Archive for November, 2012

CTE in the news: Skills gap hinders unemployed, business and industry

Friday, November 30th, 2012

More than 20 million Americans have been unemployed or underemployed since January 2009, so why is it that there are more than 3 million job openings in the United States? Experts point to the skills gap as part of what is hindering the recovery of our nation’s economy, according to experts in a recent  60 Minutes news special.

The skills gap is a frustrating problem among out-of-work individuals, business and industries that need positions filled, and the rest of the nation that wants to see the health of the economy revitalized. The skills gap issue raises the question as to whether the nation is investing in and supporting programs such as Career Technical Education that will help educate and train workers.

Ryan Costella, head of Strategic Initiatives at Click Bond, a Nevada-based manufacturing company, is aiming to address the skills-gap issue among the company’s entry-level positions. Because applicants are lacking basic skills, Click Bond is collaborating with nearby community college to offer free training programs for select unemployed individuals.

“I think far too long we’ve had our heads in the sand, you know. We make our parts. We just hoped that the education system would produce what we need,” Costella said. “And I think the recession, I think a lot of things have taught us, ‘no, you have to engage.’”

Click Bond’s workers are expected to operate, program and fix computer-controlled machines that make precision parts, “accurate to a thousandth of an inch; the thickness of a piece of paper.”

“I can’t tell you how many people even coming out of higher ed with degrees who can’t put a sentence together without a major grammatical error. It’s a problem,” Costella said. “…We’re in the business of making fasteners that hold systems together that protect people in the air when they’re flying. We’re in the business of perfection.”

The experiences are not limited to the company, he noted. And the problem will only grow worse as a wave of baby boomers who work in these skill-focused jobs retire. Education and training are much needed to prepare the next generation of workers.

At Alcoa, a large aluminum company, executives are working on the challenge of retraining individuals so they keep up with advances in technology. Avoiding the widening of the skills gap is critical to the nation’s economic recovery. According to the report, Alcoa is one of the largest and oldest companies in the nation and has been hiring skilled workers since 1888.

“The environment is changing all the time. And if you don’t stay on top of things, you know, somebody will eat your lunch,” noted Klaus Kleinfield, Alcoa CEO.

“[Employees] also need to understand that their incomes over time are a direct function of their education and not just education, their skills, [and] what they can bring to the table.”

Erin Uy, Communications and Marketing Manager

By Erin in Uncategorized
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ED Releases New Provisional High School Graduation Rates

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

For the first time since all states have adopted a common, rigorous measure for four-year high school graduation rates, the U.S. Department of Education has released preliminary data on how states measured up for the 2010-2011 school year.

The graduation rates and data notes are available on the Department’s website.

Using the new measure, 26 states reported lower graduation rates and 24 states reported unchanged or increased rates for the 2010-2011 school year. However, the new graduation rates are not comparable to those of previous years since a new formula was used.

The top ranking states were:

The lowest ranking states were:

The new graduation rates show state leaders’ willingness to create more uniformity and transparency in reporting these data. Additional information can be found at ED Data Express.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

 

By Kara in News, Research, Resources
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Learn how to Build Adult Students’ English Language and Workforce Content Skills in Upcoming NASDCTEc Webinar

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

Register now for the upcoming webinar Building Adult Students’ English Language and Workforce Content Skills on December 6, 2012 at 3 p.m. Eastern time. Programs in the Carlos Rosario International Charter School in Washington, DC are highlighted.

LINK to register

Increasingly, many immigrants and other non-native English speakers are studying in career and technical education certificate or degree programs. Their acquisition of content may be compromised by challenges with English vocabulary, language structures and functions, and cultural information. In Washington, DC, the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) has been training workforce instructors at the Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School in sheltered instruction methodology that improves students’ English language proficiency and content knowledge. Hear about the project and its outcomes, and learn about some of the strategies instructors employ to build learners’ English language and workforce content skills.

Presenters:
Miriam Burt, Adult ESL Specialist, Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL), Washington, DC
Heather Tatton-Harris, Computer Literacy Instructor, Curriculum Specialist, Carlos Rosario International Charter School, Washington, DC
Christopher Pepin, Culinary Arts Instructor at Carlos Rosario International Charter School, Washington, DC

Ramnona Schescke, Member Services Manager

By Ramona in Webinars
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U.S. Senator Pushes for CTE and STEM Diplomas in New York

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

Over the last few years, the mismatch of the skills gained by students versus those needed on the job has become an urgent issue. In New York, industry leaders in areas such as high-tech manufacturing, nanotechnology, and biosciences have struggled to staff their workforces because students simply are not equipped with the right skills. To help close this skills gap, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer of New York has launched an initiative in his state to provide a Career Technical Education (CTE) diploma and a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) diploma.

CTE has increasingly been recognized for delivering relevant knowledge and skills that prepare college- and career-ready students for in-demand careers. Senator Schumer’s initiative shows recognition that CTE, including STEM, is vital to meet changing regional economic demands.

Schumer’s proposed CTE diploma is focused specifically on skills needed for success in New York’s manufacturing industry. The path to a CTE diploma would incorporate career-focused classes and curriculum that could replace an elective or a core class. Each diploma would require rigorous assessments to ensure students’ college and career readiness. Altogether, New York high school students would have three options for a diploma: traditional, STEM, or CTE.

In light of the urgent need for qualified workers in CTE and STEM areas, Senator Schumer is urging the New York State Board of Regents to approve these options and move forward with the process to implement the initiative beginning in September 2013.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

By Kara in News, Public Policy
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CTE in the News: If You’ve Got the Skills, She’s Got the Job

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

The skills gap — the lack of workers qualified to fill open high-skilled jobs – will only continue to widen and threaten the future of our nation if policymakers, industries and education leaders do not address the issue of equipping students (of all ages) with the skills demanded by the economy, according to a recent New York Times op-ed.

“We’re in the midst of a perfect storm: a Great Recession that has caused a sharp increase in unemployment and a Great Inflection — a merger of the information technology revolution and globalization that is simultaneously wiping out many decent-wage, middle-skilled jobs, which were the foundation of our middle class, and replacing them with decent-wage, high-skilled jobs. Every decent-paying job today takes more skill and more education, but too many Americans aren’t ready,” says Thomas L. Friedman, author of the op-ed.

The nation has three million open jobs around the country but an 8 percent unemployment rate, he notes.

Friedman calls for reform with a focus on assisting community colleges and universities to keep pace with the changes in the economy so courses reflect industry demands and students are prepared for the jobs of today and the future. Further, he suggests a type of Race to the Top initiative to incentivize businesses to embed workers in universities and universities to embed professors inside businesses “so we get a much better match between schooling and the job markets.”

Friedman goes on to close his op-ed with insight from Eduardo Padrón, the president of Miami Dade College: “The skill shortage is real… The big issue in America is not the fiscal deficit, but the deficit in understanding about education and the role it plays in the knowledge economy.”

Erin Uy, Communications & Marketing Manager

By Erin in Uncategorized
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November CTE Monthly: Sequestration Could Impact Over One Million CTE Students; Career Readiness Definition Released

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

CTE Monthly, a collaborative publication from the Association for Career and Technical Education and the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium, features the latest news on Career Technical Education (CTE) from across the nation for CTE stakeholders and Members of Congress.

In the November edition, read more about:

View archived CTE Monthly newsletters and other resources on our Advocacy Tools Web page.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

By Kara in News, Resources
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Register now for NASDCTEc Webinar on Building Adult Students’ English Language and Workforce Content Skills

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

We are pleased to announce the upcoming webinar Building Adult Students’ English Language and Workforce Content Skills on December 6, 2012 at 3 p.m. Eastern time.

LINK to register

Increasingly, many immigrants and other non-native English speakers are studying in career and technical education certificate or degree programs. Their acquisition of content may be compromised by challenges with English vocabulary, language structures and functions, and cultural information. In Washington, DC, the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) has been training workforce instructors at the Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School in sheltered instruction methodology that improves students’ English language proficiency and content knowledge. Hear about the project and its outcomes, and learn about some of the strategies instructors employ to build learners’ English language and workforce content skills.

Presenters:
Miriam Burt, Adult ESL Specialist, Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL), Washington, DC
Heather Tatton-Harris, Computer Literacy Instructor, Curriculum Specialist, Carlos Rosario International Charter School, Washington, DC
Christopher Pepin, Culinary Arts Instructor at Carlos Rosario International Charter School, Washington, DC

Ramnona Schescke, Member Services Manager

By Ramona in Webinars
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Duncan Outlines ED Priorities for Second Term

Monday, November 19th, 2012

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan spoke with the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) last week in his first detailed speech since President Obama’s reelection. In his remarks, Duncan outlined areas of priority for the U.S. Department of Education over the next four years.

Duncan, who is presumed to stay for a second term with the Obama Administration, made clear that his focus will continue to be innovation. School Improvement Grants, which the Secretary noted spurred measurable improvements for two-thirds of participating schools last term, will be a priority. Other priorities for improvement include:

Duncan made clear that the Department of Education will not focus heavily on the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) unless Congress takes action to reauthorize the act. As for the ESEA waivers currently approved in many states, Duncan’s work will continue and will possibly include district-level ESEA waivers.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

By Kara in News, Public Policy
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CTE in the News: Georgia Lt. Gov. Urges Business, Industry, Education Leaders to Address Skills Gap

Friday, November 16th, 2012

Education that prepares students to compete for jobs in the global economy must be a top priority for business, industry and education leaders, Georgia Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle warned a crowd of nearly 200 at the College and Career Academy Summit this week, according to the Rome News-Tribune.

“Each of us has the chance to shape what this economy and what this future for all of us is going to look like,” Cagle said Thursday. “It’s a huge responsibility… Quite honestly I don’t think there is anything, as a public policy maker, that is more important today than the education system in this state.”

The three-day event featured the theme “Business and Education Partnerships: Success in Action” and was hosted by Floyd County College and Career Academy and Georgia Northwestern Technical College. Leaders were scheduled to address workforce skills gaps in health care, technology, manufacturing and energy amidst a growing regional interest in the career academy movement.

According to Rome News-Tribune, Cagle said that significant economic opportunities have been rising in the U.S. because of events occurring in Asia and Europe, companies such as the manufacturing giant Caterpillar Inc. and Baxter, a pharmaceutical company, are bringing work opportunities to Georgia.

“What is interesting about those industries is that they are all located where there was a college and career academy,” Cagle said. “We’re leading the nation in workforce development because of … what we’re doing with our college and career academies.”

Floyd County Schools College and Career Academy have experienced a “powerful transformation” that has encouraged partnerships between secondary and postsecondary education, and the business community, according to a Floyd County Schools news release. On Friday, discussions were designed to focus on the enhancement and expansion of career academy development.

Erin Uy, Communications and Marketing Manager

By Erin in Uncategorized
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Resources Available for NASDCTEc Webinar on Nontraditional Participation and Completion under Perkins

Friday, November 16th, 2012

Resources are now available for a recent webinar on National, State, and Local Strategies that Work to Increase Nontraditional Participation and Completion under Perkins.

NASDCTEc sits on the advisory board for the STEM Equity Pipeline Projectâ„¢, and this webinar discussed a research-based program improvement process targeted at nontraditional participation and completion. The National Science Foundation has re-invested in the project for another five years, and the presenters discussed the specific, high-impact strategies that State Education Agencies and Local Education Agencies are implementing to increase participation and completion rates, particularly for female students in STEM-related programs.

Presenters:
•Donna Dutcher, Special Populations/Disabilities Coordinator, Middle Georgia Technical College
•Courtney Reed Jenkins, Director of Professional Development, National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity
•Jeanette Thomas, Consultant, Iowa Department of Education

The webinar was November 13, 2012. Resources include:

Ramona Schescke, Member Services Manager

By Ramona in Webinars
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