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Posts Tagged ‘skills gap’

McKinsey Report Outlines Common Elements of Innovative Programs to Close the Skills Gap

Friday, May 24th, 2013

The McKinsey Center for Government surveyed 8,000 individuals – from employers to educational institutions to students – to answer one question: how can we close the skills gap? Their results include an examination of more than 100 innovative programs and suggest many strategies already implemented through Career Technical Education (CTE).

The McKinsey Global Institute estimates that by 2020 there will be a global shortfall of 85 million high- and middle-skilled workers. Nearly 40 percent of employers find that applicants lack the skills needed for entry-level jobs. And while 72 percent of education providers reported that graduates are ready to enter the job market, only 42 percent of employers and 45 percent of youth agreed. On top of this disconnect, the authors indicate that there is no comprehensive data on skills required for employment or on the performance of specific education providers in building those skills.

The report identifies common elements of innovative and effective programs, many of which reflect aspects of CTE as laid out in Reflect, Transform, Lead: A New Vision for Career Technical Education, including:

What is needed to close this knowledge and skills gap? Again, the authors suggest improvements that align with the work that many state and local CTE stakeholders are already putting into action:

Access the full report here.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

By Kara in Research, Resources
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May CTE Monthly Newsletter: Analysis Supports CTE As Key to Dropout Reduction, Research Shows Employees Need More Applied Skills

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

CTE Monthly, a collaborative publication from the Association for Career and Technical Education and the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium, features the latest news on Career Technical Education (CTE) from across the nation for CTE stakeholders and Members of Congress.

In the May edition, read more about:

View archived CTE Monthly newsletters and other advocacy resources on our Advocacy Tools Web page.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

By Kara in NASDCTEc Resources, News
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NASDCTEc Releases Publication on Area CTE Centers

Monday, April 29th, 2013

Career Technical Education (CTE) inherently emphasizes partnerships with employers and encourages input from business and industry on CTE curriculum and other collaborative opportunities so that students graduate with the knowledge and skills that employers demand. But despite increased interest in CTE by students and businesses, states and school districts are struggling to maintain or expand CTE programs due to limited federal, state and local funding. Given the current fiscal situation, area CTE centers area an especially viable option for districts wanting to provide students with high-quality CTE in a cost-effective way.

Last week, the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) released a new publication on this topic – Area CTE Centers: Conquering the Skills Gap through Business and Industry Collaboration. The paper provides information on the history, benefits, and cost effectiveness of area CTE centers. Several examples of best practices are highlighted including Miami Valley Career Technology Center in Ohio and Canadian Valley Technology Center in Oklahoma. Read more

A webinar recording on area CTE centers, featuring leaders from the schools mentioned above, is now available here.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

By Kara in NASDCTEc Resources, Publications, Resources
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NASDCTEc Webinar on Area CTE Centers – Today at 3:00 pm ET

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

Area CTE Centers operate in a variety of ways – from shared-time centers offering primarily technical training to full-time centers that provide students with both academic instruction and technical training – but all provide opportunities for students to receive relevant, rigorous CTE. And at a time when employers say that they are unable to find workers who have the right skills to fill job vacancies, area CTE centers provide a crucial link between the knowledge and skills that students learn and those demanded by local businesses.

Join us for a webinar that features state and local leaders who will discuss area CTE centers in their states and how they are making connections to the needs of business and industry and their communities.

The webinar will be held TODAY, Thursday, April 25th at 3:00 pm ET. Register here

Speakers include:

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

By Kara in NASDCTEc Announcements, Webinars
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Spring Meeting Recap: What is Career Readiness?

Friday, April 19th, 2013

Earlier this week, the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) held its annual Spring Meeting, where the notion of ‘career readiness’ was front and center. One session squarely focused on the work of the Career Readiness Partnership Council (CRPC) in convening a broad group of partners to develop a common definition of Career Readiness (which can be found at www.careerreadynow.org) and potential next steps for the partnership and the definition itself.

The urgency behind the CRPC and the development of a common understanding of what career readiness was driven by a number of factors, and Patrick Ainsworth, who coordinated much of the work of the CRPC pointed out a few: the ongoing development of the Common Core Technical Core, the widespread adoption of the college- and career-ready Common Core State Standards (which cover only the academic foundation of career readiness), and the lack of understanding of what career readiness means and looks like across the nation. The CRPC, therefore, aimed to create a “north star” for each of the participating organizations around career readiness to help guide and drive policy and practice.

The other two panelists, representing partnership organizations, each discussed what compelled them to join the CRPC and what the definition will mean for them moving ahead. Martin Simon of the National Governors’ Association described how governors are concerned not only about the skills gap but also the coordination gap between educators and workforce investment boards. He discussed the need for a more comprehensive system to better link education, training and workforce needs that will build career pathways, not just training for jobs. About half of all governors discussed career pathways or Career and Technical Education (CTE) in their 2013 state of the state addresses, demonstrating they not only care about these issues but consider them to be priorities.

Andrew Moore from the National League of Cities described the unique role mayors can play in connecting and convening the education and business communities. Mayors are deeply concerned about the skills gap and the extremely high unemployment rates among teenagers.

After the panelists’ remarks, the participants were asked how they might use the career readiness definition moving forward. Some responses included:

Kate Blosveren, Associate Executive Director

By Kate Blosveren in NASDCTEc Spring Meeting, Public Policy, Uncategorized
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Key Stakeholders Convene to Discuss Career Pathways at Pathways to Prosperity Event

Friday, March 22nd, 2013

This week, more than 400 educators, researchers, business leaders, economists, and civic stakeholders convened at Harvard University to consider the possibility of expanding career pathways in school systems across the country.  The catalyst for the conference was the February 2011 report from the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) titled, Pathways to Prosperity: Meeting the Challenge of Preparing Young Americans for the 21st Century.

Many attendees made the case that the United States can no longer ignore the huge mismatch that exists between the skills students learn in school and the needs of the modern workforce. Several speakers noted that the college-for-all movement has led to widespread dropouts within high school and postsecondary education, college graduates lacking the skills required by employers, and a lack of workers with the high-tech skills essential to the economic development of the United States. Instead, evidence was presented that career pathways prepare all students to be career and college ready and can lead students to higher levels of success as adults. Relevant career pathways open up options for students that the traditional high school and college systems cannot or have not provided in the past.

Ronald Ferguson and William Symonds of the HGSE Pathways to Prosperity Project challenged each person in attendance to submit the steps that they or their organizations will take to advance the Pathways to Prosperity concept. During the conference, attendees shared their strategies, commitments, and experiences for expanding the Multiple Pathways approach. Some see the need to prepare career-ready students as an economic issue, some see it as an issue of equity or social justice, and others view it as a national security issue. Regardless of the philosophical orientation, the participants in the many panels agreed that a more relevant, engaging, and pragmatic approach is needed to prepare students for employment and careers.

Given that students are competing globally with graduates from other countries, it was emphasized that students must acquire the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to help innovate and create new technologies and approaches.  Without commitments from business and education to change local, state, and national policies and systems, there is doubt that the full economic potential of our country or wide-spread sustainable wages can be attained in the foreseeable future.

Many presentations supported Career Technical Education (CTE) as an essential foundational element of creating the pathways needed to truly transform education systems. To assist in moving the pathways movement forward, Ferguson announced the creation of the Pathways to Prosperity Network. The network is “a collaboration between the Pathways to Prosperity Project at HGSE, Jobs for the Future (JFF), and six states focused on ensuring that many more young people complete high school, attain a postsecondary credential with currency in the labor market, and launch into a career while leaving open the prospect of further education.”

To read more go to:  http://www.gse.harvard.edu/news-impact/2012/06/pathways-to-prosperity-network-launches/#ixzz2ODUg9vdv

Patrick Ainsworth, Ed.D., NASDCTEc Past President

By Kara in News
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Report: State Policy Approaches for Incentivizing CTE

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

Career Technical Education (CTE) has become a top priority in education policy – receiving recognition from governors and members of Congress – because of its relevance to local, state, and national economies.

The Education Commission of the States (ECS), a group that facilitates the exchange of information among state policymakers and education leaders, released this month an issue brief describing how states are depending on CTE to address many issues – such as the skills gap and alignment of education with labor market needs – and what states are doing to incentivize the use of CTE. Some incentives include:

The report also draws attention to the integration of academic and technical courses and content through the Common Core State Standards and the reframing of dual enrollment programs to include CTE.

View the ECS issue brief here.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

By Kara in News, Publications, Resources
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CTE in the news: Skills gap hinders unemployed, business and industry

Friday, November 30th, 2012

More than 20 million Americans have been unemployed or underemployed since January 2009, so why is it that there are more than 3 million job openings in the United States? Experts point to the skills gap as part of what is hindering the recovery of our nation’s economy, according to experts in a recent  60 Minutes news special.

The skills gap is a frustrating problem among out-of-work individuals, business and industries that need positions filled, and the rest of the nation that wants to see the health of the economy revitalized. The skills gap issue raises the question as to whether the nation is investing in and supporting programs such as Career Technical Education that will help educate and train workers.

Ryan Costella, head of Strategic Initiatives at Click Bond, a Nevada-based manufacturing company, is aiming to address the skills-gap issue among the company’s entry-level positions. Because applicants are lacking basic skills, Click Bond is collaborating with nearby community college to offer free training programs for select unemployed individuals.

“I think far too long we’ve had our heads in the sand, you know. We make our parts. We just hoped that the education system would produce what we need,” Costella said. “And I think the recession, I think a lot of things have taught us, ‘no, you have to engage.’”

Click Bond’s workers are expected to operate, program and fix computer-controlled machines that make precision parts, “accurate to a thousandth of an inch; the thickness of a piece of paper.”

“I can’t tell you how many people even coming out of higher ed with degrees who can’t put a sentence together without a major grammatical error. It’s a problem,” Costella said. “…We’re in the business of making fasteners that hold systems together that protect people in the air when they’re flying. We’re in the business of perfection.”

The experiences are not limited to the company, he noted. And the problem will only grow worse as a wave of baby boomers who work in these skill-focused jobs retire. Education and training are much needed to prepare the next generation of workers.

At Alcoa, a large aluminum company, executives are working on the challenge of retraining individuals so they keep up with advances in technology. Avoiding the widening of the skills gap is critical to the nation’s economic recovery. According to the report, Alcoa is one of the largest and oldest companies in the nation and has been hiring skilled workers since 1888.

“The environment is changing all the time. And if you don’t stay on top of things, you know, somebody will eat your lunch,” noted Klaus Kleinfield, Alcoa CEO.

“[Employees] also need to understand that their incomes over time are a direct function of their education and not just education, their skills, [and] what they can bring to the table.”

Erin Uy, Communications and Marketing Manager

By Erin in Uncategorized
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U.S. Senator Pushes for CTE and STEM Diplomas in New York

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

Over the last few years, the mismatch of the skills gained by students versus those needed on the job has become an urgent issue. In New York, industry leaders in areas such as high-tech manufacturing, nanotechnology, and biosciences have struggled to staff their workforces because students simply are not equipped with the right skills. To help close this skills gap, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer of New York has launched an initiative in his state to provide a Career Technical Education (CTE) diploma and a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) diploma.

CTE has increasingly been recognized for delivering relevant knowledge and skills that prepare college- and career-ready students for in-demand careers. Senator Schumer’s initiative shows recognition that CTE, including STEM, is vital to meet changing regional economic demands.

Schumer’s proposed CTE diploma is focused specifically on skills needed for success in New York’s manufacturing industry. The path to a CTE diploma would incorporate career-focused classes and curriculum that could replace an elective or a core class. Each diploma would require rigorous assessments to ensure students’ college and career readiness. Altogether, New York high school students would have three options for a diploma: traditional, STEM, or CTE.

In light of the urgent need for qualified workers in CTE and STEM areas, Senator Schumer is urging the New York State Board of Regents to approve these options and move forward with the process to implement the initiative beginning in September 2013.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

By Kara in News, Public Policy
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CTE in the News: If You’ve Got the Skills, She’s Got the Job

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

The skills gap — the lack of workers qualified to fill open high-skilled jobs – will only continue to widen and threaten the future of our nation if policymakers, industries and education leaders do not address the issue of equipping students (of all ages) with the skills demanded by the economy, according to a recent New York Times op-ed.

“We’re in the midst of a perfect storm: a Great Recession that has caused a sharp increase in unemployment and a Great Inflection — a merger of the information technology revolution and globalization that is simultaneously wiping out many decent-wage, middle-skilled jobs, which were the foundation of our middle class, and replacing them with decent-wage, high-skilled jobs. Every decent-paying job today takes more skill and more education, but too many Americans aren’t ready,” says Thomas L. Friedman, author of the op-ed.

The nation has three million open jobs around the country but an 8 percent unemployment rate, he notes.

Friedman calls for reform with a focus on assisting community colleges and universities to keep pace with the changes in the economy so courses reflect industry demands and students are prepared for the jobs of today and the future. Further, he suggests a type of Race to the Top initiative to incentivize businesses to embed workers in universities and universities to embed professors inside businesses “so we get a much better match between schooling and the job markets.”

Friedman goes on to close his op-ed with insight from Eduardo Padrón, the president of Miami Dade College: “The skill shortage is real… The big issue in America is not the fiscal deficit, but the deficit in understanding about education and the role it plays in the knowledge economy.”

Erin Uy, Communications & Marketing Manager

By Erin in Uncategorized
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