the Skills Crisis And Workforce
Challenges of the New World Economy
2, Number 7, 2008
submit articles and news items to Barbara
Bolin for inclusion in future newsletters and on the CRCC web
National WorkKeys Conference in
Indianapolis in April was a great success with approximately 700 attendees.
About 1/3 of these were first time attendees, and there were more
business representatives than ever before. Given the severe budget
restrictions facing many school and college districts and businesses,
this was testament to the power of the CRC/WorkKeys message.
Global Conference, July 9-11, 2008, Washington
symposium on international advances in career development and public
Innovations 2008, New Orleans, July 15-17.
are now open. Visit http://www.workforceinnovations.org
Employment and Training (SETA) Conference,
September 14-17 in Biloxi, MS
Workforce Development Partnership Conference,
October 22-24, in
Midwest WorkKeys™ conference will be hosted by the Oklahoma
Department of Commerce in partnership with the Oklahoma Chamber of
Commerce. The only details available so far are that the conference
will be at the end of October 2008 in Oklahoma
Tampa, FL, November 29-December 2, 2008. Visit www.nwaonline.org
for more details.
on Education and Work Careers Conference: From Inspiration to Application,
WI, January 27-28, 2009. The Call
for Proposals is now open.
Council on Competitiveness recently published Thrive:
The Skills Imperative .
The report warns that America
is facing a severe skills shortage, and that unless the country adopts
a national skills agenda, millions of US-based jobs, many in the service
economy, may be filled by educated foreign workers.
report also estimates that, at least through 2014, 40-45% of all
job openings in our economy will be in middle-skilled occupations,
1/3 will be in high-skilled jobs, and 22% will be low-skilled.
is therefore imperative that we educate students, parents, counselors,
and workforce development professionals in one-stop centers who
regularly push job seekers to get college degrees (as opposed to
post-secondary training/education) about the realities of the new
workplace. The retirement of baby-boomers (and consequent
vacancies) will be mainly in middle-skilled jobs, and 3/4 of all
jobs will be in the service economy. These jobs pay well and do
not require a full college degree. Most community colleges are responding
to these needs by providing education and training on a JIT basis,
but time and money are sometimes mis-used by putting dislocated
workers into lengthy degree programs. We must use our precious resources
wisely by starting with the end in mind, i.e. by considering exactly
what skills a re-training worker requires, and ensuring that appropriate
classes are prescribed. Pre-calculus, for example, is NOT needed
by someone who is learning how to repair solar panels!
- A 2007
Manpower report indicates that technicians, mechanics and machine
operators remain among the top 10 critical talent shortages. The complete
Sales representatives; 2. Teachers; 3. Mechanics; 4. Technicians;
5. Management; 6. Truck drivers--freight; 7. Drivers--delivery;
8. Accountants; 9. Laborers; 10. Machine operators.
the current shortage of well-qualified, dedicated teachers, not
just in the US but in most of the western world, it is encouraging
to finally see a future workforce report that lists the profession
on its Top 10 list.
that "the drop-out crisis has significant implications for workforce
readiness and the U.S. economy", Laura Stanford, President of
the AT&T Foundation announced plans for the Foundation to commit
$110 million to drop-out prevention. The AT&T Aspire
initiative inlcudes 4 main components: Grants to schools and non-profit
groups for programs that help students stay in school; Creation of
a company-wide job-shadowing program to help 100,000 students; Commissioning
national research to gather the perspective of school practitioners
on how to address the root causes of the drop-out issue; and Underwriting
assistance for America's Promise Alliance for staging 100
state and community drop-out prevention summits.
grants of $50,000-$100,000 for up to 4 years are available to support
existing successful high-school retention programs. If you are working
with your local school district on implementation of the CRC as
a way of bringing relevance to high school learning and as a stepping
stone into careers, you might consider putting in an application
corporate Foundations (e.g. Gates, Dell, GE, and others) have similar
grant programs that you might also consider.
again, the publishers of Education Week are giving you an opportunity
to experience their on-line version of this most informative journal.
From June 4-10, you can read it free at www.edweek.org.
One important part of this opportunity is that you can download all
archived materials FREE during this week so if you missed Diplomas
Count 2008 and would like a copy, if you want to explore the
new mapping feature that allows you to compare graduation rates across
the country, or if you would like to read and download older reports,
be sure to visit the site THIS WEEK.
we are talking about archived materials, please remember that previous
NOCC newsletters are available at the NOCC
January 2008, Softscape, a human capital software company released
results of a survey conducted among HR professionals. The results
indicated that a staggering 94% of the respondents do not feel that
their workforce is adequately prepared to meet the future goals of
their organization. The number one driver behind this concern was
the need to retain skilled staff, followed by finding top talent and
developing future leaders.
Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) report Workforce
Readiness and the New Essential Skills was released recently.
It is currently only available to SHRM members. The report emphasizes
that while the "flat world" concept (Thomas Friedman) focuses
on the level of excellence of workers within existing
skill areas, there is an equal concern about the movement toward
an entirely new set of required skills
that call for right-brained, conceptual ways of thinking (see Daniel
Pink's recent books). SHRM concludes that BOTH of these situations
are probably correct.
competition is forcing us to find ways of improving productivity,
encourage innovation, and to find and retain the most skilled workers.
The US is falling behind global competition in preparing young people
for the workplace and the economy of the future. In a 2007 report
from the OECD, Primary and Secondary Education in the United
States, concern was expressed that in international comparisons,
the performance of US students is "not especially good".
This seems to be an understatement when the US ranks 29th. on the
2007 PISA Science Competetencies for Tomorrow's World report,
with a mean score of 489 (statistically significantly below the
OECD average). Finland was first with a score of 563, with China
(Hong Kong) second (542), Canada (534) third, and Japan fifth with
SHRM report includes other useful information such as a ranked list
of in-demand skills as shown in its 2006 report, Are They Really
ready To Work? To refresh your memory, the top 10 skills
listed in that report are: Critical thinking/problem solving; IT
application; Teamwork/collaboration; Creativity/innovation; Diversity;
Leadership; Oral communications; Professionalism/work ethic; Ethics/social
responsibility; and Written communications.
surprising is that Mathematics, Reading comprehension, and Writing
in English rank 13, 14, and 15th. respectively. What does show clearly
though is that knowledge of any/all of these skills is no longer sufficient.
Employers are requiring that their employees demonstrate application
capabilities so that brings us back to the CRC concept of what people
can DO as opposed to only what they KNOW. Visit the SHRM
site for more useful information or to join the organization.
news from Wyoming! After working persistently, enthusiastically, and
regionally for many months, and issuing local CRCs from her college,
Neva Schwartz reports that a full state CRC initiative will begin
in June. This individual effort is typical of yet unique among CRC
Consortium members. Because of Neva's dedication and that of so many
of you, the CRC has become a major part of our national training and
development work. Congratulations to Neva and her colleagues in Wyoming.
Neva may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
in case you want to send news and congratulations to her directly.
Career Readiness Certificate: An Implementation Handbook (2nd. Edition,
by Barbara Bolin, is available for download from the NOCC
web site. Suggestions for future updates of the Handbook may
be submitted directly to the author.
NOCC has received queries and concerns regarding costs associated
with issuance of the National CRC. The ACTTM
web site shows a cost of $15 for printing each copy of a National
CRC on a private printer. The NOCC has not received any information
that contradicts this, but we have learned of at least two school
districts that have decided to issue local/state CRCs rather than
the National CRC to reduce these printing costs. If you have questions
on this topic, please contact your ACT representative directly.
you are issuing a "credit card" version of the CRC (i.e.
a plastic/laminated mini-version or some other facsimile of the paper
certificate), please click
here to let us know.
many states now have statewide contracts for CRC implementation and
training, it is surprising how many questions come into the NOCC from
hard-working individuals in those states who appear to be unaware
of these contracts and initiatives. We recognize that having a state
project does not necessarily translate into direct, practical assistance
at the local level, and we also recognize that in several instances,
local districts and organizations are preferring to "do their
own thing" rather than following state mandates, but we can't
help but think that there is a lack of meaningful communication and
marketing at the highest levels in a state or two.
NOCC exists to inform and assist in any way that we can in terms
of the CRC and other credentialing efforts, and to that end, we
put a lot of information on the CRC web site, www.crcconsortium.org.
We refer many people to the web site and we hope that others are
using it as the first place to go for help and contacts. The "News
From The States" page is particularly informative in terms
of statewide efforts. If you cannot find the information you need
on the web site, or if you would prefer a personal response, click
here to contact us.
Top 10 lists for CRC issuance will be forwarded to you soon. Our apologies
for not including them in this newsletter.
NOCC is now 1 year old. To celebrate and to continue our service to
you, we are having a spring fund-raising drive. Unlike National Public
Radio and PBS, we don't have tote bags or coffee mugs to give you for
your donation to the NOCC. All you get from the NOCC is: useful, up-to-date
information like you've just read, a web
site that informs the world of the terrific progress you are
making with the CRC and in other areas of economic development, prompt
responses to phone calls and e-mails,
answers to questions, research
conducted on your behalf, a forum that
announces your successes to the world, presentations
and writings that highlight your work,
and connections that are made for you across
the country and in other countries.
you value these services and would like to make a donation to help the
NOCC continue its work, please click
here for more details. When and how much you donate is entirely
up to you. Any and all donations are welcome. Thank you.
Thought for the Day:
quotes from employee performance evaluations:
He brings a lot of joy when he leaves the room
If you gave him a penny for his thoughts, you'd get change
Takes her 2 hours to watch "60 Minutes"
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NOCC is a 501(c)(3) organization supported by public donations. To make
a contribution to the NOCC, click
here, or call Barbara Bolin at 804-310-2552.
NOCC, June, 2008