the Skills Crisis And Workforce
Challenges of the New World Economy
3, Number 3, April 2009
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Antonio, TX, May 12-15, 2009. www.act.org
Career Development Association (NCDA), St.
Louis, MO, July 1-3, 2009 , www.ncda.org
Innovations 2009, Phoenix,
AZ, July 21-23, 2009. www.workforceinnovations.org.
is considerable nationwide interest in preparing the workforce beyond
technical skill sets, and this approach is supported by the new federal
funding streams that address economic stimulus. The topic of Life
Skills is now being emphasized, and there are some terrific
efforts to address this broader issue in workforce development. Many
of you were introduced to Starting
Out! at the recent Southeastern WorkKeys Conference in
FL, and there was a positive response to state-specific
materials for high school students, Navigating Life After Graduation
and Building Essential Life Skills. These life skills
materials include previously unaddressed topics such as housing; wellness;
researching careers; interviews; employment rights and responsibilities;
social security; workers' compensation; citiznship responsibilities
and benefits; health care; the consumer role; insurance; saving and
investing; emergency preparedness; volunteerism; conservation; social
and peer issues; money, banking and credit; taxes; public service;
NOCC has learned that the Starting
Out! offerings have now been expanded significantly to
include web-based offerings and assessments, and to address additional
specific state information. Check out the web
site for more information on materials for:
Potential employees (Starting Out--In the Workplace),
(--After Military Service),
employees (--In Banking),
previously incarcerated (--Re-entry)
2010 editions are already available.
know of any other particular need (your state-specific editions or
professions such as health care, teaching, etc.), please contact Starting
Out! directly because they are able to develop appropriate
on-line and hard copy materials very quickly. Look for the Starting
Out! display at the National WorkKeys Conference next month.
is reported in the
April 8 edition of Education Week that Martha
J. Kanter, the chancellor of the Foothills-DeAnza Community
College District in CA has been appointed to the third highest position
in the US Department of Education. Ms. Kanter will oversee the higher
education portfolio as an Under-Secretary of Education. This appointment
emphasizes President Obama's commitment to and reliance on community
colleges as a major component of the higher education system. Approximately
half of the nation's undergraduates come out of community colleges,
with an additional 5 million other adults attending to obtain job
skills and GEDs.
reported in Education Week are the results of a survey conducted
by the American Association of School Administrators. Superintendents
were asked to prioritize projects in their districts that would be
funded by federal stimulus funds. The following projects were allocated
a High Priority rating:
Modernization of schools and repairs
Safety and security measures
Connectivity (wiring, etc.)
Machines (copiers, faxes, etc.)
CTE instructional materials
CTE equipment at the bottom of the list
results are very worrying to many people who see an old trend
surfacing once again.
Nair raises his concerns about the trend above in "Don't
Just Rebuild Schools--Reinvent Them", the Commentary
section of the Education Week magazine. He states that
"If we simply repair broken structures, we will ignore the real
problems with American education while giving renewed life to a model
of teaching and learning that has been obsolete since the end of the
industrial era." Read the full commentary by clicking here.
Obama Administration has outlined four education "reform assurances"--teacher
quality, strengthening standards and assessments, turning around low-performing
schools, and enhancing data systems. These are laudable goals but
unfortunately, "teacher quality" has been translated into
assessing teacher performance AFTER the teachers are in the classroom.
It is disappointing to many who are involved in teacher preparation
that more emphasis is not being placed on improved recruitment of
more high quality students, higher selection standards, and better
training BEFORE teachers are allowed into classrooms.
networking sites like Facebook, and MySpace, are very popular but
they get mixed reviews. Some people see these applications as a curse
on our society while others--including employers--see them as having
a significant ROI for businesses. Now those employers are being asked
to justify these ROI claims. In the March edition of Information
Week, Andrew Conry-Murray makes the following claims
about consumer social applications:
They can "bridge geographical and organizational information
divisions by moving conversations out of e-mail and hallways and
into shared spaces" (blogs, etc.);
Conversations "become searchable and serendipitous connections"
are often made;
Communities of interest spring up around subject matter rather than
Social apps. let people "add context to informational stores
which helps others identify what's useful to them and can make search
results more relevant";
People can share links to a content source;
Enterprise social networking helps people to find and connect with
co-workers who may have useful information or previous experience
with a client or branch of research;
Customers and employees can share information and ideas on how to
improve products and services;
Employers do not need to buy additional software or hardware to
improve IT performance to provide connectivity.
one of the big three credit report companies that runs on a lot of
custom software code, has released ROI data that show an estimated
$2.5 million in savings after spending about $50,000 on a social networking
platform. These savings come from buying less "stuff" to
improve IT performance.
company is studying usage data to learn who is best at solving business
problems that have been raised in the social network. As a consequence,
TransUnion is experimenting with new job descriptions to emphasize the
problem-solving component of jobs.
CRC Consortium now includes 47 states! The NOCC has added Hawaii to
the CRC Consortium. Stay tuned for more details on CRC deployment
in that state. Click here
for the revised Consortium matrix. Contact the NOCC if your state
is not placed correctly.
is making great progress with 45 sites now issuing the CRC. The state
total reported last week is 562 certificates but that number will
be increasing quickly now that the ground work has been done and efforts
are truly underway. Visit the state web site at http://wyomingworkforce.org/crc/
exciting news from Oregon! Elaine Crawley, the CRC Coordinator
for the state reports that on April 9 Gov. Kulongoski signed
the first Oregon Career Readiness Certificates and these were
awarded to 256 Oregonians. He also announced that 31 businesses
in the state have signed on as champions of the OCRC and will
use the OCRC in their hiring practices.
excerpt from the Governor's press release follows:
“This certificate is designed to further
develop an Oregon workforce ready to meet the needs of the changing
global economy and workplace,” Governor Kulongoski said.
“During this difficult economic time, this program will
also serve as a tool to help connect Oregonians looking for
work with employers looking for a skilled workforce.”
“Oregon needs to ensure we have the best trained and a
highly qualified workforce if we want to compete in a global
marketplace,” the Governor continued. “This program
will help us measure the skills of Oregon’s workforce
while also helping Oregonians obtain the further education and
training they need to obtain higher wage jobs.”
The Oregon Career Readiness Certificate was initiated with the
Governor’s Workforce Investment Act funds and will continue
to be funded through workforce dollars provided in the American
Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
you have not done so, please join the CRC User's group on Yahoo. If
you have already joined, please remember to bookmark/check the site
for information and to address issues posted there. This forum will
be ineffective as a communication tool unless the majority of consortium
states are represented.
states were recently moved from the middle column to the first column
in the matrix of states as deployment of the CRC has progressed dramatically.
There are now 22 states in the full deployment column.
you are planning to attend the National WorkKeys Conference next month,
be sure to correct anyone who asserts that the NCRC is the only portable
CRC being issued. As we all know, hundreds of thousands of state and
local CRCs have been issued since 2004 with no portability problems
being reported by the recipients.
you have not yet done so, please download the NOCC
logo to your state web site and create a link to the site. Please
also add a link to the CRC Consortium site (www.crcconsortium.org).
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NOCC, April 2009