Public colleges are under more pressure than ever to provide graduates with the right skills for available jobs. The student loan crisis and structural economic changes make alignment of curriculum to employer needs more critical than ever. According to Manpower’s 2014 survey of employers, the number one complaint from global employers is a lack of appropriate technical competencies (hard skills) followed by a lack of workplace competencies (soft skills). At the same time, both regulators and accreditors seek evidence-based competencies and proof of student employability. Mandated reductions in semester credit hours for associate degrees also have increased the need for objective, data-driven decision making for which competencies are most relevant. Industry advisors and educators are trying to work through these issues, but need help to find a common skill-based language. In order to solve these issues, Texas State Technical College began a series of in-depth research projects more than four years ago, involving 22 colleges across multiple states. The goal was to perform gap analysis to secure high level comparison of graduates’ actual employment results against employment goals, salary and competency alignment with the overall labor market. Since then, multiple partners, like the Texas Workforce Commission and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, joined with TSTC to help create the Center for Employability Outcomes to produce an institutionally agnostic organization with a hard focus on transparency in measurements of ROI for salary vs. cost of tuition.