McKinsey Center for Government published Education to Employment: Designing a System that Works in December 2012. This is a fantastic report for those of you at the table for policy discussions. A team from McKinsey sought to understand the crisis and paradox of high youth unemployment levels and high numbers of unfilled jobs - commonly expressed as the skills gap. They looked at systems across nine countries - Brazil, Germany, India, Mexico, Morocco, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, and the United States - to frame the situation and look for promising practices to scale up. Take a look at the six highlights in the executive summary on pages 18-21, and spend a few minutes with the diagram of their framework on page 26. Their survey and this report seek to provide data in a space with little data. I was particularly encouraged how well their findings dovetail with our vision of Talent SCM. This is a wonderful contribution. If you're at the policy table, spend some time with this report.
December 2012 we passed an important milestone in our Nation's journey from the time-in-seats model to a competency-based model of education. "The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching on Tuesday announced that it would use a $460,000 grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation to study the Carnegie Unit, which forms the basis of a time-based measurement of student learning." reported by Inside Higher Ed, December 5th, 2012. Previously, in September 2012, the New America Foundation published Cracking the Credit Hour providing fuel for this journey. This report is both valuable and timely.
The Education Commission of the States (ECS) published Competency-Based Education: Who's Doing What in September 2013. For those of us working on competency-based career pathways using stackable certificates this is an encouraging list. Thanks to Vincent Scudella at ECS for pulling this together.
Gallup released the 2013 State of the American Workforce report. It provides the most recent data on employee engagement and insights for business leaders. The related Gallup blog entry provides an introduction and executive summary to the full report. Career coaching is a tool that would certainly help improve levels of engagement. Note Question 6 on page 19.
Lumina released the 2013 annual report A Stronger Nation Through Higher Education today. This report includes for the first time estimates of the percentage of American's with high-value postsecondary certificates in addition to college degrees (see pages 2 and 3 of the report).
Annually, ACT provides each state with The Condition of College & Career Readiness, a report that details the college readiness of students who took the ACT® college readiness assessment. Based on extensive empirical research, ACT has defined “college and career readiness” as the acquisition of knowledge and skills a student needs to enroll and succeed in credit-bearing first-year college courses at a postsecondary institution without the need for remediation. This definition has been adopted by the Common Core State Standards Initiative. This report, The Reality of College Readiness 2013, is a companion to The Condition of College & Career Readiness.
Southern New Hampshire University's (SNHU) College for America (CfA) associate degree program is the first competency-based program approved by the Department of Education for Title IV funding. Learn more about this important step forward for competency-based education at Community College Week. See a list of competency-based education pioneers.
ACT released a new report today entitled Work Readiness Standards and Benchmarks. This is an interesting report that is based on the empirical data from ACT's JobPro database. So, this is a "real world" definition of readiness based on foundation skills. More at the ACT website. This is an excellent contribution to an important topic. For more, look at "The New Definition of Career Readiness" covered in the October 19th blog post below.
Frank Neely, Research Analyst, Workforce Investment Board of Southwest Missouri recently published findings that higher NCRC certificate levels indicate improved job placement, improved earnings, and improved job retention. Read the Southwest Missouri WorkReady Communities annoucement and download the full report for more information. It is interesting to note that individuals with less than high school education and a Gold certificate earn more than individuals with an Associates degree and a Silver certificate. The market pays for skills. NCRCs help people secure and keep good jobs.
NPR recently published Educators Worry Revamped GED Will Be Too Pricey. It is interesting to note that many people return to school to improve skills to get a better job. NPR said it this way ... so when somebody gets an epiphany and says, "I need to get my high school diploma so that I can get a job ..." The NCRC is an employment focused credential. It seems that states ought to consider the NCRC as an alternative to the GED. Since the NCRC is better aligned with skills people need to perform at work, they might find the NCRC is better, faster, and cheaper.
This new report by the American Institutes for Research National High School Center is the worst report in recent memory. This is an example of the "Bachelor Degrees for All" movement that adopted the phrase "College and Career Readiness" in name only. This report totally ignores the voices of employers. Here are two blatant fouls: (1) Under the title College and Career Aspirations there is not a single point on careers, and (2) under the title Preparation for College and Work the only work referenced is college-level work. People please. Work is something we do for our employers to earn a paycheck. And, good careers are best defined as a series of good jobs. Please look up the words work and career in a dictionary and use them correctly.
Ray Henson provides an excellent overview in his recent article published in the NCDA Career Convergence web magazine. Take a look at Documenting College and Career Ready Students. Ray provides a clear case why Career Readiness Certificates are a good and valuable companion to college readiness tests.
MOOC - Massive Open Online Courses - are upon us. Read more about the Year of the MOOC in this New York Times article. It will be interesting to see how this market - the new knowledge market - will be organized. Somehow we will all need a reliable way to validate that people actually new competencies as a result of these classes. Some indicator of accomplishment will be needed so that employers can recognize the capabilities created in the classes.
A new entry on the Gallup Blog by Tim Hodges announces The New Definition of Career Readiness. Within the blog is a link to a new website CareerReadyNow by the Career Readiness Partner Council. The definition of career ready put forth here is: "A career-ready person effectively navigates pathways that connect education and employment to achieve a fulfilling, financially-secure and successful career." There is also a link to the report What it Means to be Career Ready. Most of us have figured out that the relabeling of College Readiness as College and Career Readiness is not the answer. Education anchored in readiness for freshman year at college is not sufficient. We need to anchor college and career readiness in careers ... careers that are a series of good jobs that provide a sound financial footing and quality of life. This is a significant step forward in that conversation. And, a lot of the right people are at the table. Very encouraging.
The Census Bureau has an excellent set of online infographics for just over a dozen career pathways. In two or three minutes you can quickly interact with the data to compare the value of various pathways and educational levels.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) published their annual education indicators report Education at a Glance last month. This report compares education indicators for the 34 OECD member countries and a few others. It contains some very interesting graphics. It is a comprehensive report, so if you are in a hurry, start with the graphics on pages 26, 28, 29, 30, and 32. Our standard of living is in large part based on the productivity of our citizens. Political stability and education are key drivers of productivity. Our standing in the world is changing and this report illustrates one of the key reasons.
Competency-based education is here now. The transition from "time in seats" to "competency based" and is sure to accelerate. To learn more about this exciting innovation in education read the new CLASP report Giving Credit Where Credit is Due. For a quick introduction, start with the blog of George Lorenzo at TrainingIndustry.com. The NCRC is a competency-based credential that employers can trust. It represents content areas of reading, math, and locating information. And, overall it represents competency in critical thinking. Colleges need to embrace the NCRC and begin to provide credit where credit is due by implementing the ACE recommendation to offer three college credits for individuals that earn an NCRC. And, secondary systems should develop articulation agreements with community colleges so that high school graduates with NCRCs have the advantage of three NCRC-based college credits earned during high school. Read the ACT Press Release on the ACE recommendation.
Take a look a this article in the Free Press on the new teachers' contract in St. Clair. This is wonderful to reward teachers for building the skills that improve the earning power of students. Very encouraging. Thanks to everyone involved.
The Center for American Progress published Let's Get Serious About Our Nation's Human Capital; A plan to reform the U.S. workforce tranining system this month. If you're in a hurry just read the five principles to reform the workforce system on pages 27 and 28. Fans of career coaching will find the ideas on Career GPS on pages 53 to 58 interesting.
There is an interesting organization with an informative website Best Colleges Online. They posted a recent blog 12 College Majors We Hope to See Soon that has an interesting list of emerging occupations. We highlight the need for more blended learning models in the Talent SCM 2025 Vision Statement. And, of course, everything we do is related to evidence-based credentialing. As colleges and universities move more to online and blended learning models, the data that comes from job analysis will become more valuable. We need solid empirical evidence of the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) that are in fact the basis for competency and performance on the job. And, colleges and universities need to align curriculum and assessments to assure that those competencies are fully developed in their graduates.
Deloitte recently released their 2012 Top Five Total Rewards Survey. By Total Rewards, they mean total compensation package. The survey gives us a view into the mind of the employers as they think about how they provide compensation and how they communicate to employees about compensation so they are attractive to top talent. If you're in a hurry, just read pages 3 and 4 to see the key points on the talent shortage priority. And, read the related article in Widening Skills Gap Threatens Employers' Ability to Compete in Employee Benefit News.
Illinois is working to add Locating Information to the Prairie State Achievement Exam in addition to WorkKeys Math and Reading. View the Winnetka Talk article here.
Click here to download a PDF of the new NCRC Plus presentation from ACT.
Paul Gregoire is a vice president with Fisher Controls in Marshalltown, Iowa. Read his opinion on the Iowa Skills gap, the NAM Skills Certification System, and the NCRC in the DesMoines Register.
The Manufacturing Institute, the education affiliate of National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), issued their new report in 2011. Download: Boiling point? The skills gap in U.S. manufacturing, a report on talent in the manufacturing industry sponsored by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute.
There is a very interesting project being launched by the Mozilla Foundation with support from the MacArthur Foundation. This WSJ article Merit Badges for the Job Market provides a nice overview. For more visit Mozilla's Open Badges project.
Kathy Conklin, executive director of the Saginaw County Business and Industry Partnership along with the Great Lakes Bay Manufacturers' Association convened a broad-based community discussion on work ready communites yesterday. Here's a link to my presentation Using WorkKeys to Build a Talent Supply Chain.
Pat Hayes and friends spent some time with the Senator to discuss the NCRC and WorkKeys. Read about the visit to Hoffer Plastics here. And, view a video here.
The Rapides Foundation is sponsoring an event to help employers and community leaders to understand the benefits of using the National Career Readiness Certificate to build a work-ready region in Central Louisiana. More here.
Kentucky made headlines with their commitment to join the Certified Work Ready Communites initiative. More here.
Anthony Carnevale and Georgetown CEW team released a new report yesterday: Hard times, Unemployment, Majors and Earnings, Not All College Degrees Are Created Equal. It is an excellent overview of earnings and unemployment for various college majors. Download here (20 pages). If you only have one minute, just look at the graphics on pages 7 and 8. And here is a related article in the Washington Post.
ACT published a new research report on the "skills gap"' based on ACT Skill Profile data and assessment data. This report clarifies the skills gap at all levels in four major industry sectors. Find a link to the report on our Employers page or download the full report here.
National Skills Coalition published Driving Innovation from the Middle; Middle-Skill Jobs in the American South's Economy this month for the Southern Governors Association. This report contains specific appendicies for: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Virginia, and West Virginia.
The Advocates recently compiled a list of employers - thousands of employers - that use certificates and WorkKeys in their hiring processes. If you know of employers that are missing from the list, please encourage them to sign up on their state certificate program website or send us a letter of support to post on our website. Letter of support forms can be found on our Employers page.
The International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) just released a report It's Not a Matter of Time: Highlights from the 2011 Competency-Based Learning Summit. This is a trend, that eventually needs to fully embrace the certificate as the optimal learning outcome credential for essential workplace skills since WorkKeys is based on the nation's largest and best empirical data for skills required in the workplace. Learn more here.
A survey of state directors of adult education directors by CAAL found WorkKeys and the NCRC to be in very strong use thoughout the country as the means to certify adult education students. Download Certifying Adult Education Students here.
The Work Ready Communities preconference at Workforce2011 attracted 50 participants from 20 states plus DC. The notes are posted on the Work Ready Communities page.
Georgia has issued over 200,000 certificates. Check out the Georgia Work Ready report to see their total. And, check out the Top Ten States ranking to find out the status of the leading states.
The Roadmap to Education Reform for Manufacturing lays out six principles for innovative reform, including moving to competency-based education; establishing and expanding industry-education partnerships; infusing technology in education; creating excitement for manufacturing careers; applying manufacturing principles like “lean” to reduce education costs; and, expanding successful youth development programs.