishing a hypothesis, research and development — the team discovered learnings, opportunities to drive adoption, and insights gaps that informed how the LER Ecosystem Map should come to life. The map launched at a pivotal point in LER development, providing many large and small players in the space with vital clarity on how to take action.

The impact

50+ cross-sector experts engaged

in unprecedented collaboration by the Steering Committee to create a shared resource

First ever multi-stakeholder tool

 to guide progress on LERs

Hundreds of diverse organizations

focused on 4 Key Action Areas across the ecosystem

From our partner

“The LER Ecosystem Map is such a useful tool — it’s acting as a real catalyst for interplay in the ecosystem. It’s allowing conversations with specific stakeholders to ask ‘where do you fit?”

Director, Walmart

“LERs are so important to students I work with; stop considering people for what they look like, where they went to school… just consider what they can do.”

Co-Founder & CEO, Bioscience Core Skills Institute

“The Map is a vital tool to help align and support everyone working towards a more equitable hiring future. LERs are key to recognizing all the skills a person has and breaking free of biased, outdated pathways.”

Chief Strategy Officer, NationSwell

Work with us
Learn more