Posts Tagged ‘LMI’

Aligning Career Pathways using Labor Market Information

Tuesday, May 4th, 2021

A career pathway is a progressive sequence of at least three courses that is aligned to high-skill, high-wage, in-demand occupations; spans secondary and postsecondary; reinforces academic learning with related work-based learning experiences; and embeds opportunities for students to earn both related postsecondary credit in a degree-granting program and industry-recognized credentials. 

An important factor in ensuring the alignment of high-quality career pathways is the use of labor market information (LMI). Due to the pandemic, we have witnessed a shift in many industries, which will undoubtedly affect the long-term outlook of the future of work. Now more than ever, it is imperative for state and local Career Technical Education (CTE) leaders to make data-driven decisions, consulting with industry partners to ensure each learner navigating through the career preparation ecosystem can succeed. 

Many states have shared their best practices for gathering and using LMI to build better pathways statewide in these times of uncertainty. 

In Indianapolis, Indiana, EmployIndy (a local workforce intermediary) provides labor market studies and reports on key sectors to increase access to and success in career pathways for local county residents, while supporting local employers’ talent needs. Based on stakeholder feedback to make the labor market data actionable, EmployIndy invested in its internal capacity to collect LMI and conduct its own research to better communicate what the LMI says with regards to the changes in the jobs themselves and the competencies demanded within those jobs. The goal is that both education and industry partners are better prepared to leverage the data to support learners, career pathways development, hiring and training.

Kentucky has partnered with multiple state agencies including the Kentucky Center for Statistics, or KYSTATS, to develop the state’s longitudinal data system. Through this ongoing effort, Kentucky was able to be responsive to the pandemic and future of work by using its one-stop shop for data sources and processes in place to determine if changes are needed to career pathways and what those changes should be. State leaders are now consulting the labor market data on a monthly basis as shifts in industries continue and will stay the course of making data-driven decisions on supporting and funding only those career pathways identified as aligned to good careers.

South Carolina has been reviewing its LMI and enrollment data with an intentional focus on ensuring equitable outcomes for each learner. As a result of data analysis, the state has scaled its credential offerings to build better pathways.

State and local CTE leaders must also remain committed to cross-system collaboration and engaging the industry sector to enhance LMI. 

The South Carolina Office of Career and Technical Education was flexible and nimble to the pandemic and decided to re-engage the state’s 12 regions to see if the pandemic was necessitating any revisions to the previously completed Comprehensive Local Needs Assessments (CLNAs). South Carolina hired a new business and industry liaison to help facilitate those discussions. A number of regions decided on revamping their career pathways and supports based on updated data and input from their industry and workforce partners.

Kentucky has multiple venues for incorporating the knowledge and expertise of industry partners into decisionmaking on career pathways. The Kentucky Workforce Innovation Board provides regular input and updates and the state established Business and Education Alignment Teams meet annually. These teams span across 11 industry areas. 

Today, Advance CTE released Practical Guidance for Aligning Career Pathways to Labor Market Data in the Time of COVID-19, the first in a series to build better pathways, that offers more promising practices for designing strong state and local practices for enhancing the career preparation ecosystem by leveraging LMI to align programs to high-skill, high-wage and in-demand occupations. View the brief here in the Learning that Works Resource Center. 

This resource is part of Advance CTE’s dedicated efforts to build high-quality, equitable career pathways through the New Skills ready network in partnership with JP Morgan Chase and Education Strategy Group.

Kate Kreamer, Deputy Executive Director 

By Brittany Cannady in Advance CTE Resources, COVID-19 and CTE, Publications
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NASDCTEc Legislative Update: House Education Committee Holds Perkins Reauthorization Hearing

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

United States CapitalYesterday morning, the House Education and the Workforce (HEW) Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education hosted the chamber’s first hearing related to the reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins) in the 114th Congress. This hearing is part of the HEW Committee’s larger efforts to reauthorize the law which has been due for renewal for several years.

The hearing titled, “Improving Career and Technical Education to Help Students Succeed in the Workforce” gave a platform to four expert witnesses to provide insights and perspectives on a number of important issues related to the CTE enterprise:

On the whole, the hearing focused primarily on specific efforts, initiatives, and programs in the CTE space that could be looked to as models for renewing aspects of the Perkins Act. Subcommittee Chairman, Todd Rokita (R-IN) framed the day’s discussion by talking about Congress’ bipartisan effort to pass the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) last year and the need to align Perkins to portions of that law in order to address the nation’s skills gap.

Dr. Huftalin kicked the day’s panel off by talking about SLCC’s innovative partnership with the Boeing Company—a relationship that evolved into the impressive Utah Aerospace Pathways program which strongly aligns secondary and postsecondary CTE coursework with the needs of the state’s aviation industry. As Dr. Huftalin pointed out in her remarks that, “Perkins funding was crucial for SLCC’s ability to maintain and grow key CTE programs for our students at a time when our enrollment was rapidly increasing.”

Former ACTE President and current leader of Meridian Technology Center in Stillwater, Oklahoma, Dr. Major followed by highlighting the critical importance of career exploration to his center’s success and called for the next iteration of Perkins to increase flexibility in supporting career awareness and guidance activities.

Dr. Ricks focused her comments on the need for Perkins to more seamlessly connect with state and local efforts to develop career pathways. She also emphasized CTE’s significant impact on student graduation rates, noting that minority student populations who have higher rates of high school non-completion would stand to benefit immensely from strong support for CTE programs via the Perkins Act.

Rounding off the opening statements was Mr. Johnson of NCCER who focused his remarks on the need for CTE programs to partner closely with members of the local business community. He also touched on the need to strengthen the CTE teacher pipeline in future legislation succinctly noting in part that, “. . . it’s easier to turn a pipefitter into a teacher than it is to turn a teacher into a pipefitter.”

Following these opening statements, the hearing was opened up to questions from committee members. HEW Chairman Kline (R-MN) questioned the witnesses on the extent to which they have partnered or engaged with the Workforce Development Boards authorized under WIOA. HEW Ranking Member Scott (D-VA) pursued a line of questioning focused on the need to ensure that CTE and core academics were appropriately integrated.

A large part of the discussion centered on the need to adequately fund CTE and the Perkins Act with House CTE-Caucus co-chair Rep. Langevin (D-RI) and Subcommittee Ranking Member Fudge (D-OH) each noting the negative impact that sequestration has had on the Perkins Act basic state grant program and the ability of CTE programs to meet increasing demand. Rep. Carter (R-GA) questioned whether moving Perkins to a competitive funding structure would address these concerns—all four witnesses strongly rejected this idea as it would undermine Perkins’ foundational support for CTE programs throughout the country.

Rep. Fudge, along with Reps. Clark (D-MA) and Bishop (R-MI) each had questions on how to effectively harness labor market information to ensure CTE programs relate to the needs of the economy. Another important dynamic of these discussions focused on how to appropriately balance the short-term job training needs of employers with the longer-term educational needs of students.

While much of the day’s conversation revolved around Perkins and CTE’s role in workforce development efforts, Rep. Bonamici (D-OR) reminded her colleagues that “the ‘E’ part in CTE stands for education, so we’re not trying to convert education into job training. This is about educating students to be prepared for whatever path they choose” as a way to bring the conversation back to how to most effectively support students for lifelong career success.

House CTE-Caucus co-chair and long-time champion of CTE in Congress, Rep. Thompson (R-PA) expanded on Dr. Major’s earlier point on the need for greater federal support for career counseling and advisement. He also emphasized the importance of engaging parents and families as a way to overcome lingering stigmas related to CTE.

Subcommittee Chairman Rokita ended the hearing with a simple question to the witnesses—‘what needs to be fixed in the Perkins Act?’

Dr. Huftalin focused her answer on future legislation more effectively aligning current Perkins accountability metrics to other federal programs and Dr. Ricks spoke about the need to better engage minority serving institutions at the secondary and postsecondary levels. Significantly, Dr. Major recommended to lawmakers that the next Perkins Act should focus on quality and called for future legislation to fund programs that are meeting minimum thresholds of excellence to ensure that students and employers alike benefit from high-quality CTE.

Watch the archived video of the hearing here. More information on everything else, included written testimony, can be found here.

Steve Voytek, Government Relations Manager

By Steve Voytek in News, Public Policy
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