Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to attend The Council of State Governments’ (CSG) annual national conference as a member of the National Task Force on Workforce Development and Education, which is part of their “State Pathways to Prosperity initiative.” With members representing all three branches of state government, CSG brought a broad set of perspectives together to discuss the key challenges and opportunities in developing a strong education and workforce pipeline. The final Task Force framework and recommendations will be further developed and released in the coming months.
In addition to the Task Force meeting, I also had the opportunity to attend a policy academy where I learned about an array of impressive state- and business-led efforts to support students’ career readiness and U.S. competitiveness. One such example is the MC2 STEM High School, developed through a partnership between the Cleveland Metropolitan School District and GE Lighting. Students attend school on the GE campus during their sophomore year, where they engage in a year-long project that culminates in a presentation to GE leaders, and then spend their junior and senior years at Cleveland State University. All students complete at least one internship, have a GE “buddy” and must demonstrate 90 percent “proficiency” to earn credits. Since the school opened in 2008, nearly 100 percent of MC2 STEM students have graduated, and 84 percent of the graduates have matriculated into college.
Another fascinating model shared was the Automotive Manufacturers Technical Education Collaborative (AMTEC), or the National Center for Excellence in Advanced Automotive Manufacturing. AMTEC is an effort supported by the major automotive manufacturers – Ford, GM, Toyota, Honda, etc. – to develop a set of common expectations to anchor training programs for multi-skilled employees. AMTEC provides industry-developed and verified curriculum and assessments to its member community colleges, companies and high schools, as well as professional development and other resources.
Kate Blosveren, Associate Executive Director