Posts Tagged ‘Job training’

Legislative Update: CTE Floor Speech, ESEA

Friday, February 17th, 2012

House Member Highlights CTE in Floor Speech

Rep. Jim Langevin (RI), co-chair of the Congressional CTE Caucus, took to the floor of the House yesterday morning to shine a spotlight on CTE and its effectiveness in his state of Rhode Island. National Grid, the primary utility in his state, and the Community College of Rhode Island have come together to offer a program that allows students to earn a certificate in energy utility technology and gives them the opportunity to become new employees.

Mr. Langevin also called on his fellow members of Congress to support the President’s Community College to Career Fund, which would invest $8 billion over three years to advance partnerships between community colleges and businesses, such as National Grid.

NASDCTEc was pleased this week to have Mr. Langevin author a guest blog on the importance of CTE.

House Holds ESEA Hearing

Yesterday the House Education and the Workforce Committee held a hearing on two recently introduced pieces of ESEA reauthorization legislation, the Student Success Act and the Encouraging Innovation and Effective Teachers Act. Chairman John Kline (MN) stated in his opening remarks that these bills provide flexibility to States and districts around teacher evaluation systems, standards, and assessments. Ranking Member George Miller (CA), however, warned that Congress should not promote flexibility at the expense of accountability and that legislation must lead to better outcomes for students.

Rep. Tom Petri (WI) remarked that there are many unemployed individuals in Wisconsin, but that there are also many employers looking to fill jobs – good paying, middle class jobs – due to the mismatch between preparation students are getting and the changing job market. He warned that we need address this skills gap or “we are going to be in a world of trouble.” Mr. Petri wanted to know whether these two pieces of legislation would advance the collaborative efforts being made by states and businesses, such as through the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, to prepare young people for the modern world of work, or whether they would create barriers to these efforts. Tom Luna, Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction, said that while the federal government’s role is be to hold states accountable, there needs to be sufficient flexibility because while the problems like those described by Mr. Petri are the same in many states, the solutions are not the same.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager


By Nancy in Legislation, Public Policy
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Budget Level Funds Perkins; Invests in Career Academies and Community Colleges

Monday, February 13th, 2012

President Obama released his FY13 budget today, and there is good news for CTE! The President proposed level funding for the Perkins Basic State Grants, and plans to release a reauthorization proposal that “would restructure CTE to align what students learn in school with the demands of 21st Century jobs.” While the budget does not include specifics about what this proposal will look like, a budget summary released by the Department of Education states that their proposal would increase the rigor and relevance of CTE and strengthen connections between secondary and postsecondary education. In addition to Perkins Act funding, the budget proposes an investment of $1 billion over three years to scale up career academies.

Some other highlights of the budget that may be of interest:

We are continuing to analyze the budget, and will update you on any additional information that could impact CTE.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Public Policy
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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
Tags: , , , , , , ,

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
Tags: , , ,

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
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

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
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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
Tags: ,

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
Tags: , ,

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
Tags: ,

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

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


[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.

[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.

[3] National Center for Education Statistics.

[4] Home Builders Institute,

By Melinda in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,