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Posts Tagged ‘Job training’

Center for American Progress Proposal Targets Perkins Funding

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

The Center for American Progress (CAP) recently issued a brief, Building a Technically Skilled Workforce, which reminds us that in order for the United States to remain a leader in the global economy, we must ensure that workers have the education and skills to be successful in emerging and high-growth industries.

We agree, and we believe that CTE will play a vital role in preparing our workforce for the future. However, we do not agree with CAP’s proposed use of Perkins Act funding to meet this goal.

In the brief, CAP recommends that a “Community College and Industry Partnership Grant” program should be established to encourage partnerships between community colleges, and business and industry. These partnerships would in turn result in programs that provide credentials which are directly linked to current job requirements and respond to future job openings. CAP proposes that the grants be paid for with postsecondary Perkins Act funding. NASDCTEc believes that, among other things, doing so would hinder the progress the CTE community has made in linking secondary and postsecondary education, a goal reinforced by the Perkins Act.

This proposal is just that – a proposal, and holds no weight in terms of actual legislative authority. However, as reauthorization draws near, we will likely have to fend off proposals like this one that targets the use of Perkins funds

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Public Policy
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Legislative Update: House Holds Hearing on Job Creation

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

The House Education and the Workforce Committee held a hearing this week, “Expanding Opportunities for Job Creation“, that looked at challenges facing the American workforce, and suggested “smarter federal regulatory policies” and “pro-growth solutions.”

Gov. Dan Malloy of Connecticut outlined his state’s plan to ensure that community colleges, technical schools, and job training programs work with business and industry to prepare workers for jobs that are available now. Michigan Governor Rick Snyder in his remarks also spoke about overhauling the federal job training system, and said that such reform provides an “important opportunity for partnership with states to aggressively address the realities of the 21st century economy and job training” and “create a demand-driven workforce system that cultivates a labor force possessing the necessary skills employers require.” Both Governors stated that career counseling is needed to ensure that students’ skills align to employers’ needs.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

 

By Nancy in 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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President Focuses on Education and Skills Training in State of the Union

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

In his State of the Union address last night President Obama called keeping the middle class alive “the defining issue of our time.” Throughout his speech, he set out proposals to foster an economy “built to last” predicated on education, a skilled workforce, high-paying jobs, energy independence and fairness that would help bolster the middle class.

The President highlighted the skills gap that exists in industries such as manufacturing, information technology and clean energy: “Growing industries in science and technology have twice as many openings as we have workers who can do the job.” In an effort to solve this problem, he called for a national commitment to train two million individuals with the skills they need to land a job, with a focus on partnerships between businesses and community colleges. The President is scheduled to release his FY13 budget on February 13. We hope that his commitment to address the skills gap and provide resources for unemployed individuals will be reflected in his proposal for Perkins Act funding.

President Obama also focused on the current job training system, saying that he wants “to cut through the maze of confusing training programs, so that from now on, people…have one program, one website, and one place to go for all the information and help they need.” His hope is that streamlining the system will get people back to work more quickly in the jobs that exist today, and better prepare them for the jobs of tomorrow. While he does not mention the Workforce Investment Act specifically, the program has been due for reauthorization since 2003 and has been top priority for the both the House and the Senate this session. Given the President’s mention of the workforce system, we are hopeful that this signals a desire to reauthorize WIA in the coming year.

The President also touched on other education issues such as high school dropouts, calling on states to require students to stay in school until graduation or until they turn 18. In terms of college access and affordability, the President urged Congress to keep student interest rates low and extend the tuition tax credit. He also asked institutions of higher education to keep costs down and was blunt in his commitment to making postsecondary education more affordable, saying, “If you can’t stop tuition from going up, the funding you get from taxpayers will go down.”

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Legislation, Public Policy
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New ACT Advisory Board Aims to Improve Education-Workforce Alignment

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

ACT, Inc., a nonprofit testing and research organization, convened this week its first National Workforce Solutions Advisory Board.

The Board, comprised of education and workforce leaders, will help guide the Certified Work Ready Communities Initiative, a framework that helps communities align education and workforce development with industry demand.

The Board will also focus on building partnerships in which:

Former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue, who will serve as chairman of the Board, stated that “The facts facing us today are clear – the U.S. has a significant and pressing need to improve workplace skills to meet current and future job demands. We see this initiative as a way to move past restating the obvious problem and move toward implementing proven solutions for America’s workforce.”

For more information, visit ACT’s Certified Work Ready Communities Initiative website.

Kara Herbertson, Education Policy Analyst

By Kara in Research
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Secretary Duncan Commends CTE Center for Narrowing Skills Gap

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

On a visit to Miami Valley Career Technology Center in Ohio last week, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan commended the school for its “innovation and creativity” in establishing strong connections with local businesses to prepare students for further education and careers. He stated that, “I am in schools two to three times a week all over the country, and I haven’t seen too many places like this.”

The Secretary’s remarks referred to the Center’s efforts to narrow the skills gap by working closely with local employers. One example of this is the strong relationship the school has formed with Caterpillar Logistics, a manufacturing and distribution company. Through collaboration with businesses, the school is able to identify and teach knowledge and skills that are of value to employers, and provide relevant training so that graduates will meet the needs of employers. To date, Caterpillar Logistics has brought on 250 Miami Valley graduates, and plans to take on 250 new hires this year.

Miami Valley’s success is also evident through its nearly 100 percent graduation rate. Many of the school’s graduates continue on to postsecondary education.

Similar achievements and connections to industry can be found in CTE programs across the nation. Beginning in February, stellar CTE programs will be highlighted on the NASDCTEc CTE Success Map. Members can log in and view the Success Map today!

Kara Herbertson, Education Policy Analyst 

By Kara in News
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White House Council Report Shows Cost of “Opportunity Youth”

Friday, January 13th, 2012

As the nation focuses on economic recovery, relatively little attention is paid to the important transition that takes place for students graduating high school and entering postsecondary education or the workforce. A new report from the White House Council for Community Solutions and the Corporation for National and Community Service, The Economic Value of Opportunity Youth, describes “opportunity youth” as individuals from age 16 to 24 who are neither in school nor part of the workforce. The report calculates the cost of ignoring the almost 7 million opportunity youth across the nation and identifies key areas of investment for reducing this problem.

Opportunity youth are less likely to be employed, often have worse health, and are more likely to take part in criminal activity than their peers. Taxpayers also pay heavily for these youth, who impose an immediate $13,900 per year and a lifetime burden of $170,740 on taxpayers.

Over the summer of 2011, the unemployment rate for 16-24 year olds was 18 percent, more than double the national rate. The likelihood of postsecondary degree or credential attainment is equally dismal as only 1 percent of opportunity youth complete at least an Associate degree by age 28, while the national rate is 36 percent.

To address these concerns, the White House report suggests making “cost-effective, targeted investments” to aid these individuals in the transition to postsecondary education or careers. Specifically, the writers suggest more education, better training, and social supports for opportunity youth.

Career Technical Education (CTE) programs across the nation offer the education and training that individuals, including opportunity youth, need to be competitive in today’s labor market. CTE provides high-level knowledge and skills that lead to industry-recognized credentials in high-demand fields.

Kara Herbertson, Education Policy Analyst

By Kara in Research
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Friends of CTE Guest Blog Series: I LOVE MY JOB!

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

Deanna Lewis serves as the Director for Career & Certification Services with the Home Builders Institute (HBI). Prior to joining HBI’s family in 2001, Lewis’ experiences included teaching at the elementary level where she developed a customized curriculum for transitional first grade students; managing the tri-state (Pennsylvania, New Jersey & Delaware) satellite office of the New York Times; and conducting test score interpretation as a consultant for the College Board.

During a recent visit, my plumber said, “I love my job!” as he was patiently answering my hundred and one questions without slowing down on the task at hand (he was getting paid by the hour). He said this before he gave me the bill. I’m sure he was enjoying his job even more as I wrote the check.

His comment, “I love my job,” left an impression on me. I began to wonder what happened to the passion tradesmen and women used to have for their jobs. That sense of excitement about learning plumbing systems or the concept that a carpenter’s work is his or her art. Is that passion still out there?

Will the Workforce be Ready?

It is predicted that by 2014 careers in the Architecture and Construction Career Cluster will start to resume employment levels like those seen in 2007 and will exceed 2007 levels in 2015.[1] Will the industry have a workforce prepared to meet the demands? Carpenters are listed as one of the 30 occupations with the largest employment growth from 2008-18. The profession is categorized as requiring long-term on-the-job training.[2] Are there a sufficient number of trainees to fill the future demand?

Industry Opportunities – Choosing the Right Path

Construction offers opportunities at every level. It is an industry that still has career opportunities following high school. That does not imply that training stops at that point. Instead, it indicates there are still on-the-job training opportunities available. There are also certificate and two-year programs offered at technical schools and community colleges.  For management-level positions, many companies will require a four-year degree.

That being said, it is predicted that overall, 34 percent of the jobs in the Architecture and Construction Career Cluster™ will require at least some postsecondary education and training by 2018.[1] Now is the time to engage youth. Inform them about the educational requirements to be successful in the industry. HBI currently offers a first step to professionalism through its student certification program, which sets the stage for stackable credentials.[4] The National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) also provides information about the Architecture and Construction Career Cluster™ at http://www.careertech.org/career-clusters/landing-pages/architecture.html.

Educators Making a Difference

Career Technical Education (CTE) has programs in nearly 1,300 public high schools and 1,700 two-year-colleges[3]. HBI is a strong supporter of CTE because it meets our members’ needs and helps students, of all ages, become college and career ready so they have a lifetime of success. CTE programs do an excellent job preparing students for the industry opportunities identified above, but it is clear that instructors go far beyond just preparing students to work.

Stan Sluzenski’s students are bound to be on the right path to becoming industry professionals. Sluzenski, a Building Trades Instructor at St. Croix Regional Technical Center in Calais, Maine, utilizes his resources well to help his students gain respect and experience. He said, “As a teacher, I encounter the need for skilled workers from many different sources, including my local advisory board, community members and industry recruiters.”

The Spokane Home Builders Association in Spokane, Washington, is celebrating 31 years of changing lives and building futures. Kim Waseca-Love, Education/Apprenticeship Director captured the spirit of their program when she said, “Carpentry allows us to express our creative spirit.” Waseca-Love goes on to say, “We also know the feeling of accomplishment that we have when we look at our completed work.” She feels the instructors are the apprenticeship program’s key ingredient. “It is because of their qualifications and passion for the trade that our students are able to acquire all the educational opportunities they need to climb as high as they wish on the residential construction industry’s ladder of success.”

Educators such as Sluzenski and Waseca-Love are leading the charge for a knowledgeable workforce by making sure students interested in the construction industry know…

Just as important, though, they are instilling in their students a crucial passion for the work. It takes time to become a skilled professional in the construction industry. Hopefully, there will be many reaching that status who will chime in with the words . . . “I love my job!”

 

The Friends of CTE Guest Blog Series provides advocates – from business and industry, researchers and organizations – an opportunity to articulate their support for Career Technical Education. The monthly series features a guest blogger who provides their perspective on and
experience with CTE as it relates to policy, the economy and education.

Are you interested in being a guest blogger and expressing your support for CTE? Contact Melinda Findley Lloyd, Communications Consultant, at [email protected].

 

[1] The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, “Career Clusters:  Forecasting Demand for High School through College Jobs 2008-2018”, Georgetown University, November 2011. http://www9.georgetown.edu/grad/gppi/hpi/cew/pdfs/clusters-complete-update1.pdf

[2] United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Economic and Employment Projections Table 7. The 30 fastest-growing occupations, 2008-18, December 2009. http://www.bls.gov/news.release/ecopro.toc.htm

[3] National Center for Education Statistics.

[4] Home Builders Institute, http://www.hbicertification.org

By Melinda in Uncategorized
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Department of Labor Announces New Workforce Innovation Fund Grants

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

On December 22, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis announced the availability of $98.5 million in new Workforce Innovation Fund grants. These grants provide funding for programs that support, evaluate and enhance workforce investment strategies, particularly for vulnerable populations. The three stated goals of the grants are: better results for jobseekers and employers, greater efficiency in the delivery of quality services, and stronger cooperation across programs and funding streams.

Grants will be awarded in one of three categories:

Eligible entities include state workforce agencies, local workforce investment boards, and tribes, tribal consortia, or tribal non-profit organizations that are eligible to apply for WIA Section 166 grants. Grant applications are due March 22, 2012.

More information can be found here.

 

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

 

By Nancy in Public Policy
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Legislative Update: Appropriations, WIA, Job Training

Friday, December 9th, 2011

Perkins Funding Still in Jeopardy

The continuing resolution (CR) passed by Congress last month is set to expire on December 16. Having passed three of the 12 appropriations bills, Congress must now pass the remaining nine bills or another CR. Their goal is to package all nine bills in an omnibus bill and pass it next week. However, if this does not happen, Congress can either pass another short-term CR to buy more time, or include all compromised bills in the omnibus and fund the remaining bills under a year-long CR.

Unfortunately, some of these bills, including Labor-HHS-Education, are so controversial that Congress may choose not work out a deal and instead will fund them under a year-long CR. If this happens, the 1.5% cut applied to Perkins Act advanced appropriations in a previous CR would remain. This would mean that states will not get that money back, and it would set the level for Perkins funding lower for next year. But, if a final Labor-HHS-Education bill is passed and it contains level funding for Perkins, then states will get that money back.

So, the fight is not yet over and we need your help! Call your Member of Congress today and encourage them to work to complete the remaining appropriations bills and to fund the Perkins Act at FY11 levels. You can reach the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask for your Senators’ and/or Representative’s office.

Bills Introduced

Workforce Investment Act

House Republicans introduced two bills this week that will serve as the basis for Workforce Investment Act (WIA) reauthorization in the House.

Streamlining Workforce Development Programs Act

Rep. Virginia Foxx (NC) introduced H.R. 3610, the Streamlining Workforce Development Programs Act, which would consolidate 33 of the 47 job training programs identified in a 2011 report by the Government Accountability Office as duplicative into four flexible Workforce Investment Funds. These funds would focus on adults, youth, veterans and special populations. This bill would also require states and locals to set common performance measures for all employment and job training programs.

The Streamlining Workforce Development Programs Act also allows states to submit a unified plan encompassing two or more job training and related programs. Both Perkins secondary and postsecondary programs are eligible to be a part of a state’s unified plan.

Local Job Opportunities and Business Success (Local JOBS) Act

Rep. Joe Heck (NV) introduced H.R. 3611, the Local Job Opportunities and Business Success (Local JOBS) Act. The goal of this bill is to ensure that the nation’s job training system can effectively provide workers with the skills necessary to compete in the local workforce. To that end, the bill would require that two-thirds of workforce investment board members be employers; that a portion of resources (as determined by the local WIB) be spent directly on training; and that local boards partner with higher education institutions and economic development organizations to better develop job training programs that address the needs of area businesses.

Bipartisan Jobs Creation Act

Senators Susan Collins (ME) and Claire McCaskill (MO) this week announced the Bipartisan Jobs Creation Act legislation which is aimed at creating jobs by cutting taxes for businesses, investing in transportation infrastructure, and consolidating federal job training programs. The bill would be paid for by a surtax on taxpayers earning more than $1 million per year and ending subsidies for oil companies. This bill includes two areas of interest:

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Legislation, Public Policy
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