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Posts Tagged ‘economy’

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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Republican Platform Highlights CTE

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

With the presidential election just around the corner, convention season is upon us. Republicans are meeting in Tampa this week to formally nominate Governor Mitt Romney as the party’s candidate for President. Part of the convention process includes releasing the party’s “platform” or statement of principles. The Republican party’s platform covers a broad swath of issues, including education, jobs and the economy, agriculture, and government reform. The party’s education plank underscores the value of CTE in preparing students for the workplace:

School choice—whether through charter schools, open enrollment requests, college lab schools, virtual schools, career and technical education programs, vouchers, or tax credits—is important for all children, especially for families with children trapped in failing schools…We support the promotion of local career and technical educational programs and entrepreneurial programs that have been supported by leaders in industry and will retrain and retool the American workforce, which is the best in the world.

The platform also states the party’s belief that the status quo is not working for the higher education system, and calls for “new systems of learning” that can compete with traditional four-year institutions, including community and technical colleges, private training schools, and work-based learning in the private sector. The party also believes that the acquisition of advanced skills is necessary for the 21st century economy, and should focus on STEM fields.

Democrats will convene in Charlotte next week to officially nominate President Obama as their candidate, at which time they are expected to release their party’s platform.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

 

By Nancy in Public Policy
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Grant Competition Focused on Advanced Manufacturing Now Open

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

Last week the Obama administration announced a new $26 million grant competition – the Advanced Manufacturing Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge – designed to support advanced manufacturing and stimulate economic growth. Proposals should show how applicants “will help grow a region’s industry clusters by strengthening connections to regional economic development opportunities and advanced manufacturing assets, enhance a region’s capacity to create high-quality sustainable jobs, develop a skilled and diverse advanced manufacturing workforce, increase exports, encourage the development of small businesses and accelerate technological innovation.”

The initiative is being funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration, the Small Business Administration, and the National Science Foundation. It will also be supported by eight other federal agencies, including the Department of Education. According to OVAE, one goal of the competition is to engage education and training providers, such as community colleges, to ensure that individuals are prepared for new jobs in the manufacturing industry.

Twelve projects are expected to be awarded the competitive grants. The deadline to submit applications for the Advanced Manufacturing Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge is July 9th. Guidelines for submissions are available at http://www.manufacturing.gov.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

 

By Nancy in Public Policy
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Webinar: The Role of CTE in Preparing Students to Compete in the Twenty-First-Century Economy

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

Join NASDCTEc Executive Director Kimberly Green in a webinar hosted by the Coalition for a College- and Career-Ready America to discuss the role CTE will play in preparing students for the nation’s global economy.

The Coalition for a College- and Career-Ready America
Invites You to Attend a Webinar on

The Role of Career and Technical Education in Preparing Students to Compete in the
Twenty-First-Century Economy

Thursday, May 31, 2012
2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. (ET)

Panelists
Brenda Dann-Messier, EdD, Assistant Secretary, Office of Vocational and Adult Education, U.S. Department of Education
Kimberly Green, Executive Director, National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium
Sydney Rogers, Executive Director, Alignment Nashville
Bob Wise, President, Alliance for Excellent Education

Today’s global economy demands a better-educated and more highly-skilled workforce. In communities across the country, career and technical education (CTE) programs are making a difference in meeting that demand by engaging students in authentic learning with real-world application, preparing them for further study and a career, and helping to fill jobs. Yet too many CTE programs are not results driven and lack the relevance and rigor students need to prepare for lifelong learning and a successful career.

In April 2012, the Obama administration released a blueprint for reauthorizing the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2006, which is the largest federal program targeted to high schools. The proposal calls for a transformation of CTE around four core principles: effective alignment between CTE programs and labor market needs; collaboration among secondary schools, institutions of higher education, employers, and industry partners to improve the quality of programming; accountability for improving academic outcomes; and systemic reform of state policy to support innovation at the local level.

Join the Coalition for a College- and Career-Ready America on ThursdayMay 31, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. (ET) for a webinar featuring CTE and other education experts who will discuss the proposed blueprint, the appropriate role of federal policy in supporting high-quality CTE and what it takes—at the local level—to create programs that expand opportunity for students to be successful in college and a career while also strengthening the nation’s economy. Webinar panelists will also address questions submitted by viewers from across the country.

Register and submit questions for the webinar online at http://media.all4ed.org/registration-may-31-2012.

Please direct questions concerning the webinar to alliance@all4ed.org.

NOTE: If you are unable to watch the webinar live, an archived version will be available athttp://www.collegeandcareerreadyamerica.org/ usually one or two days after the event airs.

By Erin in News, Webinars
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Legislative Update: Appropriations, Sequestration

Friday, April 27th, 2012

House Sets Spending Levels

The House Appropriations committee this week released their FY13 302(b) allocations. Their allocation for the Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee is $150.002 billion. This is more than $6 billion below FY12 levels, and approximately $7.8 billion below the Senate’s allocation. Such a large divide between the House and the Senate likely means that we will see another series of continuing resolutions this fall.

Sequestration Hearing Highlights Harmful Impact on Education

The House Budget Committee held a hearing this week on sequestration. Daniel Werfel of the Office of Management and Budget told of the impact of sequestration on security and domestic programs:

If allowed to occur, the sequester would be highly destructive to national security and domestic priorities, and core government functions. The Administration believes that taking action to avoid the sequester in full in a balanced and fiscally responsible manner must be the primary focus of Congress’s deliberations in the coming months… For non-defense, the cuts would be equally harmful and wide-ranging, for example, cutting funding for education, law enforcement, infrastructure, and research and development.

Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (OR) also raised the point of how harmful the cuts would be to education.  Her question to the witnesses was an especially important one for CTE: “What is going happen to our efforts to rebuild the economy and our long term competiveness in a global market when we are doing this to our future leaders?” Mr. Werfel responded that the approximate 8% cut to non-defense discretionary programs would result in a loss of educational services for students, as well as a loss of educator jobs, for districts that are already struggling.

Unless Congress acts to stop it, sequestration will take effect on January 2, 2013.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Public Policy
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Bus Tour Shines a Light on Problems Facing Youth

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012
This week, our partners at Young Invincibles launched an 18-state National Youth Bus Tour that will take them to every corner of the country listening to the stories, issues, and solutions of young Americans.  They’ll be co-hosting roundtables with young adults (18-34), both in school and out, to talk about critical issues like jobs, higher education and health care, and then bringing those voices directly to our political leaders and the media.
You can sign up to do your own youth roundtable by emailing Members@YoungInvincibles.org, or join an existing event.  Check out the tour schedule atwww.YoungAmerica.is.  You can also help by tweeting or posting on Facebook what #YoungAmericaIs to you (ex. entrepreneurial, uninsured, trying to graduate, etc.).  Follow the bus tour on TwitterFacebookTumblr, and at www.YoungAmerica.Is.
Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Public Policy
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NASDCTEc Webinar Today – Keeping Adult Learners Competitive for High-Demand Jobs

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

In today’s turbulent economy, how can adult workers best position themselves to succeed in rewarding careers in high-demand fields? Further, how can employers aid in up-skilling current employees to meet increasingly complex job demands?

To explore these questions in greater depth, we will be hosting a webinar this afternoon called “CTE: Keeping Adult Learners Competitive for High-Demand Jobs.” The webinar accompanies the release of NASDCTEc’s latest issue brief of the same title.

Click here to register for today’s webinar.

When: Today – Thursday, December 8th from 3:00 – 4:00 pm EST

Dr. Ron Duggins, Director of the Center for Business Development at Oklahoma’s Meridian Technology Center, will discuss Meridian’s Business Incubator program and how it helps adult entrepreneurs to launch successful businesses.

Mr. Harry Snyder, Adult Workforce Development Supervisor at Great Oaks Institute of Technology and Career Development in Ohio, will describe how Great Oaks’ Aviation Maintenance – Power Plant Technician class is preparing adults for high-demand jobs and meeting the needs of area businesses.

We hope you can join us this afternoon!

Kara Herbertson, Education Policy Analyst

By Kara in Publications, Webinars
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Fall Meeting: Being an Innovative Leader During Tough Times

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Given the tough fiscal climate, states are being asked to do more with less. During the opening session at NASDCTEc’s Fall Meeting, states shared how they are continuing to expand CTE and be innovative in their approach, despite funding cuts and dwindling resources.

John Fischer, State Director of CTE in Vermont, spoke about a consortium of New England states leveraging their resources to ensure that high schools graduates are prepared for college and careers in the 21st century. For example, partner states are working together to build flexible pathway and proficiency based graduation models together.

Sherry Key, State Director of CTE in Alabama, shared the work being done by her state on a commission that Alabama has created to look at the future of CTE. The Career and Technical Education Commission will review the status of secondary CTE programs as well as the needs of employers in the state, and then make recommendations on how to strengthen and support CTE programs. Despite state budget crises, Alabama has chosen to focus on CTE as a way to help the economy and get people back to work.

T.J. Eyer, Division Administrator for CTE in Montana, discussed the work that Montana is doing around the transition to Programs of Study. Montana is prioritizing all of its Perkins funds to focus on Programs of Study until all programs meet RPOS standards. See his PowerPoint presentation for more information.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Uncategorized
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Obama Supports Initiative to Increase Manufacturing Job Training

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

President Barack Obama announced his support today for expanding Skills for America’s Future, an industry-led initiative to partner community colleges and businesses to meet the demands of the labor market. Specifically, Obama stressed the importance of increasing job training in the manufacturing sector, an area that he views as critical to strengthening and rebuilding the economy.

Plans to increase the reach of Skills for America’s Future include helping 500,000 community college students to earn industry-recognized credentials, and providing a website to connect job-seekers to businesses. The President added that more high school students will have an opportunity to earn college credits. The initiative would benefit industry as well as students by addressing the current mismatch between skills earned by students and those required to fill vacant positions.

Applause erupted from the audience, filled with business and non-profit leaders, when Obama pushed Congress to reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) soon. He wants the new legislation to build on innovative and effective programs, and to eliminate ineffective programs.

“Right now, there are people across America with talents just waiting to be tapped, sparks waiting to be lit,” Obama said. “Our job is to light them and there’s no time to lose when we’ve got folks looking for work, when we’ve got companies that need to stay competitive in this 21st Century economy, and when we know that we’ve got to rebuild the middle class. A lot of that’s going to have to do with how well we do in manufacturing and how well we do in jobs that are related to making products here in the United States of America.”

Career Technical Education (CTE) offers tremendous opportunities for and access to training in the manufacturing sector. Industry-verified Knowledge and Skills Statements ensure that students graduate from CTE programs with the skills demanded by industry.

By Kara in News, Public Policy
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New Report and State Profiles Show Economic Benefit of Cutting Dropout Rates

Friday, March 25th, 2011

The Alliance for Excellent Education released a report and individual state profiles this week that show how cutting the high school dropout rate can have a positive impact on the economy. Education and the Economy: Boosting the Nation’s Economy by Improving High School Graduation Rates found that if the high school graduation rate were cut in half, these 650,000 “new graduates” would benefit the economy in some of the following ways:

The dollar amounts included in the report represent the economic returns from cutting the dropout rate for only one high school class. The Alliance points out that increasing the graduation rates for future classes would create cumulative benefits that would be exponentially greater.  Later this spring, the Alliance will release similar projections for metropolitan areas.

“Decisions on how to close budget gaps and build a strong economy must begin with ensuring better educational outcomes for the nation’s students,” said Alliance president Bob Wise. “There’s been a lot of talk about how budget deficits threaten our children’s future, but the best way to cut budget deficits is to cut dropout rates.”

You can access information about the economic benefits of cutting the graduation rate in your state here.

By Nancy in Public Policy
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