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


Volume 3, Number 4, August 2009

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

Previous NOCC newsletters are available at the NOCC web site.

In this issue:

  • Conference News
  • Workforce Development News
  • CRC Consortium News



  • "Kansas has embarked on a project to align the curriculum of all post-secondary technical education courses and programs in the state to the needs of business and industry." Read the complete report that appears in this month's WIDS e-newsletter or in the Community College Times. Competency-based curricula based on industry-identified skills is an idea that has been around for a long time and so has the concept of transferable CIP codes across a given state but this project combines the two. So far, five programs have been aligned--practical nursing, carpentry, auto technology, welding, and auto collision repair. The result will be that "all post-secondary technical education programs will have the same CIP codes with consistent exit points, program lengths and stackable industry-based credentials." For more information, contact Rita Johnson at the Kansas Board of Regents for more information, and visit
  • Concern over college completion rates has created a movement in several states to tie college funding to student outcomes. For example, Ohio seems likely to base 100% of higher education funding on course and degree completion, and in Louisiana, the governor and legislators have called for 25% of higher education funding to be tied to student success. This renewed call for accountability reflects a growing concern that the US continues to fall behind other countries at a time when higher education is generally considered to be more important than ever. While the idea of accountability is not new, current efforts are more closely tied to student success and they involve more money than ever before. President Obama has proposed $2.5 billion for states that seek to boost college completion rates for low income students. Some believe that more than half of that money should be directed to community colleges. Florida was an early adopter of this approach and they report that community college completion rates increased by 43% over the ten-year period 1997-2007. (USA Today, May 27, 2009)
  • Learning communities are not a new concept but they are being used to good effect in some community colleges to improve student success rates. In Virginia for example, the 23 college system is part of Achieving the Dream, a 15-state initiative supported by non-profit organizations targeting minority and low-income students. Remedial math is of particular importance for struggling students so at the Northern Virginia Community College, the course is bundled with College Success Skills, a course that includes note-taking, time management, and test anxiety. Math teachers team teach with counselors, and students form special bonds as they share a common goal (or perhaps a common "enemy?").
  • In June of this year, Jane Oates was confirmed as the Assistant Secretary of Labor-Employment & Training Administration. Prior to her appointment, Ms. Oates served as Executive Director of the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education and Senior Advisor to Governor Jon S. Corzine. In that position she worked to strengthen the connections among high school, post-secondary education, and the workforce. Ms. Oates served for nearly a decade as Senior Policy Advisor for Massachusetts Senator Edward M. Kennedy. She worked closely with the Senator on a variety of education, workforce and national service legislative initiatives, including the Workforce Investment Act of 1998. Jane is well known by those who have been involved with the WIA, development of one-stop career centers, and reform of the welfare to work system. She has been very effective in informing legislators about the system, and she is recognized as a great ally and champion for our work. Jane brings great expertise and enthusiasm to her new position, and we are fortunate to have a leader who "gets it"!


  • The NOCC has learned that the state of Wisconsin is going to issue the CRC. That brings our Consortium number up to 48! The operational details are still being worked out but we are hoping that the initiative gets underway before the end of August. Contact for the state is:
  • Laura Wierzbicki
    Wisconsin Job Service
    RES Policy Coordinator

  • Richard Ferguson, President/CEO of ACT, Inc®. has announced his retirement from the company, effective during the current fiscal year. It is expected that the Board of Directors will conduct a national search for his replacement. If you have nominations and/or other suggestions for the ACT Board, pass them on to any Board member as soon as possible. The list of board members is available here.
  • The state of Oregon is pressing ahead with its statewide CRC initiative. Operational details are still being worked out but the project should be up and running before the end of the year.
  • Very exciting news from Florida's Ready To Work program. More than 64,000 CRCs have been issued and more than 180,000 hours of skills development training have been administered. Implementation partners (high schools, WIBs, tech. centers, community colleges, juvenile justice programs and CBOs) now number in excess of 500, and more than 400 employer partners are using Ready To Work to identify qualified new hires.
  • But the most exciting news from FL is that the Department of Education is about to issue a report on the employment and wage data of CRC recipients. Preliminary numbers indicate that credential earners are outperforming employees without the CRC. As soon as the report is made public, Colleen Englert will forward a link to it. Stay tuned!
  • From Colorado, the news is also good. The Career Ready Colorado certificate has been endorsed by Gov. Bill Ritter and the state web site will be ready for launch in September.
    Career Ready Colorado pilot sites ended successfully on June 30, and they are proceeding with statewide CRC availability. All workforce regions in Colorado are being trained to offer CRC assessment, training and certification. The Governor-signed certificates have been available through pilot sites since Jan. 1, 2009, but all workforce regions may now issue certificates as soon as they complete training. Promotional activities involving the Governor's office will begin in September to give time to get all regions up to speed on service delivery.
  • Here is the current CRC Top 10 list of states
        1. South Carolina 100,142
        2. Georgia 67,398
        3. Indiana 66,023
        4. Michigan 46,820
        5. Ohio 37,000
        6. North Carolina 31,665
        7. Oklahoma 28,322
        8. Virginia 22,220
        9. Alabama 20,754
        10. Louisiana 17, 566


      Send updated CRC numbers and other state news to the NOCC to ensure that the web site (and the Top 10 list!) are current.

  • If you have not yet done so, please download the NOCC logo to your state web site and create a link to the site. Please also add a link to the CRC Consortium site ( Thank you.


NOCC Thought For The Day . . . comes from 90-year-old Regina Brett of Ohio who says Frame every so-called disaster with the words 'In five years, will this matter?'


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© NOCC, August 2009