the Skills Crisis And Workforce
Challenges of the New World Economy
3, Number 2, August 2010
submit articles and news items to the
NOCC office for inclusion in future newsletters and on the CRCC
NOCC newsletters are available at the NOCC
Workforce Conference, Tools
for Workforce Recovery, September
15-16, Polk County Convention Complex, Des Moines, IA
Council for Workforce Education, Conference
2010, Hyatt Regency Washington
the University of North Florida Division of Continuing Education comes
news of pertinent business training oportunities. For example, here
is a summary from Closing the Workplace
Generation Gap by ALINA TUGEND that sets the stage for
one course that will be offered as part of Generational
Workforce Diversity & Leadership Strategy, on
September 30, 2010. The summary is taken from the UNF
newsletter of September events.
gap from generation to generation isn’t always about technology.
Much of it is just attitude and how an individual was raised.
The “old” management style is bold and direct, while
the “young” style of management is more indirect and
Young workers will often complain about the curt tone from older
managers and bosses. They feel disrespected when they are ordered
-- rather than asked -- to do something or when they are commanded
rather than requested.
And maybe baby boomers have themselves to blame. After all, baby
boomers are the generation that raised children through negotiation,
who explained why it was important to visit Grandma or wear a
jacket rather than using the all-purpose “because I told
So a younger worker could easily anger an older manager by questioning
why she has to do a certain task instead of just putting her head
down and getting on with it. And an older manager who brusquely
says, “Just do it,” or recounts how much tougher things
were in his time, could easily < if unknowingly < widen
the generation gap leaving both workers frustrated.
Managers should try to take a step back and explain to workers
why what they do is important and how it will build on the goals
of the company. All workers appreciate this technique no matter
But the etiquette divide can swing both ways. For example, people
in their 40s trained to write thank-you notes, find failure to
answer an e-mail just plain rude. Instead it often means the person
you wrote is so inundated with information that he forgot. Don’t
take it as a deliberate slight. If it happens, persist politely
by calling or sending follow-up messages. If you continue to receive
no answer, take it as a “young” no thank you".
If you would
like to participate in this course to learn how to close the generational
divide in your company or workplace, or if you would like to learn
more about the innovative classes offered at UNF, click
the report in the last newsletter on Lansing
Community College's innovative Get
a Skill, Get A Job, --or Get Your Money Back! program,
here are more details:
accepted into the Get a Skill, Get a Job program will participate
in rigorous training for 6 weeks including a job readiness workshop.
Successful participants will receive a certificate / portfolio
verifying their competencies. If those who successfully complete
the program make good faith efforts to secure employment and are
unable to receive a job offer in a field related to their training
within 12 months, LCC will refund their cost.
Programs are available In Two Employment
Areas (details below):
wage in 2008: $13.24 per hour
This program prepares participants to become successful members
of pharmacy delivery teams. Participants will be prepared to function
with knowledge and accuracy in dispensing and control of drugs
in either a hospital or retail pharmacy. The program includes
classroom and lab work, as well as practical, hands-on experience
in the workplace environment. Successful participants will be
prepared to take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board National
1. Minimum High School diploma or GED.
2. Screening Assessment: Career
Readiness Assessment (WorkKeys) in Applied Math, Reading for Information
and Locating Information
wage in 2008: $15.72 per hour
This program prepares participants for entry level CNC positions
in the manufacturing industry. Participants will receive hands-on
instruction in the basics of geometric dimensioning and tolerancing,
blueprint reading, introduction to manufacturing principles and
computer numerical control programmin
Minimum High School diploma or GED.
2. Basic mechanical drafting skills are necessary to begin this program
and may be demonstrated by a score of 80% or better on the Drafting
3. Basic computer skills are necessary for this course and can be
demonstrated by a score of 80% or better on the PC Applications for
Technology Placement Test.
4. Screening Assessment: Career Readiness
Assessment (WorkKeys) in Applied Math, Reading for Information and
May, the ACT Board of Directors named Jon Whitmore,
PhD, currently the president of San Jose State University,
as ACT’s new Chief Executive Officer effective
September 1, the beginning of ACT’s new fiscal year.
“ACT’s Directors are very enthusiastic
to have Jon Whitmore become our next CEO. We wanted an accomplished
leader with notable executive experience and an exemplary track record
of success,” said ACT Board Lead Director
Mark Musick. “We found just the right person in Jon.
We’re confident that he will provide outstanding leadership
to expand ACT’s role in helping shape state and national education
and workforce policy and in helping more people achieve education
and workplace success.”
“I look forward to carrying on ACT’s
upward trajectory, which has been skillfully advanced by Dick Ferguson
and ACT’s excellent staff,” said Whitmore. “ACT’s
reputation for excellence, and its mission of helping people achieve
education and workplace success, are needed today more than ever.
With President Obama’s goal of dramatically increasing the
number of citizens who graduate from high school, community colleges
and 4-year colleges, and with the need to retrain many Americans
who have lost jobs or are looking to change professions, ACT has
a vital role to play at this critical time in history.”
and his wife, Jennifer, look forward to returning to Iowa City,
where Dr. Whitmore served as provost of the University of Iowa from
1996 to 2003.
Ferguson will retire from ACT in late August and will continue to
live in Iowa City.
July/August edition of Inc. magazine
features an exciting report that supports the cover headline "Bring
On The Entrepreneurs". The following paragraphs are from
the report Revitalize
The American Dream:
need more start-ups. A lot more of them. New companies mean new
ideas, new approaches, new products and services, and new jobs.
What's more, in the wake of the Wall Street meltdown and the catastrophic
oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, a wave of start-ups could spark
a new sense of optimism about what businesses can actually accomplish
-- something else this country sorely needs.
are not just talking about the fast-growing "gazelle"
companies that expand at double-digit rates -- though we could certainly
use more of them. Nor is this solely about sparking, say, a green
business boom or the creation of more tech companies or a bunch
of cool new iPhone apps -- though we like all of those, too. Instead,
what we are seeking is a kind of rebooting of the entrepreneurial
ideal -- the notion that starting a company is a viable option for
all Americans, regardless of where they come from. This country
has long been a haven for entrepreneurs. Ten years into the 21st
century, it's time to rethink exactly what that means.
follows are 16 practical, "do-able" suggestions for how
educators, business schools, the government, venture capitalists and
the bureaucracy that surrounds loans, taxes, incubation, and the like
can all be part of the solution. Why is this important? Consider:
a) young businesses (1-5 years) account for 64% of job creation in
our economy, b) venture capital rises and falls but the number of
new businesses remains pretty constant, and c) start-ups account for
only 3% of total US employment but they are responsible for almost
20% of job creation. Then you might agree that new approaches and
perhaps policies are needed to revitalize our economy.
many decades, researchers have been documenting how the long school
summer vacation is taking a disastrous toll on our youngsters and
consequently, on our economy. In the August 2 edition of Time,
David von Drehle revisits the topic in his report The
Case Against Summer Vacation. Before going any further, it
is important to point out that no one has ever suggested abolishing
the vacation completely. Both teachers and students need a break after
weeks in the classroom. Rather, the case is made for a shorter
vacation (and other short vacations throughout the year) that would
overcome the extreme damage/learning loss suffered by our youth--and
future workforce. It is documented that by 9th grade, summer learning
loss can be "blamed for roughly two-thirds of the achievement
gap separating income groups." Why is this the case? Drehle points
out that adults romanticize the ideal summer vacation that is in fact,
no longer a reality for most children. He blames adults for associating
the school year with oppression and summer with liberty, for equating
school with work and summer with play, school with regimen and summer
with creativity. He maintains that the reality is more of school
= engagement, and vacation = boredom, inactivity and isolation.
For too many children, there is no opportunity for play outside because
of safety concerns and family responsibilities like watching younger
siblings while the parents work. Add to this the fact that this is
mostly the way summer is for low-income children while more advantaged
children go to camps, go on family vacations, or are otherwise actively
engaged and you get a sense of why Drehle descibes the long summer
vacation as a luxury we can no longer afford.
Our children are competing with others around the world who spend
more than 4 weeks longer in school each year. It seems paradoxical
that US children spend more total hours in the classroom than those
in other countries yet our students from disadvantaged backgrounds
end grade school two years behind their more advantaged classmates.
It appears that a more useful model for many of our youngsters might
be the one adopted in what is generally known as year-round school,
a dreadful misnomer that, with its conotation of hardship and drudgery,
has almost certainly doomed the concept to general non-acceptance
by adults, teachers and students.
of you are aware of the extremely important work of Dr. Ruby Payne
at the University of Texas on the topic of poverty. For years, employers
and their employees have benefited for example from learning more
about how to assimilate welfare recipients into the workforce. Now,
Dr. Payne has co-authored a new book (with Paul L. Slocumb), Boys
in Poverty (BKF383)
and she is offering two workshops on the topic of preventing school
drop-outs for Solution
you are minority, male, and/or poor, your chances of dropping out
are much higher than your peers" is
the premise for the 2-day workshop that examines the factors that
can lead to boys' disengagement in learning. This presentation indentifies
ways that educators and others can keep the engagement process high,
particularly for boys, beginning in elementary school. It has been
well-documented that school drop-outs have a very low rate of success
as working adults so this is an important workforce development
topic. You can hear Dr. Payne address the following topics: Preventing
your school from becoming a "drop-out factory"; Identifying
early warning signs; Understanding the impact of drugs, alcohol
and early sexual activity; Teaching exceptional boys; Creating connections
to school and community; Realigning resources to prevent drop-outs;
and Exploring strategies and tools to promote achievement.
Louis, MO October 21-22 and in Cleveland,
OH October 26-27. Workshop registration
includes the book. Details on the Solution Tree web
has assumed the position of Director of Workforce Development at the
MN Department of Employment and Economic Development. She has been
listed on the CRC web site as the contact person for the state of
Center on Education and Work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison
is offering Career Development Facilitator (CDF)
Training that leads to national certification. The class is
offered with two hybrid options. First,
is group training for your staff or organization. Intended for groups
of about 12, this option includes an online training course plus 4-6
days of face-to-face training at your site.
is the regular hybrid option that is intended for individuals or small
groups particiapting online with two trainings of 2 days each on campus.
For more details on schedules and cost for option 1 please visit the
Center's web site.
For a registration form for option 2, click
are reminded that the title Career Readiness Certificate
was legally defined in 2004 at the inception of the Consortium. The
definition set out in the CRC Consortium charter document states that
only three WorkKeys assessments may be used (AM, LI, and RFI) and
that levels of the CRC are determined by scores of 3, 4, and 5 on
all three assessments. THE
TERM CAREER READINESS CERTIFICATE MUST NOT BE USED ON ANY OTHER
CERTIFICATION THAT DEVIATES FROM THIS DEFINITION.
In particular, if the three assessments are used IN CONJUNCTION with
additional assessments of any kind--including additional WorkKeys
assessments--the certificate MUST be given a completely different
name OR it must be referred to as a CRC-Plus. If you have
questions about this matter, please contact the NOCC
office or the NOCC
attorney. Thank you.
Principal of the Okaw Valley High School in central Illinois has been
using the WIN system and WorkKeys assessments with his students for
a while but now he would like to fully implement the CRC. One of his
challenges is that many of the students say that because they have
no intention of going on to post-secondary education, they do not
need the CRC. We all know that this is exactly why they SHOULD take
the CRC assessments! Eric is looking forward to creating marketing
brochures, and he would like to hear from you if you have ideas on
how to help him in his quest to have the school's students graduate
with both a diploma and a CRC. He is already looking for local and
not-so-local employers who will help him to create the "pull"
needed, and any ideas you have in that regard would also be gratefully
received. Please contact
- A report
from Michele Wilson in West Virginia
indicates that the state is moving along well with its CRC initiative.
As of June 2010, the state has issued 17, 761 Certificates (since
October 2008), with a by-level breakdown of 24% Bronze, 60% Silver,
and 16% Gold. There are now 8 certified WorkKeys profilers in the
state with over 70 employers involved in the WorkKeys/CRC project.
These approximate ratios seem to be remarkably consistent across all
on the number of CRCs issued across the country is shown on the
CRC Consortium web
site and in future the percentage breakdowns
will be included as well. If you send your CRC numbers update to
the NOCC office, it would be helpful if you would include the percentages
as well. If not, we will do it for you.
Denver, CO reports that there is a great deal going
on with the CareerReady Colorado Certificate in the State of Colorado.
The new state contact for the CRC is Sue
Rusch at the Colorado Department of Labor & Employment.
the first 6 months of this year, the City of Denver implemented
a sector strategy approach that has become a best practice.
are the details from Peggy:
With the downturn
in the economy and the reduction of city government, we’re
serving more customers with less staff and something had to change.
Subsequently, the Denver Workforce Center created a new workforce
service model known as Job Ready 1-2-3. It is a streamlined process
for providing customers with (1) information, (2) job-seeking tools
and (3) referrals to job opportunities.
January 2010, job opportunities developed under the Sector Expansion
Team (SET) in our target industries – Construction/Skilled
Trades, Energy/Green Jobs, Healthcare, and “Core Growth”
which includes businesses that provide the basis for tax revenues
to the city including, retail, restaurants and hotels – required
a minimum standard for job placement into wage subsidies and individual
for consideration for these opportunities, all jobseekers must complete
and have the following five products approved by our trainers .
an updated quality resume
sample cover letter
Job Search Plan
a 30-sec commercial (from interviewing class)
& Training team was poised to support those requirements through
additional class offerings starting in January 2010. As a result
of the sector strategy product requirements under Job Ready 1-2-3,
the number of CRCs increased significantly—by 32% from 1/1/2010
5150 Colorado CRCs have been issued since the inception of the pilot
sites in January 2009, and Denver has issued 2034:
548 Bronze, 1027 Silver, 447 Gold, 12 Platinum (available
since April 2010)
Bronze, 2531 Silver, 1572 Gold, 40 Platinum (available
since April 2010)
also shared a link
to a blog that details another best practice partnership between the
Denver's Office of Economic Development-Workforce Development division
and the Denver Public Library.
NOCC is always anxious to receive your Certificate and state news.
Keeping the CRC web site current is easy if a state has a web site
that includes contact information and CRC numbers in a database. If
not, the NOCC must rely on information sent in by local and state
representatives. Please forward updates and any information you would
like included to the NOCC
CRC Top 10 list is included
in this newsletter because we have not yet received updates on numbers
from many states. It is hoped that once we move into fall, the numbers
will come in and we will be able to include the list in the next newsletter.
state CRC web sites now show direct links to the NOCC (www.nationalOCC.org)
and the CRC Consortium (www.crcconsortium.org)
sites. These links have greatly increased web traffic and have made
it much easier for the public to obtain information on the certificate.
Thank you for your help. If you do not have either/both of these links
on your site, we would be grateful if you would add them. The NOCC
logo is available for downloading at the web site, under Resources.
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NOCC, August 2010