Posts Tagged ‘global competition’

Perkins Cut Impacts Resonating in Media

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

Last week, a New York Times article highlighting career technical education (CTE) brought to light the impacts funding cuts could have on programs that effectively prepare students for college and career. Seemingly, the blogosphere and local media are catching wind of this significant issue. This may be an opportunity for the CTE community to call attention to how these budget cuts are felt on the ground.

The FY11 funding bill cut $140.2 million from Perkins, including completely eliminating funding for Tech Prep and cutting Basic State Grants by $37.3 million. These cuts may disable programs that have results in preparing students for college and career – the very objectives the nation are working to achieve.

In Maryland, The Gazette, features an article: State losing 15 percent of career education grants, Maryland worries about impact on job market. The Gazette hones in on Thomas Edison High School of Technology in Silver Spring, which partners with the community college system to offer a comprehensive program in which students may earn a national Automotive Service Excellence certificate. The successful program may be in danger, according to the article.

Kathy Oliver, the Assistant State Superintendent for Career and College Readiness at the Maryland State Department of Education told The Gazette that the funding cuts conflict with efforts to boost the nation’s economy.

“It’s a huge blow, and I’m somewhat perplexed why the administration, why the Congress, would take this action now when we know that one of the big issues to re-enegizing our economy is jobs,” Oliver said.

In the business and industry world, an article in at Sustainable Plant, an online publication and resource dedicated to advancing the sustainability of manufacturing, called on its community to support programs like CTE that help fuel the economy.

“More realize that if we’re going to keep a strong economy, it must have a strong feeder system. This is your chance to garner the influence and support you need to advance your operations. I hope that you can take advantage of this precious window of opportunity,” the article said.

How will budget cuts impact your CTE program’s ability to prepare students to succeed, and help cultivate a competitive workforce? Reach out to your local media today and tell your story.

By Erin in News
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Skills-, Workforce-Focused Groups Establish Business Leaders United Initiative

Friday, July 1st, 2011

Four major organizations that are dedicated to supporting the nation’s workforce this week committed to Business Leaders United for Workforce Partnerships; the new initiative aims to address clear, specific issues, and implement measurable plans to address the job creation challenges in the United States.
National Skills Coalition (NSC), Skills for America’s Future, National Fund for Workforce Solutions, and Corporate Voices for Working Families announced the partnership at a Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) meeting June 30. In an NSC announcement, the organizations said they planned to “bring diverse business leaders together to help shape a national skills strategy that can address structural skill shortages that are putting the brakes on economic recovery and job creation.”

Measurable plans of Business Leaders United include:

• Expanding the number of these partnerships by more than 30 percent across 50 states.
• Facilitating conversations between local business leaders and federal policymakers about how private, philanthropic, and public dollars can be leveraged to replicate and sustain these partnerships nationally.

By Erin in News
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New Report Says Expand and Promote CTE

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

Career Technical Education (CTE) should be expanded and promoted to address the skills gap and to staff the American workforce, according to a new report.

The HR Policy Association, an organization representing the chief human resource officers of major employers, produced the report to lay out specific changes to ensure the competitiveness of the American workforce and fulfilling careers for job seekers.

The organization’s members recommend the following changes that can be addressed through CTE:

The report states that “Americans are not being educated in sufficient numbers to meet the demands of today’s highly technical work processes and products.” Our country increasingly relies upon ever-changing technology, and workers need skills to develop, repair, and maintain it.

CTE provides a solution. Comprehensive CTE programs prepare students to be college and career ready and to effectively fill vacancies for skilled jobs.

By Kara in News, Resources
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State of the Union Focuses on Education, CTE Student Sits with First Lady

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

In his second State of the Union Address, President Barack Obama set a broad agenda for improving the economy and maintaining the United States’ status as a global super power. Calling this our “Sputnik moment,” the President urged Congress, private businesses and the American people to work together to out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the world.

Recognizing that the world has changed and that a high degree is no longer sufficient to earn a family sustaining wage, Obama focused on the ways that education can help turn around the economy. First, he cautioned against “pour[ing] money into a system that’s not working” and highlighted the ways that his Race to the Top grants have reformed education through the adoption of new standards. He also stated that Race to the Top should be the foundation for the reauthorization of No Child Left Behind this year. Among the other education priorities that he addressed were: raising the status of the teaching profession, increasing the number of STEM teachers, making postsecondary more accessible and affordable, and training individuals for new careers and new jobs.

He also stressed the importance of community colleges in meeting the demands of out fast-changing economy and singled out Kathy Proctor, a student at Forsyth Tech in North Carolina who is earning her degree in biotechnology at the age of 55 because the furniture factories in her town have disappeared.

However, despite the President’s call for greater investment in things like innovation, education and infrastructure, last night he proposed a five-year freeze on non-defense discretionary spending beginning this year. This comes after House Republicans have pledged to return appropriations levels to FY08 or FY06 levels. So while we don’t know what spending levels will look like after the CR expires in March, it seems certain that there not be any funding increases this year.

On a brighter note, Brandon Ford, a junior at the Academy of Automotive and Mechanical Engineering at West Philadelphia High School was invited to be a guest in First Lady Michelle Obama’s box last night. Brandon was recognized for his participation in the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE competition, in which teams from across the globe compete to create production-ready, highly fuel efficient vehicles. Brandon and his team went up against corporations, universities and other well-funded organizations from around the world, advancing all the way to the elimination round.  Congratulations, Brandon!

By Nancy in News, 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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Gathering Storm Approaching Category 5, Report Warns

Friday, October 8th, 2010

Despite attempts to improve the United State’s position in the global economy, the nation has, over the last five years, worsened its ability to compete for quality jobs.  Further, if the United States does not implement a sustained investment in education and basic research soon, the nation will continue on its downward spiral, according to a follow up report to highly-regarded Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future.

The new report, Rising Above the Gathering Storm, Revisited: Rapidly Approaching Category 5, warns that the nation has not improved despite the warnings and recommendations made since the original congressionally-commissioned report was released in 2005.

“The Gathering Storm is looking ominously like a Category 5,” according to the report, “and, as the  nation has so vividly observed, rebuilding from such an event is far more difficult  than preparing in advance to withstand it.”

The report does praise Congress for passing the America COMPETES Act and implementing several funding initiatives to support the improvement of K-12 and STEM education, but warns that funding for American COMPETES is scheduled to expire in Fiscal Year 2010 and stimulus funding for education is nearly depleted amidst the nation’s growing debt.

“The Gathering Storm effort once again finds itself at a tipping point,” said Norman R. Augustine, coauthor of a new report and chair  of the original Gathering Storm committee. “Addressing America’s competitiveness challenge is an undertaking that will require many years, if not decades.”

By Erin in Research
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United States Drops in Global Ranking

Friday, September 24th, 2010

Global Competitiveness ReportThe United States fell two spots to fourth position in The Global Competitiveness Report 2010-2011. The shortcoming brings the United States behind Switzerland, Sweden and Singapore; and places further pressure on the nation to recover from its downward trend.

While there are a range of components that allow the United States economy to remain “extremely productive, a number of escalating weaknesses have lowered the U.S. ranking over the past two years,” according to the report. Growing public debt, lack of trust in politicians, and diminished corporate ethics were among the weaknesses of the United States.

Rankings 2010-11
1   Switzerland
2   Sweden
3   Singapore
4   United States
5   Germany
6   Japan
7   Finland
8   Netherlands
9   Denmark
10 Canada

The report provides a range of assessments and recommendations, including a Global Competitiveness Index that ranks 139 countries on 12 pillars of competitiveness:

The report did credit U.S. companies for “being highly sophisticated and innovative, supported by an excellent university system that collaborates strongly with the business sector in R&D.” The size of the U.S. domestic economy – the largest in the world – still allows the nation to remain competitive, the report added.

How the nation will respond to its strengths and leverage its weaknesses will be seen in the future.

By Erin in News, Publications, Research
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WSJ Highlights Growing, Well-Paying Career Paths

Friday, September 17th, 2010

Engineering, product management, government and health care are among 12 burgeoning, well-paying career paths of our economy, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The publication highlights the 12 career paths and indicates the “personality fit” an individual would need to succeed in that career.

By Erin in News

White House to Host Community College Summit

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

jillbiden_portrait_full (2)

On October 5, 2010 Dr. Jill Biden will host a White House Summit on Community Colleges. The summit will bring together community colleges, business, philanthropy, federal and state policy leaders, and students to discuss how community colleges can help meet the job training and education needs of the nation’s workforce, as well as the critical role community colleges play in achieving the President’s goal to lead the world with the highest proportion of college graduates by 2020.

The White House is inviting the public to submit their thoughts, questions and challenges for discussion as part of the summit dialogue:

By Nancy in News, Public Policy
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Alaska Develops Action Plan for New CTE

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

Recognizing the link between education and career readiness, heads of Alaska’s education and workforce development systems published in August a joint call to action report that pledges their intent to improve CTE.

Alaska’s Education & Early Development, and Labor and Workforce Development departments, and the University of Alaska teamed to develop the Alaska Career and Technical Education Plan, their strategy to prepare students to be lifelong learners who can contribute to and succeed in their economy. Most significant is the plan’s assertion that it proposes a CTE system that is not a separate ‘track’ designed for students who are not college bound. “The CTE system described in the plan ensures that all students – whatever their ultimate career goals – have the employability skills that are necessary for success in life as well as employment.”

Alaska’s plan consists of a set of strategies and action statements, which include:

By Erin in News, Public Policy
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