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

Newsletter

Volume 2, Number 3, 2008

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

 

In this issue:

  • Conference News
  • Workforce Development News
  • Update from the CRC Consortium

CONFERENCE NEWS

  • The Southeastern WorkKeys Conference was a great success again this year. Congratulations to the hard-working professionals who made our time in Chattanooga an outstanding experience. Conference organizers reported 339 registrations and the program was packed with very helpful presentations from new and experienced WorkKeys users. Once again, the main topic of discussion was the Career Readiness Certificate, and as a result of the particiaption of the NOCC, our mailing list has swelled significantly. Welcome to our new readers, and a reminder that the NOCC maintains the CRC Consortium web site. Please send your CRC news and numbers updates to NOCC.
  • The next Southeastern WorkKeys Conference will be held in the late January/February 2009 timeframe in Jacksonville, FL. More details as they come to hand.
  • The National WorkKeys Conference will be held in Indianapolis, April 29-May 2, 2008. Details may be found at http://www.act.org/workkeys/conf/index/html. The program this year will feature many new presenters so these practitioners may well provide new information and insights.
  • The Global NCDA conference will be held at the Hyatt Regency in Washington, DC July 9-11, 2008. The main theme is Public Policy and Advocacy: Finding Our Voice and Making It Heard
  • The ASTDTechKnowledge conference is to be held in San Antonio, TX, February 26-28, 2008. For more details, visit www.astd.org.
  • The Call for Presentations for the 2008 ACTE Convention is now open. The deadline for submission is March 7th. More details at www.acteonline.org.
  • Registrations are now open for the National Workforce Association conference to be held in tampa, FL, November 29-december 2, 2008. Visit www.nwaonline.org for more details.

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT NEWS

  • Career Development Facilitator Credential
    According to the web site for the National Career Development Association (NCDA) and related training sites, the occupational title Career Development Facilitators (CDF's) designates individuals working in a variety of career development settings.
    A CDF may serve as a career group facilitator, job search trainer, career resource center coordinator, career coach, career development case manager, intake interviewer, occupational and labor market information resource person, human resource career development coordinator, employment/placement specialist, or workforce development staff person.
    The counseling profession has made great progress in defining professional counseling and the career counseling specialty through such efforts as NCDA's career counseling competencies (see below) and code of ethics, and state licensing and registry requirements. However, several professional groups recognized that many individuals who are currently providing career assistance are not professional counselors.
    The CDF credential was developed to provide standards, training specifications and credentialing for these career providers. The goal was to define and differentiate two levels of career practice--career development facilitator and master trainer.
    Training as a CDF requires approximately 150 hours of college credit study, and it is offered through universities and on-line.
    While there are many web sites that will provide you with additional information about this terrific credential and associated training, it is recommended that you begin at www.ncda.org

CDF COMPETENCIES (Reproduced from www.careerdevelopmentfacilitator.com

Helping Skills - must be proficient in the basic processes of career facilitation.
Labor Market Information (LMI) and Resources - must understand key labor market and occupational information and trends and be able to access and use current resources.
Assessment - must comprehend and be able to use both formal and informal career development assessment tools and resources appropriately, understanding how different approaches to assessment can impact different populations.
Working with Diverse Populations - must be able to recognize the special needs of various groups and adapt service menus to meet unique needs.
Ethical and Legal Issues - Follow the CDF code of ethics and know current legislative regulations.
Career Development Theories and Models - must be able to identify the leading theories of career development and understand how each can be used at different times to facilitate career development across a wide population group(s).
Employability Skills - must know and be able to use a variety of job search strategies and placement techniques, especially in working with diverse or specific groups of customers or clients.
Training Clients and Peers - must be able to identify training and development needs, and prepare and develop materials in support of training programs or for special presentations.
Program Management and Implementation - must understand a variety of different career development programs and be able to assist in the steps related to successful development, management, or administration.
Promotion and Public Relations - must know how to market and promote career development programs with staff, supervisors, and the local community (public) served.
Technology and Career Development - must be able to identify, comprehend, and use computer applications that support and enhance career development processes.

Consultation/Supervision - must be able to identify when the limits of personal expertise are reached and be able to accept suggestions for performance improvement from consultants or supervisors

  • According to several reports, the hottest skill in the workplace now, regardless of the actual job description, is the ability to work well with others. While we all think we are good at that, it is wise to look at exactly what that means in the modern workplace. Here are some definition suggestions:
    1. Speaking and writing in a way that customers, clients, and others can understand what you mean, and that you communicate often enough that others do not feel left out.
    2. Being able to work through difficult issues with customers, clients, and co-workers without screaming at each other.
    3. Knowing how to get your point across while preserving relationships.

Thomas Friedman talks about this ability to "play with others" in his book The World Is Flat, and he states that "Although having good people skills has always been as asset in the working world, it will be even more so in a flat world". He goes on to say, "There are going to be a whole slew of new middle jobs that involve personalized, high-touch interactions with other human beings because it is precisely those personalized high-touch interactions that can never be outsourced or automated and are almost always necessary at some point in the value chain".

In this age of e-mail and other forms of non- face-to-face communication, we all need to think about how our message and delivery might affect or be perceived by the recipient.

  • Apparently many employers are not sold on the value of credentials achieved through online learning. Mary Bold, an Associate Professor of Family Studies at Texas Women's University teaches both online and on campus, and she reports that neither employers nor learners are convinced that online learning is mainstream. Bold states that when it is done right, online learning is often superior to landbased classes. However, she also remarks that many weaker students flounder in online courses and lazy instructors often produce bad online courses.

    Margaret DeFleur, Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research at Louisiana State University and D. Jonathan Adams at Florida State University have conducted research into employer attitudes toward online education. Adams reports that employers are "far less likely" to find an online degree as acceptable. "Such degrees are perceived as being inferior" he says. Employers who had taken an online course themselves were just as likely to hold this view.

When comparisons are made across various employment sectors the following statistics arise:

University employers would choose candidates with traditional degrees 98% of the time, businesses 96%, and healthcare organizations 93% of the time over candidates with online degrees. The biggest weakness in online learning is perceived to be the lack of face-to-face classroom interaction.

CRC Consortium News

  • The Governor of Arkansas initiated his statewide CRC deployment project by personally awarding the first CRC at a ceremony in January. Congratulations to all our hard-working colleagues in that state, and to the first recipients of the certificate. Arkansas has now moved into the full deployment column of the CRC matrix, and we look forward to hearing regular news on the number of certificates issued.
  • As reported in the last newsletter, the Consortium has now grown to 46 states with the inclusion of Connecticutt. The Department of Labor in that state is planning to issue CRC's to its TANF clients. Thank you to those who responded to Victor Fuda's request for assistance in the process. Your enthusiasm and willingness to assist others in the "family" is what makes the CRC Consortium a unique organization.
  • Several new names have been added to the NOCC mailing list, and we welcome those additions. News from all NOCC supporters is needed, so send your information in today!
  • Our first overseas CRC enquiry came from the Caribbean recently!
  • The State of Oregon is moving ahead with Phase I of its implementation of the CRC. Elaine Crawley in OR is working closely with Marcia Olsen in Alaska as the two states are similar in certain CRC ways. This is another example of the power of the Consortium!
  • And speaking of Alaska, there is good news on the CRC front. The Alaska Career Ready Program is now underway, and for more information on this partnership approach to economic development, visit http://www.ltgov.state.ak.us/news.php?id=3656.
  • I have often reminded NOCC supporters about how important our web page is and how much it is relied upon. The contact information (www.crcconsortium.org/contacts/htm) is particularly important. For example, Susan Kuzmic in OK would like to get in touch with colleagues in Iowa, North Texas, and Nebraska. If you can help her, and if you can assist me to keep the contact information current, we would both be very grateful. Thank you.
  • Several NOCC supporters and others have enquired about the second edition of the CRC Implementation Handbook. Because of minor technical difficulties and my travel schedule, it will now be available for downloading before the end of this month. I apologize for the delay. If you would like a copy of the first edition, I have a few copies left and I would be happy to mail one to you. E-mail me with your postal address, please.

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© NOCC, January 2008