Posts Tagged ‘skilled workforce’

Research Round-up: State and local government leaders should look to the “STARs” to address hiring woes.

Thursday, January 5th, 2023

Advance CTE’s “Research Round-Up” blog series features summaries of relevant research reports and studies to elevate evidence-backed Career Technical Educational (CTE) policies and practices and topics related to college and career readiness. This month’s blog highlights the benefits of skills-based hiring that closely aligns with Advance CTE’s vision for the future of CTE where statewide systems and institutions effectively support each learner to earn credentials that are counted, valued, and portable.

Public sector jobs are necessary for the continued function of our society, but they are struggling to maintain staffing. The Center for American Progress’s report, The Benefits of Skills-Based Hiring for the State and Local Government Workforce, recommends that “state and local government shift to using skills-based hiring practices to expand and diversify the hiring pool and meet the sector’s skills needs.” This shift would be a departure from the present trend of state and local agencies requiring degrees that act as a proxy for skills. Skills-based hiring is gaining momentum and early implementation has shown promise. Adopting a skills-based approach for employees can be accomplished through initiatives that are already established in many states such as upskilling, teaching an employee new skills at any point in their tenure, or registered apprenticeships, a formal model that combines on-the-job training, classroom instruction and wage progression. 

The Center for American Progress defines skills-based hiring as the practice of describing a job by the technical skills required to perform it. Employers use skills-based hiring practices to fill vacancies by assessing whether a candidate’s skillset aligns with those needed. This report suggests that skills-based hiring is mutually beneficial for institutions and job candidates. Removing the bachelor’s degree requirement on job listings has the potential to increase the talent pool of potential candidates for open public sector positions and position government institutions as more competitive employers.

 

Talent Pool Demographics

More than 70 million Americans are skilled through alternative routes (STARs), a term coined by Opportunity@Work in their report, Reach for the STARs: Realizing the Potential of America’s Hidden Talent Pool. These individuals have either a high school diploma, some college, an associate’s degree or other credentials, but they do not hold a bachelor’s degree, which is the typical educational screen employers put on job postings. This requirement acts as a barrier for workers who are skilled through alternative routes ineligible for public sector jobs.

*Opportunity@Work excludes 20 million workers under age 25 from its analysis of the labor force to ensure that the majority of the population studied has completed their education. **STARs are workers who have attained a high school diploma but not a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree. Chart: Center for American Progress  Source: Opportunity@Work, “Rise with the STARs,” available at https://opportunityatwork.org/our-solutions/stars-insights/rise-with-the-stars-report/ (last accessed October 2022).

By reconsidering degree requirements, public sector jobs can again be the engines of mobility they once were and reflect the demographics of the constituents they serve. The skills that STARs have built through alternative routes and pathways can be transferable from one job to another. 

*The proportion of Hispanic workers who are STARs is lower because Hispanic workers are less likely to have obtained a high school diploma. Source: Opportunity@Work, “STARsInsights,” available at https://opportunityatwork.org/our-solutions/stars-insights/hispanic-stars/ (last accessed October 2022); Opportunity@Work calculations based on U.S. Census Bureau, “ACS 1-Year Estimates Public Use Microdata Sample: YEAR 2021 ANALYZED,” available at https://data.census.gov/mdat/#/ (last accessed October 2022).

 

Skills-based hiring practices can make governments more competitive employers

State and local governments are facing a significant labor shortage as their workforce comes closer to retirement. Retiring workers (currently comprising twenty-eight percent of state and local government workforce) are far less likely to have a bachelor’s degree than younger workers. This suggests that the barrier to entry to these positions has increased over time and is not mandatory for these positions.

This report recommends the following five principles to make a skills-based hiring policy successful in state and local governments:

Additional resources about skills-based hiring can be found in Advance CTE’s Resource Center.

Amy Hodge, Policy Associate

By Jodi Langellotti in Research
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CTE Research Review

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Research Image_6.2013The U.S. Census Bureau released its long anticipated Measuring Alternative Educational Credentials: 2012, a study designed to measure the impact that non-academic or “alternative educational credentials” —including professional certifications, educational certificates and licenses— have on job placement, earnings and career advancement. Designed to establish the labor market value of alternative educational credentials, the study offers unique insight into the importance of educational achievement outside of and in conjunction with traditional measures such as high school diplomas, associate’s degrees, bachelor’s degrees, and advanced degrees.

The survey reveals that about one in four adults holds some form of alternative credential, and that these individuals represent a broad cross-section of the American workforce. Notably, the study revealed that an individual possessing an alternative credential was significantly more likely to be employed during the course of the study than an individual without one, and that among individuals with some college (but without a degree) or less, the possession of an alternative credential carried a significant earnings premium. A similar pattern also exists among those with professional degrees.

The report concludes that “while traditional educational attainment provides one route to a productive career, it is not the only path.” As the education system evolves and the market demands greater flexibility and expertise from job seekers, these data make a strong case for reexamining the definition of educational attainment, the value of professional certifications and the importance of Career Technical Education (CTE).

The Workforce Data Quality Campaign (WDQC) published Making Workforce Data Work on January 23, 2014. Along with a series of policy proposals, the report makes the case for accurate workforce data, revealing critical contributions workforce data can make to decision making among students, educators, policymakers and industry leaders.

WDQC’s proposals for improving current data collection practices are myriad, but are coherently distilled into a clear set of proposals. By adopting five key reforms, WDQC’s report lays out a pathway to significant improvement in workforce data management. In brief, they are:

1.     Including all students and pathways in charting student progress, not only those in K-12.

2.     Counting industry recognized credentials alongside traditional high school and college degrees in measuring academic achievement.

3.     Assessing employment outcomes for all participants, matching student records to wage records for all participants, allowing analysis of the impact education and training programs have on participants’ careers.

4.     Expanding use of labor market information so that stakeholders can assess the value of educational and training programs against the backdrop employer needs.

5.     Ensuring data access and appropriate use to enable stakeholders to identify programs that lead to individual success after completion.

The report continues with a series of policy proposals for federal and state reform, identifying actionable items to make the five goals outlined above a reality. Taken as a guidepost for future workforce data collection and analysis, the report’s proposals could change significantly how education and training decisions are made, and is worthy of consideration.

Earlier this month, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) unveiled Top 10 Higher Education State Policy Issues for 2014, its prospectus on the year ahead in higher education. In the report, AASCU identifies 10 key issues —including career technical education, STEM initiatives and promoting college readiness— likely to confront education policymakers over the next year.

The report identifies Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce’s projection that  nearly two-thirds of the occupations projected to grow the fastest by 2022 will require some form of postsecondary education as the main impetus for expanding the role of CTE in the year ahead.

Evan Williamson, Communications Associate

By admin in News, Research
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Republican Platform Highlights CTE

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

With the presidential election just around the corner, convention season is upon us. Republicans are meeting in Tampa this week to formally nominate Governor Mitt Romney as the party’s candidate for President. Part of the convention process includes releasing the party’s “platform” or statement of principles. The Republican party’s platform covers a broad swath of issues, including education, jobs and the economy, agriculture, and government reform. The party’s education plank underscores the value of CTE in preparing students for the workplace:

School choice—whether through charter schools, open enrollment requests, college lab schools, virtual schools, career and technical education programs, vouchers, or tax credits—is important for all children, especially for families with children trapped in failing schools…We support the promotion of local career and technical educational programs and entrepreneurial programs that have been supported by leaders in industry and will retrain and retool the American workforce, which is the best in the world.

The platform also states the party’s belief that the status quo is not working for the higher education system, and calls for “new systems of learning” that can compete with traditional four-year institutions, including community and technical colleges, private training schools, and work-based learning in the private sector. The party also believes that the acquisition of advanced skills is necessary for the 21st century economy, and should focus on STEM fields.

Democrats will convene in Charlotte next week to officially nominate President Obama as their candidate, at which time they are expected to release their party’s platform.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

 

By admin in Public Policy
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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 admin in Legislation
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