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Posts Tagged ‘workforce’

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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State Education Data Systems Improve, Still Lack Connections to Workforce

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

States have made incredible progress over the last year in developing comprehensive longitudinal data systems, but they are still lacking when it comes to stakeholder empowerment and connections to workforce programs and employment outcomes.

The Data Quality Campaign (DQC), a nonprofit organization that supports the availability and use of high-quality education data, released this year’s state analysis report which reviews states’ progress in implementing DQC’s 10 essential elements of education data systems. According to the report, “without exception, every state in the country has robust longitudinal data that extend beyond test scores and could inform today’s toughest education decisions.”

Still, as DQC executive director Aimee Guidera noted on a webinar last week, most states have not yet empowered stakeholders with these data to make informed decisions.

The survey also revealed that little progress has been made around career readiness data. Only nine states have data that connects K-12 student learning with employment or other workforce education and training programs, and just twelve states have connected postsecondary students with employment outcomes.  The next Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems grants will give more states the opportunity to focus on building these linkages to workforce data.

Since the DQC’s primary focus is on K-12 data issues, leaders from the National Skills Coalition and other national organizations  are developing an initiative, the Workforce Data Quality Campaign, to support states’ efforts to link K-12 and postsecondary data to workforce data. NASDCTEc will provide more information on this campaign as it becomes available.

Kara Herbertson, Education Policy Analyst

By Kara in News, Publications, Resources
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Congressional Resolution Recognizes Community Colleges

Monday, November 21st, 2011

Last week, Rep. Leonard Boswell (IA) introduced H Res 474, a resolution recognizing “the valuable contributions of community colleges and encouraging local partnerships with such institutions to train and revitalize the United States workforce, inspire entrepreneurship, educate skilled workers and invest in local communities.” The resolution has been referred to the House Education and the Workforce Committee.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manger

By Nancy in Legislation
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Share Ideas on Career Pathways through New “Innovation Forum” Blog

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

An increasingly competitive economy is forcing Career Technical Education (CTE) and workforce leaders to “do more with less.” A new resource launched by the U.S. Departments of Labor, Education (through the Office of Vocational and Adult Education), and Health and Human Services this week encourages workforce leaders and partners to maximize their efforts by sharing innovative ideas and best practices on career pathways.

According to the Department of Labor, the resource, called the “Innovation Forum,” is geared towards organizations serving adults and youth, and was designed as a platform for sharing ideas on “new ways to govern, invest and manage funds, and deliver services.”

The forum is set up as a blog, and participants are encouraged to submit blog posts and to comment on posted blogs. The most recent post, “Career Pathways Come to Life,” highlights the recent National Career Pathways Network Conference in Florida. Read more about how to submit a blog post here.

Kara Herbertson, Education Policy Analyst

By Kara in News, Resources
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Sec. Duncan, Experts Talk WIA and Jobs for Youth

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

As the country still struggles with the effects of the Great Recession, employment opportunities for less-seasoned workers are the hardest to find. Without prior job experience, teenagers face particularly bleak prospects. The current level of unemployment for teenagers is at an all-time high. Yesterday, Jobs for America’s Graduates, a non-profit organization, convened several governors, corporate executives and organization leaders to brainstorm ways to boost academic and economic outcomes for high-risk youth in the midst of the unemployment crisis.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan kicked off the event by reiterating a point that he frequently makes: successful local programs need to be taken to scale. When an attendee asked how to prepare high school students beyond academia, Duncan pointed to “great” Career Technical Education (CTE) and early college programs as ways to make school more relevant to students. Though the Secretary acknowledges the benefits of CTE, states and localities scramble to prepare for major funding cuts to CTE effective later this year.

A staffer from Senator Harkin’s office commented that Senators are now working on the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) to better leverage government resources and increase alignment between programs. He noted that many Senators were struck by the results of a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report that identified many areas of wasteful spending due to program overlap.

Speaker Boehner’s Assistant on Policy echoed that Republican Members feel justified in making cuts to job training programs because of the GAO report. She also stated that Perkins is not on the schedule for review in the near future.

Panelists and participants agreed that skilled positions must be presented as respectable career options for students. Many followed Duncan’s suggestions to replicate best practices, and some suggested that states make high-impact practices mandatory. Other ideas included: increasing service learning opportunities, raising the compulsory age for dropping out from age 16, and including graduation rates as an accountability measure. Though CTE was not a central part of the conversation, most participants agreed that job training and education, key aspects of CTE, must be further integrated.

By Kara in Legislation, News, Public Policy
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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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ACT Report Presents Workforce Skills Credentialing Framework

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

The shifting economy requires highly-skilled workers in areas of job growth, such as manufacturing, energy, information technology, and health care. But while job vacancies exist, employers continue to report that applicants’ skills do not match those needed to fill the empty positions. ACT, Inc., an education and workplace assessment company, recently released a framework that provides a first step to tackling this mismatch.

ACT’s report proposes the creation of a national credentialing system for workforce skills.

The report suggests reorganizing the credentialing system so that workers’ skills and credentials better align with the needs of industry. This would streamline the current approach by creating a nationally-recognized, stackable credentialing system. ACT suggests that workers begin by earning a “foundational skills credential,” and subsequently layer on more focused, job-specific credentials.

Ideally, implementation of the national workforce skills credentialing system would result in:

Click here to view the full report, Breaking New Ground: Building a National Workforce Skills Credentialing System.

By Kara in News
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A Model for Transforming Technical Education

Friday, July 9th, 2010

An automotive manufacturing technical program that joined governors, industry and community colleges to develop comprehensive education training could serve as a scalable model for other sectors to answer the high-demand for technical workers in the global economy.

The Automotive Manufacturing Technical Education Collaborative (AMTEC) program demonstrates how governors, industry and community colleges can work together to transform America’s workforce with better technical skills, according to a recent National Governors Association Center for Best Practices report. Through this model AMTEC has brought together automotive manufacturers and community colleges to identify and implement potential improvements within technical education, noted in the report, A Sharper Focus on Technical Workers: How to Educate and Train for the Global Economy.

AMTEC is a collaboration of community colleges and industry partners working to align automotive manufacturing programs to the growing needs within the automotive manufacturing technology field.

Some of the major lessons within this case study include:

An example within this report highlights the collaboration efforts between Toyota, located in Kentucky, and the Kentucky Community & Technical College System. Toyota partnered with the Kentucky Community College system because other schools were not providing the training Toyota was looking for. They challenged the school system to create a rigorous curriculum that would reflect the needs of their company, and the needs of the economy, so that students were better prepared for the workplace.

AMTEC’s model can transferred to other sectors of technical education because it focuses on meeting the needs of industry, employers and students by creating a standard for technical education, within each specific sector, where student performance can be assessed.

As the United States continues to advance with our global economy it is imperative that we recognize the importance of producing skilled workers. These kinds of partnerships are vital to the success of CTE, and America’s future workforce, as they demonstrate the value of CTE and how these programs will ensure the United States a place in this competitive global economy.

By Nancy in Public Policy, Resources
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