Confronting the Skills Crisis And Workforce
Challenges of the New World Economy

Newsletter

Volume 4, Number 1, February 2011

Please submit articles and news items to the NOCC office for inclusion in future newsletters and on the CRCC web site.

Previous NOCC newsletters are available at the NOCC/Resources site.

In this issue:

  • Conference News
  • Workforce Development News
  • CRC Consortium News

CONFERENCE NEWS

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT NEWS

  • Hans Meeder ( Meeder Consulting Group) expresses thought-provoking ideas and comments in his blog MeederMindWorks. In the latest postings, he addresses the possible effects of the Great Recession on the ambitions and outlook of the youth of this time--the Millenials who for several years have been castigated as being lacking in ambition and taking good times and affluence for granted. Extracts from the latest blog appear below:

". . . there are millions of youths trapped in poverty — both urban and rural. For young people of color, this trap is rooted in a historical context of racial discrimination and social injustice. For non-minorities, racism may not be the driving factor, but through family dysfunctions and other difficult experiences, the family has fallen into a cycle and culture of poverty".

"The good news about the Great Recession is that the illusion of false affluence has been broken – or at least significantly cracked. Young people in middle and upper classes might now realize that wealth is not a natural right of living in America.

The bad news, I’m less sanguine about the other part of the equation — whether our young people (and particularly those from a family history of poverty) possess a sense of American opportunity and efficacy. I think this is what we call the American Dream. The American Dream is not as simple as going to college, or owning a house, or raising a family. It is really about the sense that ‘I can make my life better.’"

Hans challenges us all to answer the question--

"How do we restore a sense of the American Dream — opportunity and efficacy — for our America’s youth?"

In a continuation of this blog, Hans will report on examples of educational initiatives that seek to address the issue. Click here for more information and to subscribe to the blog.

  • The January 2011 report Quality Counts from Education Week has an ominous headline--Uncertain Forecast: Education Adjusts To a New Economic Reality.

    In addition to the usual annual letter-grade scoring of states' educational performance, there are several articles that highlight the interconnections between the larger economy and education. The survey shows that only modest policy changes have been instituted as schools strive to keep programs afloat during very difficult fiscal times. For many school districts and colleges, reductions in their tax base have necessitated heart-rending decisions to cut both programs and personnel.

    For example, a number of rural Nevada districts have moved to a 4-day school week, Missouri cut its transportation budget roughly in half, Washington state suspended programs to reduce class size and to provide professional development to faculty, and Virginia cut $341 million for school support staff members.

    These difficulties are forcing new conversations about setting priorities based on the answers to the question "What do we want to do, and how do we allocate resources to achieve those goals?" If you are an administrator in a district that is struggling with this issue, you might consider attending the Education Week Leadership Forum Innovation Insight. See conference news above for details.

  • The nation overall received a C in the Quality Counts annual survey from Education Week. No state ranked higher than a B+, and once again, Maryland came out top of the list, that is shown below:

    1. Maryland B+ (87.6)
    2. New York B (84.7)
    3. Massachusetts B (82.6)
    4. Virginia B- (81.8)
    5. Florida B- (81.5)
    6. Arkansas B- (81.4)
    7. New Jersey B- (80.7)
    8. Georgia B- (80.5)
    9. Pennsylvania B- (80.1)
    10. West Virginia B- (79.9)
    11. Ohio B- (79.8)
    12. Vermont B- (79.7)
    13. Texas C+ (78.8)
    14. Indiana C+ (78.6)
    15. South Carolina C+ (78.3)
    16. Connecticut C+ (78.3)
    17. Oklahoma C+ (78.1)
    18. Wisconsin C+ (77.8)
    19. North Carolina C+ (77.8)
    20. Hawaii C+ (77.6)
    21. Louisiana C+ (77.6)
    22. Delaware C+ (77.5)
    23. Tennessee C+ (77.4)
    24. Michigan C+ (77.2)
    25. Alabama C+ (76.8)
    26. Iowa C+ (76.7)
    27. Maine C+ (76.6)
    28. New Hampshire C (76.3)
    29. Wyoming C (76.3)
    30. California C (76.2)
    31. Rhode Island C (75.7)
    32. New Mexico C (75.7)
    33. Washington C (75.4)
    34. Kentucky C (75.2)
    35. North Dakota C (74.9)
    36. Minnesota C (74.6)
    37. Kansas C (74.4)
    38. Missouri C (73.9)
    39. Colorado C (73.7)
    40. Illinois C (73.0)
    41. Utah C- (72.4)
    42. Arizona C- (71.5)
    43. Oregon C- (71.5)
    44. Idaho C- (71.2)
    45. Nevada C- (70.7)
    46. Alaska C- (70.7)
    47. Montana C- (70.4)
    48. Mississippi C- (70.0)
    49. South Dakota D+ (69.2)
    50. District of Columbia D+ (69.1)
    51. Nebraska D+ (68.6)

Note: States are ranked based on unrounded scores.

CRC CONSORTIUM NEWS

  • If you are currently implementing the CRC in your state or organization, you will find The Career Readiness Certificate: An Implementation Handbook very helpful It is available as a FREE download from the Resources tab of the NOCC site.
  • Recently, it was reported to the NOCC that the NCRC is sometimes promoted as a "different level" of certification from the CRC. This is not true because the two certificates are identical and, as demonstrated in many places (the Commonwealth of Virginia, for example) where the NCRC has NOT been adopted, the CRC is continuing to be very helpful to employers and job seekers, as it has been since 2004.
  • After enquiries from Doug Cullen of the Pinkerton Academy Career & Technical Education Center in New Hampshire, that state has been included in the Consortium. Please feel free to contact Doug with any advice you might have regarding local deployment of the CRC.
  • Recent NOCC presentations at career and adult education conferences have greatly increased interest in and enthusiasm for the CRC, and we welcome several new subscribers to our newsletter mailing list. Watch for updates and news from those new CRC deployments. Remember that the NOCC can help with CRC slides, information, and informative on-site presentations in your location.
  • Several states are now offering industry-specific certificates called the CRC+ to address trainability issues in health care, hospitality, manufacturing, apprenticeships, and so on. Some are also adding soft skill assessments (these are NOT certifications) to create a CRC+. It is worth stating again that any additions to the clearly-defined CRC require that the certificate be called a CRC+.
  • There are now several state web sites that do not include a searchable CRC database that allows an outsider to see how many CRCs have been issued in that state. On several sites, it is difficult to find any information at all about the CRC. Because the CRC is a terrific economic development tool, it is highly recommended that each state develop a database of CRC results. Having this information on the ACT web site is important but it is NOT where potential business owners will go if they are looking to move to your state.

    Very few resources are required to put up the database as the technology is available FREE from other states. Stephanie Deese in NC is happy to share that state's site. All that is needed is a unique front page "look and feel" for your state.

  • The NOCC maintains the CRC Consortium web site, including the matrix that shows the number of CRCs that have been issued. For states that do not have an on-line database, the NOCC relies on updates from state and local representatives. For many states, no reports have come in for several months. If the numbers for your state are out of date, please send an update as soon as you can. Thank you.
  • The Top 10 list of states issuing the CRC will return in the next newsletter after updates have been received from state representatives.
  • Since January, there have been significant changes in workfore development agencies and in CRC offices across the country. Please send updated information on state contacts and other news to the NOCC as soon as you can.
  • Many state CRC web sites now show direct links to the NOCC (www.nationalOCC.org) and the CRC Consortium (www.crcconsortium.org) sites. These links have greatly increased web traffic and have made it much easier for the public to obtain information on the certificate. Thank you for your help. If you do not have either/both of these links on your site, we would be grateful if you would add them. The NOCC logo is available for downloading at theResources tab at the web site.

 

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© NOCC, February 2011