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


Volume 3, Number 2, February, 2009

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
  • National WorkKeys Conference, San Antonio, TX, May 12-15, 2009.


  • The luncheon speaker on the last day of the Southeastern WorkKeys conference this year was Helen Parker, the Region III Administrator, US DOL. Helen shared with participants the latest information from DC, although this year, she had fewer specifics to share. Helen had some good advice--as usual--for those of us in the field who are anxious to respond to the economic stimulus package signed into law last week. Her advice was: Be bold and visionary, recklessly inclusive, steal good ideas, put forward disruptive ideas, collaborate until it hurts, always question the status quo, measure and celebrate successes, and remember, we're in it for the long haul!
  • Helen Parker also referred to the new emphasis being placed on career/work readiness efforts that are inclusive of life skills. Many conference participants were pleased to hear this as they have used the CRC as the basis for new CRC+ credentials, some of which already include life skills programs. See below for news from the CRC Consortium and some creative CRC+ initiatives.
  • The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (aka the stimulus package!) includes $3.95 billion for job training including State formula grants for adult, dislocated worker, and youth programs (including $1.2 billion to create up to one million summer jobs for youth).
  • In 2008 a group of workforce service providers founded the Coalition for Workforce Solutions that supports the important work of its members through a focused program of federal government relations and communications, including Congressional and Administration outreach. The CWS is the only national coalition that collectively represents employers, workforce development providers, vendors and service organizations that operate and utilize One-Stop Career Centers, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families initiatives, career and technical education programs and workforce investment services.

    CWS’s 2009 Legislative Priorities are:

    (1) Increasing appropriations for Workforce Investment Act (WIA) programs and future legislation; and

    (2) Ensuring that WIA reauthorization or new workforce authorization creates a world-class, innovative, agile, transparent and accountable system.

    Some CWS members include:

    Alchemy Systems LP

    Arbor Education & Training, LLC

    Arbor Workforce Institute

    Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs

    DTI Associates, Incorporated

    Dynamic Educational Systems, Incorporated

    Dynamic Works Institute

    Educational Data Systems, Incorporated

    Exodyne, Incorporated

    Geographic Solutions


    Kaiser Group Incorporated

    National Council of La Raza

    Profiles International

    ResCare, Incorporated

    Ross IES

    SER – Jobs for Progress National, Inc.


    TTG Consultants / Lincolnshire

    UMOS, Incorporated

    VKG Solutions, LLC

    For more information about CWS, please contact Ed Trumbull, Executive Director at:

    Coalition for Workforce Solutions, 1199 North Fairfax Street, Suite 400, Alexandria, Virginia 22314, 703.548.8535 ext. 425 (Office), 410.917.4510 (Mobile), (E-Mail)

  • In a March article in The Atlantic, Richard Florida addresses the recent financial crash, and he refers to two major phenomena that have been reshaping our economy for about a generation. The first is the growth of a discrete number of mega-regions, systems of multiple cities and their suburban rings that will be somewhat better buffered from the crash than most other single cities (think the Char-Lanta corridor, the Texas Triangle, and the Boston-New York-Washington corridor). The second phenomenon is the ability of cities and regions to attract highly educated people. Florida maintains that this sorting of people by ability and educational attainment, on this scale, is "unprecedented". For example, some cities like Austin, Seattle, San Francisco, Raleigh, and Boston have two or three times the concentration of college graduates as other cities.
  • Check out Edutopia--What Works in Education for the latest news and information on grants, ideas, and innovations that affect education and workforce development.
  • Latest reports from Beijing indicate that 1 in 7 residents of that city are now unemployed!


  • The Southeastern Workkeys Conference in Jacksonville, FL was a great success once again. The conference committee is to be congratulated on providing three days of stimulating news on the CRC and other WorkKeys-related activities. It was to be expected that attendance would be down due to the economic crisis, but there were still approximately 200 attendees. Despite very cold temperatures outside, discussions and presentations inside were enough to warm the heart of anyone who believes in the CRC! State efforts are impressive--see the numbers of CRCs issued on the web site and below.

    Debra Lyons inspired listeners during her luncheon address with great news from Georgia on the Georgia Work Ready initiative. Progress has been swift and testifies to the enthusiasm and dedication of Debra and her team--particularly the person she calls her "secret weapon", Fred McConnell who has succeeded in getting almost all GA counties into the project. Full details of their progress in certifying Work Ready Communities can be found at but in summary, the state now has now issued almost 40,000 CRCs and most of its counties are either certified or are in the process of gaining certification.

  • Tremendous news too from Virginia in terms of CRC+ initiatives. The VA Council on Advanced Technology Skills (VCATS) has developed a Certification System that builds on the CRC. The Manufacturing Drivers License includes an Applied Technology score, OSHA certification, and a VA Community College System certification that requires various background checks, drug screening, basic computer skills, spatial reasoning, precision measurement and other WorkKeys assessments in Observation, and Team Building. The Level 1 Manufacturing Technician Certification goes beyond this to include assessments in leadership, the business of manufacturing, soft skills, production, and quality. Level 2 Intermediate Manufacturing Technician Certification includes an extensive list of other manufacturing skills, and the Level 3 Advanced Manufacturing Technician Certification is even more specialized. Full details of this program may be obtained from Sheryl Bryan (VCATS), and John Calver ( Thomas Nelson Community College). If you will be at the National WorkKeys conference in San Antonio, look for their presentation--you will find it fun and informative.
  • The CRC is QUEEN! Feel free to use this new NOCC acronym in your presentations:
  • Quick; Uniform; Effective; Economical; Nationally transportable across industry sectors and geographic boundaries

If you would like more details on how the NOCC expands these terms, please ask.

  • It is exciting to see the CRC progress that is being made in many states.The latest numbers of CRCs issued are now available on the CRC web site and here is the current Top 10 list:
      South Carolina 80,657

      Indiana 66,023

      Georgia 39,920

      Michigan 39,378

      Ohio 37,000

      Oklahoma 25, 520

      North Carolina 22,586

      Virginia 19,688

      Louisiana 17, 566

      Florida >16,000

      Alabama 16, 798

    These numbers are not as accurate as they might be because the NOCC has not received 2009 updates from several states.

  • If you have not yet done so, please download the NOCC logo to your state web site and create a link to the site. It would also be helpful to your public if you added a link to the CRC Consortium site ( Thank you.

Who's Your City? How the Creative Economy is Making Where To Live the Most Important Decision of Your Life, Richard Florida, 2009.

The author of The Rise of the Creative Class has done it again! Another fascinating analysis of how the economic crisis has changed our world and the decisions we will make in the future. This new book has not yet been released but may be pre-ordered. Visit the archives of npr (Talk of the Nation) to listen to an interview with Florida on his new topic.

How the Crash Will Reshape America, Richard Florida, The Atlantic magazine, March 2009. Print a copy by clicking here.



We are no longer Post-anything. We are PRE-something very new.

Thomas Freidman, Hot, Flat, and Crowded



Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle!



To subscribe to free newsletters from the NOCC, click here and write Newsletter in the subject line. To unsubscribe, write Unsubscribe in the message line.

The NOCC is a 501(c)(3) organization supported by public donations. To make a contribution to the NOCC, click here, or call 804-310-2552.


© NOCC February, 2009