Posts Tagged ‘future’

New Survey Highlights a Persistent Skills Gap; What Can States Do to Strengthen the Talent Pool?

Tuesday, February 18th, 2020

As the economy continues to change with digitalization and automation, the needs of the labor market will continue to change too. In 2019 the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation commissioned a study surveying 500 human resource (HR) professionals with hiring decision authority in their organizations. An overwhelming 74 percent of respondents said that a “skills gap” persists in the current U.S. labor and hiring economy. 

These employers cite three major challenges they face when hiring: candidates lacking the appropriate or necessary skills, candidates lacking previous relevant work experience and not having enough applicants. According to these HR professionals, addressing the skills gap and truly transforming the talent marketplace would require:

1)      Greater upskilling initiatives within companies for existing employees.

2)      More educational/Career Technical Education (CTE) programs to build talent pipelines.

3)      Improving alignment between skills and competencies taught in educational/CTE programs and in-demand skills and competencies needed in the workforce.

A study by JFF further highlights the skills gap and the challenges to solving the problem. The report, Making College Work for Students and the Economy, follows JFF’s comprehensive policy agenda for addressing states’ skilled workforce and talent development needs.  The report examines a representative sample of 15 states to determine their progress toward adopting 15 policy recommendations. Of the recommendations made in their initial report, states have made the most progress on the following:

1)      Establishing expectations that community college programs align to labor market demand.

2)      Developing longitudinal data systems that provide the ability to track over time the educational and employment outcomes of students.

3)      Addressing barriers to college readiness.

Conversely, JFF finds that states have the most work to do in the following areas:

1)      Providing community colleges with sufficient resources and appropriate incentives.

2)      Addressing the holistic needs of students to strengthen their financial stability.

3)      Digging into labor market outcomes of students and postsecondary programs.

Both the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the JFF studies highlight a need for state governments, the education sector and the labor sector to work collaboratively and do more to prepare the 21st century workforce to meet the needs of an ever-changing labor market. 

With implementation of the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) underway, states are poised to make transformational changes to improve the quality of CTE programs and ensure equitable access and success. Opportunities like the comprehensive local needs assessment and the Perkins V reserve fund give state leaders leverage to ensure programs are meeting the needs of learners and employers.

Research Roundup

Brian Robinson, Policy Associate

By Brian Robinson in Research
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Secretary Duncan Outlines Progress Made and Goals for the Future

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

This afternoon Secretary of Education Arne Duncan spoke at the National Press Club about the state of American education. Duncan highlighted the Obama Administration’s achievements and challenges over the last four years and offered his take on the obstacles facing public schools in the years ahead.

Chief among the Department’s endeavors are raising standards, improving student performance, reducing dropout rates, and strengthening the teaching profession. But, as we in the CTE community know, education also plays an important role in strengthening the economy and closing the skills gap. Said Duncan: “With more than three million unfilled jobs in this country, [the public] understand[s] that we have a skills gap that will only be closed if America does a better job training and preparing people for work.” The public supports investing in education, but as Duncan pointed out, they worry about where the money will come from.

Duncan laid out the areas where there is still work to be done, including reforming CTE programs in high schools and community colleges, state-driven accountability, recruiting more math and science teachers, and closing the skills gap.

By Nancy in Public Policy
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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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Report: Community Involvement and Academic and Technical Integration Spur Real-World Learning in High Schools

Friday, April 27th, 2012

A nationwide emphasis on college and career readiness has brought more light to preparing high school students beyond academics. A recent report from the Nellie Mae Education Foundation implores education decision makers to support the integration of academic and technical curriculum that provides students with a full range of skills to succeed in postsecondary education and beyond.

The report, It Takes a Whole Society: Opening Up the Learning Landscape in the High School Years, indicates that more stakeholders – beyond the education community – should be involved to provide students with relevant education and skills. Education today should be delivered through hands-on learning and engagement of outside stakeholders to provide authentic student experiences.

The report lays out current issues in education such as a narrow focus on college preparation and instruction that does not expose students to real-world experiences. The author suggests ways to create a richer secondary education experience for students including the use of Career Technical Education (CTE) for delivering integrated learning. Further, the use of apprenticeships is advised to create an optimal, applied learning environment for secondary students.

Access the full report here.

Kara Herbertson, Education Policy Analyst  

By Kara in Research
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Career and Technical Education Leaders Respond to Department of Education Perkins Blueprint

Friday, April 20th, 2012

Yesterday afternoon, at Des Moines Area Community College, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan released the Administration’s proposal for Perkins reauthorization. NASDCTEc, together with ACTE, issued a statement immediately following the release:

ALEXANDRIA, VA — On April 19, 2012, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan unveiled Investing in America’s Future: A Blueprint for Transforming Career and Technical Education, outlining the Obama Administration’s proposal for reauthorizing the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins). The National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) and the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) appreciate the Department’s focus on Perkins, and Career and Technical Education (CTE), at a time when many industries face a shortage of well qualified skilled workers. However, some of the details in the Blueprint raise serious concerns.

While we support the themes encompassed in the Perkins Blueprint—alignment, collaboration, accountability and innovation—we worry that the details in the Blueprint could have an adverse affect on CTE programs and result in decreased, inequitable student access to high-quality CTE programs. As the reauthorization process moves forward, CTE stakeholders across the country are looking forward to providing input to develop a new law that will best meet the needs of CTE students and our nation’s economy.

We believe that a new CTE law should provide sufficient resources to ensure that all students have access to high-quality CTE, beginning early in a student’s education with career awareness and broad knowledge and building pathways to more specific career-readiness skills through connections among secondary education, postsecondary education, and the labor market. To achieve this goal, we believe it is critical that the new law focus on improving program quality by building the capacity of secondary and postsecondary educational institutions to prepare all students for success in current and emerging in-demand career pathways.

Recent data prove that CTE is making the difference in the lives of students, in communities and for businesses all across our nation. We are eager to work with the Department of Education, the Obama Administration and Congress to develop federal policy and legislation that builds on strengths, expands opportunities and access for more students to be successful in college and careers, and helps keep our nation’s economy strong and prosperous.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Legislation, News, Public Policy
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New National Campaign Launches, Calls for Greater Investments in the Nation’s Workforce

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

NASDCTEc is excited to announce the launch of the Campaign to Invest in America’s Workforce (CIAW), a national effort calling for greater and more effective federal investments in our nation’s skills so more U.S. businesses can find the skilled workers they need to compete globally, and so all U.S. workers can share in and contribute to our country’s economic prosperity.

Comprised of over 35 national organizations, the Campaign calls on Congress and the Administration to commit to investing—more broadly and more effectively—in the skills of America’s workforce so that more people can develop the market-ready skills to meet the needs of U.S. industries and the larger U.S. economy.

Co-convened by National Skills Coalition and Jobs for The Future, the Campaign to Invest in America’s Workforce was developed in response to the ongoing threat to the existence of workforce training and education programs that are critical to putting Americans back to work. Together we challenge policymakers to win the global skills race by investing comprehensively across targeted programs in order to strengthen our nation’s ability to compete in the global economy, help U.S. businesses grow and create jobs, support and leverage community resources, and help everyone to contribute to and share in our national prosperity.

NASDCTEc is proud to be a member of the Campaign to Invest in America’s Workforce and we hope that you will join our call for greater and more effective federal investments in our nation’s workforce.

Learn more about the Campaign and what you can do to help spread the word.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

 

By Nancy in News, Public Policy
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Report: CTE Can Help Address Human Capital Issues

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

Career Technical Education (CTE) can help coordinate and maximize the efforts of educational institutions and businesses, which are both working to create systems that prepare students for the demands of an increasingly high-tech and competitive global economy, according to a new joint report written by education and workforce organizations.

Developing Human Capital: Meeting the Growing Global Need for a Skilled and Educated Workforce was written by National Association of Workforce Boards, Association for Career and Technical Education and McGraw-Hill Education.  The report underscores the value of CTE in today’s market and the need to create quality programs by connecting educational institutions with businesses and industry. A well-fused program would poise students of all ages to qualify and compete for high-demand jobs, the report suggests.

“The U.S. and other developed nations need to devote more resources to career and technical education – not just for young people still in school, but even more critically for adults who face barriers to employment due to lack of formal education, English language or other skills,” according to the report.

Erin Uy, Communications and Marketing Manager

By Erin in News, Research
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Cyber Patriot Competition Promotes STEM Opportunity

Friday, September 9th, 2011

The Air Force Association (AFA) is providing a premiere national high school cyber defense competition that is designed to give hands on exposure to the foundations of cyber security. CyberPatriot is not designed to be a hacking competition, but rather the goal is to excite students about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education.

The first CyberPatriot “games” took place in 2009, at AFA’s 25th Annual Air Warfare Symposium where seven Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFJROTC) teams and one Civil Air Patrol (CAP) team from the greater Orlando area competed. The event has grown since that time to include not only JRTOC and CAP units, but has expanded to include an open division that is open to teams from accredited public or private institutions or a registered home school association.

A CyberPatriot team consists of five students and up to five alternates with each team having a coach. The students must be at least 13 years old and enrolled in grades 9-12. The teams will have mentors (technical advisors) to help students prepare for the competition and the CyberPatriot program works with coaches to find mentors for their team.

The competition uses virtual machines and tests the students’ abilities to identify several security vulnerabilities within a certain amount of time. The teams successful in three rounds of competition ultimately compete in the National Championships held in Washington, DC.
Registration for the competition ends October 8, 2011. More information about the competition, the history, and the goals can be found at http://www.uscyberpartriot.org

Dean Folkers, Deputy Executive Director

By Dean in News, Resources
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Secretary Duncan Hails CTE During National Roundtable Event

Monday, January 31st, 2011

On Thursday the Obama Administration hosted a series of roundtables on topics that were highlighted in the President’s State of the Union Address. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan sat down to answer questions from the public about education issues. Among the issues that were raised were how to balance the reform agenda with state budget shortfalls, Obama’s plan for a new ESEA, how to foster critical thinking in a time of multiple choice tests, and college access and affordability.

At the 29 minute mark, a participant from Jersey City, NJ asked “Why have high schools abandoned vo-tech programs? Plumbers, electricians, carpenters, auto mechanics all make decent livings, yet our schools do not offer young people proper education in these fields. These are the kids who choose to dropout.”

Duncan admitted that the United States “probably did a better job in the career technical training 30, 40 years ago, and somehow we lost our way a bit there.” He went on to say that we need to invest in both the careers mentioned in the question, as well as new careers that are needed in this technologically advanced age.

He went on to say that the debate about college or careers is a false one; students need both to be successful. By giving students the choice of both college and careers as early as high school and middle school, we can help keep them engaged before they drop out, and help them to figure out the right path to reach their goals.

Secretary Duncan’s response was noteworthy because he used the term “career technical training” rather than “vocational education,” as he has in many of his previous speeches and statements. This shows the progress that Secretary has made over the last two years in educating himself about CTE and that he sees it as something beyond the vocational education programs of the past.

By Nancy in Public Policy
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Legislative Update: Veterans’ Training Bill, Appropriations, America COMPETES

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

Veterans’ Training Bill Passed; Expands Eligibility to Area CTE Centers

Late last week the House passed the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act of 2010 by a vote of 409-3, after it was cleared by unanimous consent in the Senate earlier in the week. The bill now goes to President Obama for his signature. This bill will allow veterans to use their benefits at educational institutions that do not award associate or higher degrees, such as area career technical schools, career schools, and apprenticeship programs. This would be a change from the current Post-9/11 GI Bill, which does not allow participants to use funds at a non-degree granting institution. The new eligibility provisions will go into effect on October 1, 2011. This is a tremendous victory for CTE and a recognition of the high quality programs that our area CTE centers offer!

Congress Passes Short-Term Continuing Resolution

The House on Tuesday passed a continuing resolution (CR) by a vote of 193 to 165 that would fund the government and all federal programs at FY10 levels through March 4. The Senate approved the bill earlier on Tuesday by a vote of 79-16. With the shift in power in the House, and the weakened Democratic hold over the Senate, there is sure to be a more partisan fight over spending as expiration of the CR draws near in March. Soon-to-be Speaker of the House John Boehner (Ohio) has already said that he wants to roll back federal spending to 2008 levels.

America COMPETES Act Passed by Congress

The House this week passed the America COMPETES Act by a vote of 228 to 130, after it was approved by unanimous consent in the Senate last week. The bill now heads to President Obama for his signature. The goal of the bill is to improve the competitiveness of the United States by investing in innovation through research and development. There are a variety of provisions in the bill that will impact STEM education, such as the coordination of federal STEM education efforts, grants to increase the number of STEM teachers, and other improvements in STEM education. Because Congress wanted to pass this bill before the current session of Congress ends, the House had little choice but to accept the Senate version of the bill which scales back funding from the original House bill and reauthorizes the bill for three years instead of five.

By Nancy in Legislation
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