Posts Tagged ‘Job training’

New Report: CTE Key to Landing Middle-Class Jobs

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

Career Technical Education (CTE) prepares students for challenging careers and further education at the high school level and beyond, resulting in attainment of credentials like certificates, associate degrees, and bachelor’s degrees. While CTE spans a range of learner levels, a recent report from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce focuses on the subbaccalaureate level, stating that middle-class jobs are abundant for those with subbaccalaureate CTE degrees.

The report reveals that there are currently 29 million “middle jobs,” or jobs requiring a two-year degree or less, in the United States that pay middle-class wages between $35,000 and $75,000 annually. Such jobs include certified nursing assistants, occupational therapists, licensed practical nurses, paralegals, refrigeration technicians, and more. Five options for training – available through CTE schools and programs across the country – are featured as high-quality, cost-effective ways to prepare individuals for middle jobs:

The authors also suggest two ways to advance the nation’s CTE infrastructure. First, a “Learning & Earning Exchange” should be established to connect data from CTE to the labor market. This information system would make clear to students the labor market demand for specific education and training, help educators improve their practice, and help employers find qualified candidates for job openings. Second, the authors support further federal investment in programs of study, and suggest investing in specific programs of study that include employer-based training.

In international comparisons, the U.S. ranks second in baccalaureate attainment; 31 percent of U.S. workers over 25 years old hold a bachelor’s degree or more. However, the subbaccalaureate rate falls at just 10 percent, ranking the U.S. 16th among industrialized nations. Greater federal investments in CTE will help more individuals pursue CTE at the subbaccalaureate level to attain middle-class jobs, and will give decision makers more information linking CTE and labor market outcomes.

Click here to view the report.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

By Kara in News, Research
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Senate Hearing Focuses on College Affordability; Witness Calls for Streamlining Federal Reporting Requirements

Friday, September 14th, 2012

At a hearing this week — Improving College Affordability: A View From the States – members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee heard from higher education stakeholders about the obstacles that keep postsecondary education out of reach for many students. Dr. Camille Preus, Commissioner of the Oregon Department of Community Colleges and Workforce Development, spoke about how the Federal government can encourage and support states in making postsecondary education more affordable:

The federal government also could help states in their efforts to be more efficient by aligning the various reporting requirements that it imposes on institutions of higher education. These requirements differ for various programs, such as the HEA and the Workforce Investment and the Carl D. Perkins Act, and these in turn differ from information that states themselves require. A concerted effort needs to be undertaken to eliminate these inefficiencies. Many community colleges have only one individual who is responsible for meeting all reporting requirements. Sometimes states becoming directly involved in providing needed information. In addition, the federal government needs to be much more aggressive in ensuring that appropriate state educational entities have access to data that will enable them, in concert with institutions, to identify the earnings of students after they have left institutions. These data in turn will help colleges to maximize resource allocation.

In the context of better aligning workforce and training programs, NASDCTEc has also recommended that common measures across programs such as WIA, Perkins, Trade Adjustment Assistance, and Adult Education would provide more interconnectivity in the workforce system as programs collaborate and work together to ensure the alignment of goals. Our recommendaitons also call for data sharing across federal programs in order to ease the burden that programs and providers face in collecting accountability information, and foster an environment of collaboration and efficiency in the workforce and education systems.

By Nancy in Public Policy
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Democrats Support Career Academies and Technical Training in Party Platform

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

This week in Charlotte, the Democrats released their party’s platform which outlines how their policies will help America out-education, out-innovate and out-build the rest of the world. As we reported last week, the Republican party’s platform included their support for CTE at the secondary and postsecondary levels. The Democrats also voiced their support for secondary CTE, saying that they would “continue to strengthen all our schools and work to expand public school options for low-income youth, including magnet schools, charter schools, teacher-led schools, and career academies.”

At the postsecondary level, Democrats called for greater access to higher education and technical training. To that end, the party supports the following proposals that would improve the skills of students and adult workers:

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Public Policy
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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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Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney Proposes Cutting Education Spending

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

Last week Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney released his Plan for a Stronger Middle Class, which lays out his plan for increasing jobs and wages. In it, he proposes giving people greater access to affordable and effective higher education options, and focusing job training programs on skills that align with employment opportunities.

However, Governor Romney’s plan also indicates that as President he would immediately reduce non-defense discretionary spending by five percent. A five percent cut to the Department of Education’s discretionary spending would result in a reduction of $3.4 billion (based on FY12 discretionary appropriations).

The plan also calls for capping federal spending below 20 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). Currently, total federal spending in FY12 is 23.4 percent of GDP. To reduce federal spending to 20 percent of GDP would require an aggregate cut of nine percent per year for the next decade. But since Governor Romney opposes cutting defense spending, as well as cutting Social Security for those 55 and over, that would actually result in cuts of between 29 and 40 percent for remaining programs over the next 10 years, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. And remember, these potential cuts to non-defense discretionary programs (like education) would be in addition to the cuts and spending caps currently required by the Budget Control Act.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Public Policy
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Workforce Wednesdays: Get Involved!

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

Join NASDCTEc and the more than 40 other national organizations that make up the Campaign to Invest in America’s Workforce for “Workforce Wednesdays,” each Wednesday in August.

CTE and workforce development programs are an important part of the nation’s economic recovery and job creation effort, yet our nation’s investments in the skills of its people are at risk. Non-defense discretionary programs—including education and workforce programs—face at least $55 billion in funding cuts as of January 2013 due to the Budget Control Act, and efforts to protect funding for defense programs could double the size of these cuts. Key policymakers have even proposed eliminating dozens of federal workforce programs. It is critically important that we help policymakers understand why investments in CTE and workforce development programs are important and how these investments impact their local communities.

Participate in Workforce Wednesdays by taking action—it can be as simple as calling your Senators or Representative or, even better, arranging a site visit  — but just take action on one or more Wednesdays during the month of August. Stand united with NASDCTEc and the Campaign to Invest in America’s Workforce in support of adequate funding for CTE, adult education and workforce training programs!

Members of Congress will be in their home districts during the month of August.  Contact your Senators and Representative today to arrange an in-district meeting, a site visit, or engage in a direct conversation with in-district staff to let them know where you stand on funding for CTE and training programs. Or let your local community know why these investments matter by submitting an op-ed or letter to the Editor to your local paper. What you do isn’t as important as that you do something, so take action as part of Workforce Wednesdays in August!


RESOURCES

Find Your Members of Congress

Advocacy Tip Sheet

FY13 Funding Request Sheet

Leave Behinds and One-Pagers

By Nancy in Public Policy
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Court Strikes Down Portion of Gainful Employment Regulations

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has vacated part of the U.S. Department of Education’s gainful employment regulations related to the debt-repayment measure. Under the regulations, career training programs that receive federal financial aid must show that they “prepare students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation.” One measure schools were asked to use to show this was that 35 percent of their graduates are repaying their loans. The court ruled that 35 percent is “arbitrary and capricious,” and not based on any expert study or industry standard. While the court ruled that the Department had the authority to issue gainful employment regulations, they will now have to reexamine their benchmarks for loan repayment rates.

The court also struck down other provisions of the regulations, including one that requires institutions to get approval from the U.S. Education Department before offering new career training programs. Meanwhile, the court upheld reporting requirements related to program costs, on-time graduation rates, placement rates, and median loan debt.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Public Policy
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Legislative Update: House Committee Passes WIA Reauth Bill

Friday, June 8th, 2012

The House Education and the Workforce Committee held a markup of H.R. 4297, the Workforce Investment Improvement Act of 2012 yesterday. The bill represents large scale changes to the current WIA program. The bill was approved by a party line vote of 23 to 15. There is no word on when the bill will go to the floor.

The bill proposes to consolidate approximately 30 existing workforce and training programs into a single, flexible Workforce Investment Fund, and it would give Governors the power to consolidate even more programs under a unified state plan. The bill would also require states and locals to use common performance measures for all workforce development programs.

As we previously reported, an earlier bill introduced by Rep. Virginia Foxx (NC), which was merged into H.R. 4297, allowed states to submit a unified state plan encompassing two or more job training and related programs, including both Perkins secondary and postsecondary programs. Under Foxx’s bill, Perkins funds would have been eligible to be consolidated into a Workforce Investment Fund and used for workforce activities. After hearing from the CTE community, new language was added to the Workforce Investment Improvement Act that singles out Perkins as one program whose funds cannot be consolidated into the Workforce Investment Fund.

The Workforce Investment Improvement Act also proposes changes to the Job Corps program to ensure that CTE and job training offered under that program is focused on in-demand occupations and that disadvantaged youth receive a regular high school diploma and/or a postsecondary credential that prepares them for employment.

Democrats on the Committee are not supportive of the bill, and offered a substitute bill as an amendment. Their bill focused on career pathways in high demand industries that lead to industry recognized credentials and postsecondary attainment. It would also expand the role of community colleges in job training. The Democrats’ amendment was voted down along party lines.

A summary of H.R. 4297 can be found here.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Legislation
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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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Survey Finds Many U.S. Employers Still Struggle to Fill Job Vacancies

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

Employment rates in the United States have been on an upturn yet half of U.S. employers in a recent survey still report having difficulty filling job vacancies. Manpower, an employment agency, released today its annual Talent Shortage Survey, the result of nearly 40,000 interviews with employers across the globe, to provide a comprehensive picture of how the skills gap is affecting business and industry.

The top positions that employers struggle to fill include engineers, technicians, production operators, finance staff, Information Technology staff, and laborers – areas in which Career Technical Education (CTE) provides students with skills and training that align with the needs of business and industry.

Four in 10 employers report that the shortage of qualified job applicants has had a high or medium impact on its stakeholders. Many reported that applicants lack technical skills and would be more qualified if they had industry-specific certifications and qualifications, experience operating mechanical and industrial equipment, and computer and information technology skills.

The most common strategy used by employers to address the shortage is to provide additional training and development for existing staff. Only 10 percent of those surveyed reported partnering with educational institutions to create aligned curriculum.

CTE leaders are working to strengthen alignment and partnerships among secondary, postsecondary, and workforce entities to help students successfully land jobs and meet employers’ expectations. Through rigorous academic and technical coursework and hands-on learning experiences, CTE programs are preparing students to meet critical labor market demands.

Kara Herbertson, Education Policy Analyst

By Kara in Research, Resources
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