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

Newsletter

Volume 2, Number 9, August 2008

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

 

In this issue:

  • Conference News
  • Workforce Development News
  • CRC Consortium News
  • Suggested Readings

CONFERENCE NEWS

  • State and Regional Summits--Professional Learning Communities, discussions and break-outs on the PLC at WorkTM model; Great Lakes Summit, September 24-27, Dearborn, MI; Missouri State Summit, October 22-25, St. Louis; Washington State Summit, November 12-15; www.go.solution-tree.com/Summits
  • The 2008 Summit on Economic and Workforce Development (October 27-28, Oklahoma City) is presented as the combination of the Oklahoma Governor’s Summit on Economic and Workforce Development and the Midwest Regional WorkKeys Conference.
  • Southeastern Employment and Training (SETA) Conference, September 14-17 in Biloxi, MS
  • ACTE Convention & Career Tech Expo, Charlotte, NC, December 4-6. Daniel Pink and William Daggett are featured speakers. Visit http://www.acteonline.org/conference/ for more information
  • NC Workforce Development Partnership Conference, October 22-24, in Greensboro, NC
  • Michigan WorkKeys Conference, Good To Gold, November 19-20, Warren, MI. The Call for Presentations is open now. Click here or call Cindy Lehrer at 517-244-1338
  • National Workforce Association conference, Tampa, FL, November 29-December 2, 2008. Visit www.nwaonline.org for more details.
  • Center on Education and Work Careers Conference: From Inspiration to Application, Madison, WI, January 27-28, 2009. The Call for Proposals is now open. The deadline is August 29th.
  • 5th. Annual Southeastern WorkKeys Conference, February 4-6, 2009, Wyndham Jacksonville Riverwalk Hotel, Jacksonville, FL. The deadline for proposals is September 30, 2008. Visit www.southeasternworkeysconference.com for more details.

 

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT NEWS

  • The first item under Conference News might be worth further investigation. The concept of a learning community is not just another buzzword although the term may not be used when it is being put into practice. More and more commonly, cities and regions are consolidating resources, forming partnerships, and coming together for the mutual benefit of residents and students. While this may be spurred initially by financial considerations, the result is often a hub of intellectual, social, and economic activity that results in better-informed career seekers, better educated/trained potential and incumbent workers, and more vibrant economies. The original function of University Centers at community colleges, one-stop career centers on college and high school campuses, advanced technology centers and multi-institution training centers (MITCs) is often quickly expanded to include activities that encompass the arts, the economy, and social activities.
  • Revisiting Professional Learning Communities at Work: New Insights For Improving Schools is the latest publication by Richard DuFour, Rebecca DuFour, and Robert Eaker. Look for a review in this newsletter soon.
  • To get another perspective on the younger generation, their goals, and approaches to learning and work you might like to add Millenials Go To College 2 to your reading list. An extract is available at the NOCC web site under Resources, courtesy of Lansing Community College.
  • In our hurry to fill openings in vital areas such as health care, a considerable amount of money may well be wasted if we do not ensure that we are spending precious resources on people who are capable but are not prepared. It is very common for students to be placed in training programs in community colleges without the necessary educational pre-requisites. The result is often a painful situation when the student's technical and professional training sequence hinges on passing a single academic class for which he/she has not been prepared. The stress on student and instructor is very often enormous. There are two obvious solutions. One is to ensure that each student has ALL the necessary academic pre-requisites BEFORE either starting or completing more than half of the technical training. The other is to revisit the academic requirements for the training program. An assessment of the skills required ON THE JOB may well show that an academic course is too detailed or not necessary. Substitution of a more realistic course of study would result in an increased graduation rate and a well-prepared, UNSTRESSED, competent employee.
  • A recent (radio) report from US military sources reveals that many potential recruits are denied due to poor academic capabilities. Gone are the days of military service as a viable alternative to other employment for the less academically able or the poor student! The current academic standards are NOT much higher than they used to be. The military sources state that it is more likely a case of lack of preparation in our school systems. And the problem is further exacerbated by the poor level of physical fitness for training in our youth. Whether you are a proponent of military service or not, as a person interested in the economic future of our country, you should be concerned about the content of this report.
  • A new publication, It's The Educonomy, Stupid! is now available. As the title suggests, this is an intelligent treatise on the connections between education, economic development, and workforce development. The WIN, IncTM publication is distributed by CareerFirst.
  • You recently received information on Career Development Facilitator training offered in WI. This terrific program is also offered in both classroom and e-learning formats, and for bachelor's and master's credit, through Oakland University in MI. Click here or contact Cathy Smith for more details.

CRC CONSORTIUM NEWS

  • The excerpt below is part of a press release that heralded the official kick-off for the Wyoming statewide CRC initiative. It is good to hear this degree of understanding of the role of the CRC from a governor!

    In a news conference yesterday in the State Capitol, the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services joined Gov. Dave Freudenthal, Wyoming community colleges, the Wyoming Department of Education and the Wyoming Department of Corrections in launching the Career Readiness Certificate program.

    "This is one of those things that wins all the way around, and it is a practical, identifiable step," said Gov. Freudenthal. "People will say, 'Well does this solve workforce?' No, it doesn't, but what it does is put in context that you are not going to solve workforce. Just like every other problem we confront there isn't a silver bullet, there is a series of steps that you are going to take that will ultimately lead you to an improved circumstance. But those steps have to be concrete, they have to be real, and they have to be steps that I think are based on partnership, and I think that this particular program has all of those."

    During the press conference, the first Career Readiness Certificates were signed by the Governor.

    Contact Neva Schwartz for more information.

  • For those who may have missed it in the last newsletter, here again is the link for the CRC article published in the July 9 edition of Inside Higher Ed. Articles are archived daily on this e-newsletter so you can find it here.
  • As a result of this article, the NOCC office has received many phone calls and e-mails from around the country and overseas. I have referred everyone of the correspondents to the CRC web site for more information, although many of them have already visited the site. The NOCC receives compliments on the quality and currency of the site so it is imperative that the news be as up-to-date as possible. In response to a request last month, the NOCC office received several updates on news and CRC numbers. Thanks to those who responded. We would still like to receive news and updates from the following states: CO, NM, AR, WA, OH, GA, LA, KY, TN, IA and UT.
  • Thanks to Stephanie Deese and author Pam Gobel, you may read a summary of the evolution of the CRC in North Carolina from July 2006 to the present time. Look for it on the NOCC web site under Resources. This document is a chronological, bulleted list so it's easy to read and is a terrific reference. There are some great ideas for different, innovative ways to use the CRC.
  • Bill Gregoricus is with the Governor's Office in TN, and he is a strong supporter of WorkKeys and the CRC. He is interested in hearing from anyone in the CRC Consortium who has used the CRC with the incarcerated. Please contact Bill directly if you can help him.
  • The Council on Labor and Economic Growth in MI has recommended that the third WorkKeys assessment, Locating Information, be given to high school students in the state (in addition to RFI and AM already required) and that the NCRC be issued to successful graduates. This will strengthen the quality of the potential workforce in a state that is in desperate need of an economic boost. Hopefully, the CRC data will encourage businesses to locate in the state, and existing businesses to expand or remain in the state.
  • Because of the delay in transferring the CRC web site to a new server, you may not have been keeping up with the latest numbers from across the country. Considering that there is usually a slow-down during the summer months, the progress continues to be extraordinary! Click here to see the latest matrix of CRC numbers.
  • Until the server transfer is completed, please access the CRC Consortium web site by clicking here.

 

SUGGESTED READINGS

  • www.Inside Higher Ed.com
  • Revisiting Professional Learning Communities at Work: New Insights For Improving Schools by Richard DuFour, Rebecca DuFour, and Robert Eaker
  • Millenials Go To College 2, Neil Howe and William Strauss
  • Education Week, available at 55% savings now at www.educationweek.org/go/subscribe. You can receive both hard copy and an electronic version.
  • It's The Educonomy, Stupid! available here.

NOCC Thought For The Day:

"If climate change is a hoax, it's the greatest hoax ever perpetrated. Where's the downside? . . . In our lifetime, the population of the world will have tripled. The demand for resources, the demand for energy, the demand for goods and services, will be so enormous that having clean power, efficient power systems, and smart grids is going to be a huge advantage in the world we're going into--even if global warming doesn't exist at all."

Thomas Friedman, Reader's Digest, August 2008.

Look for Friedman's new book, Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need A Green Revolution--and How It can Renew America, due out next month.

 

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© NOCC August, 2008