Brought to you by

Members

Friends of CTE Blog Series: PG&E Uses Public-Private Partnerships to Address Skilled Candidate Shortage

March 26th, 2013

John R. Simon is Senior Vice President of Human Resources for Pacific Gas and Electric Company, one of the largest combination natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. PG&E has 22,000 employees who serve 15 million people throughout a 70,000-square-mile service area in California.

John R. Simon, Senior Vice President of Human Resources for Pacific Gas and Electric Company

John R. Simon, Senior Vice President of Human Resources for Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Our customers rely on us to provide safe, reliable and affordable gas and electricity across Northern and Central California. Our workforce is the key to making that happen. Unfortunately, our company is faced with two converging workforce issues: 1) a significant number of employees will need to be replaced due to retirement or attrition over the next five years, and 2) we have a shortage of skilled candidates for our skilled craft jobs. Without a qualified pipeline of candidates ready to join the ranks of PG&E, it will be extremely difficult for us to do our job.

A Unique Model

PG&E has taken this matter into our own hands by creating PowerPathway a collaborative workforce development model built upon the public-private partnerships between PG&E, California community colleges and universities, community-based training organizations, the public workforce development system, unions and other industry employers. At the heart of this model is the need to support the development of Career Technical Education (CTE) programs that meet the workforce needs of PG&E and the utilities industry.

CTE’s Role

The National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium’s (NASDCTEc) vision for CTE is partially based on the principal that CTE must actively partner with employers to design and provide high-quality, dynamic programs. With the guidance and partnership of business and industry professionals, CTE can help students understand the realities of the workforce and economy while preparing them to be college and career ready.

In the case of PG&E’s PowerPathway, candidates participate in a 240-hour utilities-industry CTE program. Coursework for the training program includes basic gas and electricity, safety, physical conditioning, math, reading and other employability subjects vital to workplace success. Upon successful completion of the program, graduates receive a certificate of completion from the community college and PG&E’s PowerPathway. These certificates demonstrate that the graduate is a work-ready and competitive candidate for employment within the energy and utilities sector. Note: Some community colleges also offer credit for successful completion of the program.

Successes – The Numbers

PowerPathway started in 2008, graduating about 75 students the first year. Fast forward five years, and we’ll be graduating more than 250 students in 2013. Not only are we scaling our programs, we are consistently placing PowerPathway graduates into industry positions. As of the first quarter of 2012, 71 percent of graduates have been hired into industry positions, a majority with PG&E. The top five jobs in which students have found employment at PG&E are utility worker, apprentice electrician, gas service rep, materials handler and nuclear security guard.

Seventy percent of those hired from the PowerPathway candidate pool progress into apprenticeships or higher job classifications within one year of hire. The rate of retention after six months is also significantly higher for those who have graduated from PowerPathway – 98 percent versus 88 percent for the same skilled craft classifications. In addition, nearly 90 percent of PG&E supervisors who have hired PowerPathway graduates said they were either satisfied or very satisfied with their performance.

A Win-Win for All 

By collaborating with CTE and local partners in the community, PG&E has been able to grow a more qualified and career-ready pool of candidates to join our workforce. In addition, building a strong internal brand for PowerPathway programs as a trusted source of quality candidates has been a huge component of sustainability and scalability for our programs. PG&E is a strong proponent of investing in its future workforce, and we’ve found a model that works. You can learn more about PowerPathway at www.pge.com/powerpathway. We encourage all companies to consider leveraging the power of public-private partnerships to advance CTE and strengthen their future pipeline of talent.

 

The Friends of CTE Guest Blog Series provides advocates – from business and industry, researchers and organizations – an opportunity to articulate their support for Career Technical Education. The monthly series features a guest blogger who provides their perspective on and experience with CTE as it relates to policy, the economy and education.

Are you interested in being a guest blogger and expressing your support for CTE? Contact Melinda Findley Lloyd, Communications Consultant, at mlloyd@careertech.org.

Use of the CTE: Learning that works for Florida Logo Surges

December 17th, 2012


Thanks to State Director Rod Duckworth, third-party usage of the CTE: Learning that works for America™ logos experienced a burst of interest and many CTE Directors in Florida are now signed on to use the logo in their programs.

During their fall 2012 CTE Directors Meeting, Mr. Duckworth (pictured) was presenting, and used the CTE: Learning that works for America™ logos embedded in his Power Point. When he shared with the group that the new CTE: Learning that works for America™ logos were available through the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc), this created much excitement about having a way to promote Career Technical Education (CTE) and tie this initiative to jobs in Florida. Mr. Duckworth explained that the logo and associated resources can be used to assist in talking about CTE.

Florida requires third-party approval to enable use of the state logo images. Mr. Duckworth’s office sent out instructions to the CTE Director group, which included completion of the User Agreement, enabling the approval process.

What is the User Agreement? For access to digital artwork for the CTE brand, advocates must first complete and submit the CTE Brand User’s Agreement. Consistent usage and vigilant stewardship of the CTE brand are critical to effectively establish the brand. By signing the user’s agreement—and by using the CTE brand in the ways outlined in the CTE User’s Guidelines—applicants are helping to create awareness and recognition for CTE that enhances its leadership position among key target audiences.

Learn more:
• CTE: Learning that works for America Initiative
Resources available
• Third-party User Agreement application

Find out how your state approves third-party usage of the CTE: Learning that works for America logos, and discover a great way to promote CTE by calling our office at 301-588-9630.

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

Friends of CTE Blog: CTE, Quality Workforce are Needed for Stronger American Businesses

December 5th, 2012

Roy Schroer is Assistant Vice-President of Human Resources at Union Pacific Railroad, North America’s premier railroad franchise, covering 23 states across the western two-thirds of the United States.

Roy Schroer, Assistant Vice-President of Human Resources, Union Pacific Railroad

Strengthening the Labor Pool

One of America’s most successful and iconic companies, Union Pacific Railroad delivers the goods families and businesses use daily.  Celebrating our 150th anniversary in 2012, we recognize that one of the most vital elements to our success is a quality workforce. The foundation of our workforce has been our ability to recruit top-tier students when they complete their education.

Union Pacific hires college graduates who possess the necessary skill sets to quickly become an asset to the company.  The learning curve is limited for graduates who have the fundamental knowledge needed for their respective positions.  However, we are experiencing a shortage of employees skilled in important trades and crafts taught in Career Technical Education (CTE).

Offer earlier opportunities

High school students – or even younger students – need more opportunities to learn the necessary trade skills to become the next generation of diesel mechanics, industrial engineers and electricians.  Today, students complete high school and face one of two choices: go to college or start looking for a job.  But how do we expect someone with a high school education and no workforce experience to compete in the job market?  It is likely that students with just a high school degree or less will only be able to obtain a low-skilled, and thus low-wage position, to support themselves or their families.

Business and industry recognize that CTE can play a critical role in helping to maintain a pipeline of potential employees for businesses across the nation. CTE options are key to preparing our young students to learn skilled trades, gain valuable work experience and discover what path is most suitable for them.  These education options are beneficial to the future employees, help education systems achieve the goal of producing graduates who will be productive citizens, and will ultimately benefit employers as well.

Win-win solutions      

Companies dedicate significant resources to recruiting, hiring and training new employees, however we experience loss when employees do not enjoy their new job or are not adequately prepared; they leave the position and company.  If students had opportunities to learn about various jobs, trades and crafts during their formal education experience, schools could produce employee candidates who have explored their interests and are better prepared to enter the workforce and succeed. Collaboration between schools and businesses to develop quality CTE programs could address such issues.

For example, Union Pacific Railroad works with local schools through our Direction Recruitment Education and Mentoring (DREAM) program in which employees provide students with career, educational and social guidance.  The mentoring program serves as a vehicle to develop students’ self-esteem and confidence in their personal and career ambitions as they explore the business world.

Providing CTE options to students as early as possible will provide a new stream of job candidates who have a much better understanding of their desired career, which makes for happier, more productive and efficient employees, as well as a deeper and stronger workforce for American businesses.

How can you get involved?

The Friends of CTE Guest Blog Series provides advocates – from business and industry, researchers and organizations – an opportunity to articulate their support for Career Technical Education. The monthly series features a guest blogger who provides their perspective on and experience with CTE as it relates to policy, the economy and education.

Are you interested in being a guest blogger and expressing your support for CTE? Contact Erin Uy, Communications and Marketing Manager at euy@careertech.org.

How CTE: Learning that works for North Carolina is making a Difference

August 23rd, 2012

The NASDCTEc office has recently been inundated with requests for use of the CTE: Learning that works for North Carolina logo, so I called Rhonda Welfare, third party approver and asked “What’s going on?” Her explanation follows. Rhonda, Senior Analyst, CTE State and Federal Accountability, NC Department of Public Instruction, is a guest blogger will tell us what North Carolina is doing with the campaign.

North Carolina Career and Technical Education (CTE) has long understood the importance of marketing CTE. We have been involved in marketing activities and have assisted local districts in their marketing efforts for many years. Most recently, a strategic plan developed for North Carolina CTE by business, community, and education stakeholders focused on how marketing the CTE message can make a difference. We didn’t need to convince our locals that marketing is critical. In fact, they push us to do more!

At the state level we began using the new logo shortly after its release in 2011. We used it on everything we released – brochures, meeting handouts, agendas, PowerPoint presentations – and talked it up at every opportunity. As local users expressed interest, we told them to have their CTE Administrator request the logo directly from NASDCTEc to ensure that it was used in ways that reflected the CTE brand message. This summer we sent an e-mail to the administrators at all 115 of our local districts reminding them about the logo and the procedure for obtaining it. The message was timed just as they were developing materials for the fall and it opened the floodgates. About half of our local districts have committed to using the logo, and we anticipate that number will increase as others see it used more widely around the state.

We are happy to have access to an attractive, professional quality CTE logo that conveys a message that is important to us in North Carolina and around the country. Having it available in different formats has been particularly useful. The response from our users and from those who see the logo on our materials has been overwhelmingly positive.

For more information about how you too can grow state usage of the CTE: Learning that works for America state logos like North Carolina is doing, please contact Rhonda Welfare, Senior Analyst, CTE State and Federal Accountability, NC Department of Public Instruction at Rhonda.Welfare@dpi.nc.gov. Many states have signed on to use their state logos; in this case State Director Jo Anne Honeycutt opted for North Carolina to review all eligible third party user agreements prior to being given access to their state logos. Rhonda Welfare is the designated person who makes decisions regarding granting access to the state logo.

Does your state have access to the CTE: Learning that works for America state logos?Learn more
Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

Friends of CTE Guest Blog Series: Partnerships Between CTE and CTSOs Have a Meaningful Impact

February 15th, 2012

February is National Career Technical Education (CTE) Month. In celebration of that, the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education consortium (NASDCTEc) talked with adult and student leaders at the National FFA Organization[1] about the impact of CTE. FFA is one of eleven Career Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs) recognized by the United States Department of Education. Students enrolled in CTE courses can participate in a CTSO as a way to gain more real work experience in a particular field.

We asked both adult and student leaders at the National FFA Organization to tell us about the impact that CTE has had on their lives. All highlighted the important partnership between CTE and CTSOs.

Dr. Dwight Armstrong, Chief Operating Officer of the National FFA Organization, said his life was changed the day he signed up for an agriculture class and joined FFA. “My agriculture teacher served as the advisor for our FFA chapter, and under his caring hand and watchful eye I began to grow in ways I could never have imagined,” Armstrong said.

While Armstrong’s CTE courses gave him the knowledge he needed, his involvement in a CTSO provided opportunities to become part of a team, express himself as a leader, and develop self-confidence. “There is no doubt that I owe the success I’ve enjoyed in my career to the training, opportunities and life skills acquired by being part of a CTSO,” Armstrong said.

Ryan Best, 21, was elected to serve as National FFA President this past October. Best’s experiences mirror those Armstrong described. Best said that being in a CTSO enhanced his experience in CTE, not only by providing real-world career experiences, but also by helping him to develop his soft skills. “I thrived in the agriculture education courses I took in high school, but my experiences in FFA taught me about service and gave me a sense of right and wrong while also helping me develop premier leadership skills, experience personal growth and strive for career success,” Best said.

Rob Cooper, Executive Director of the National FFA Foundation, said businesses tell him that the partnership between CTE coursework and involvement in FFA results in young people who are more prepared for their careers. Cooper said, “During my visits with those who support FFA, one resounding thing I hear is how amazed employers are by their employees who were once FFA members. Through CTE coursework and involvement in FFA, our members are developing the skills that are coveted in today’s workforce.”

Everyone we spoke with at FFA was clear about the important role that CTSOs play. Armstrong said, “Because I realize how important organizations such as FFA can be—and just how much students need them—I’ve devoted the remainder of my career to extending these opportunities to every school system in the nation. Today’s students are our future, and CTE and CTSOs are developing leaders who will build healthy local communities, a strong nation and a sustainable world.”

 

The Friends of CTE Guest Blog Series provides advocates – from business and industry, researchers and organizations – an opportunity to articulate their support for Career Technical Education. The monthly series features a guest blogger who provides their perspective on and experience with CTE as it relates to policy, the economy and education.

The FFA blog entry is one of two that are being featured this month on the Friends of CTE Blog Series. In celebration of February’s National CTE Month, NASDCTEc is also including a blog entry from Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI) in which he discusses the Education for Tomorrow’s Jobs Act and the need to fully fund and support CTE.

Are you interested in being a guest blogger and expressing your support for CTE? Contact Melinda Findley Lloyd, Communications Consultant, at mlloyd@careertech.org.

 

[1] The National FFA Organization’s mission is to make a “positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.” Today there are 540,379 FFA members, aged 12‒21, in 7,489 chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at www.ffa.org.

CTE Month: Tell the Nation that CTE Works

February 7th, 2012

Share the CTE: Learning that works for America ™ video

CTE is working across the nation to enable students of all ages to excel in their schools and colleges, and secure high-demand jobs. NASDCTEc has created a video that represents the rich and diverse brand of CTE. It highlights students of a range of talents, backgrounds and ages, and in a mix of industries in which CTE helps student succeed. 

 Let people know that CTE works!

  • Share this video with others.
  • Post it on your department, school, college, organization or business Web site.
  • Use it as an introduction for your presentation

Through February, NASDCTEc will provide members and CTE advocates with resources and simple ways to recognize CTE Month. Take the time to raise awareness and support the entire CTE community!  Visit www.careertech.org for free CTE: Learning that works for America tools.

Virginia Shares Plan for Promoting CTE: Learning that works for America™ Throughout the State

January 26th, 2012

In NASDCTEc’s campaign to promote Career Technical Education (CTE), it provides many advocacy tools to help states address key challenges–from workforce development to student achievement, from economic vitality to global competitiveness. Virginia is taking this campaign to heart by maximizing its efforts in sharing this important message by using the CTE: Learning that works for America™ logos in their advocacy efforts throughout the state.

At this point, over 43 states have signed on to use the CTE brand logo, brand theme and brand messaging in their communications. In an interview with State Director Lolita Hall (pictured), Virginia’s process for embracing use of the CTE Branding materials was shared, with the intent that it could help other states as they map out their use of the logos statewide.

After the CTE: Learning that works for America™ initiative was unveiled at the NASDCTEc 2011 Spring Meeting, the Virginia state staff held a meeting and created a thoughtful plan to promote this initiative, using care in how it would be rolled out, keeping the following tenets in mind:

  • Consistent usage and vigilant stewardship of the CTE brand are critical to effectively establish the brand
  • For third party users (district and up), by signing the user’s agreement—and by using the CTE brand in the ways outlined in the CTE User’s Guidelines—you are helping to create awareness and recognition for CTE that enhances its leadership position among key target audiences
  • This is not just about proper usage of a logo. It’s about what the CTE brand represents and how CTE is positioned for leadership in addressing key issues facing our nation. You play an important role in this national CTE initiative, and your use of the CTE brand assets is a clear and visible endorsement of this initiative

Ms. Hall noted that the group wanted to acknowledge that use of the logo represented more than ‘just a logo’, but was a reflection of their culture, with a projection of an image exemplifying quality and high standards…that the initiative process in Virginia should have a deep quality and meaning. So, the group developed a plan, detailing how best to post the initiative on the state Web site, for starters. The public relations staff was included in the process, with state staff asking for advice on how best to use the logo. Virginia was thoughtful about how to get state programs and groups to sign on, always keeping the tenets in mind. The group’s mindset was to slow down and think about what the logo means.

The initiative spread in a methodical fashion –

  • Logos were used in state-level PowerPoints at first – so a visual of the logo was quietly used in quality documents, creating familiarity;
  • The logos positioned strategically in the Trailblazers newsletter and access information in the Trailblazers blog (both professional development resources for CTE in Virginia)
    and the Career and Technical Education News, November 2011 issue; and
  • Included in the CTE Resource Center Web site was a message on how to access the CTE: Learning that works for America™ resources

Ms. Hall said that the logo “was introduced slowly, and put on quality work – to emphasize that the logo is associated with quality. “

CTE State Directors have the discretion of allowing third parties to use the state logo, which adds an extra step for states to approve or deny requests. The other choice for State Directors is to allow for third parties, once the user agreement form is submitted, to begin using the logos immediately. Virginia opted to vet all third-party user agreements, and created a validation process to streamline this operation, dedicating a staff member to vet the agreements and notify NASDCTEc of all approvals. Third-party approval is often used by states to find out who is requesting and utilizing the logos at the sub-state level.

Virginia is truly supporting the CTE vision, the CTE brand, and the CTE brand promise as representing the value proposition that CTE is “Learning that works for America.” We applaud you!

For more information on Virginia’s CTE: Learning that works for America™ logo and branding dissemination process, please contact Margaret Watson at mlwatson@cteresource.org.

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

Spring Meeting Attendees – New Resources

May 4th, 2011

Secretary of Education Duncan’s remarks!  Dave Buchholz shares top CTE marketing tips!

We wanted you to know about two new resources for you from the Joint NASDCTEc/OVAE Spring Leadership Meeting.

Arne Duncan

You can view Secretary of Education

Arne Duncan’s remarks at the April 19 session:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYn1an3v5Yc

David Buchholz

For those of you who are looking for creative ways to implement the new CTE brand,  you can see David Buchholz share marketing tips in the CTE rebranding session:

“10 Ways to Market CTE Now”  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mzb561lExu0

NASDCTEc, CTE advocates launch CTE: Learning that Works for America campaign

April 22nd, 2011

Members of NASDCTEc this week launched its CTE: Learning that Works for America campaign. The effort, which is being led by a growing number of CTE advocates — ranging from State Directors to business and industry, to CTSOs, and to other advocates — aims to showcase high-quality CTE that prepares students for the demands of the global economy.

The campaign kicks off at a critical time in which officials such as Education Secretary Arne Duncan have challenged the CTE community to prove its value and the positive impact programs make on student outcomes.

CTE: Learning that Works for America underscores the value of CTE to a broad array of stakeholders, including students, parents, educators, business and industry, and policymakers. The campaign puts in a clear voice a unified message about the success CTE programs across the nation have demonstrated through low high school dropout rates, above-average college-going rates and evidence of return on investment, and more. NASDCTEc aims to help mobilize and strengthen the CTE community with this campaign. Further, the initiative pushes forward NASDCTEc’s mission to deliver quality, consistent CTE that prepares all students for college and career.

In the coming weeks, NASDCTEc will launch a new website, which will include more resources for the CTE community to mobilize the campaign.

 

Series

Archives