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


Volume 6, Number 1, September, 2013

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/Resources site.

In this issue:

  • Conference News
  • Workforce Development and Education News
  • CRC Consortium News


  • On August 21, 2013, the Alliance for Education Excellence issued a press release announcing issuance of a new report, Common Core State Standards 101.
  • "While forty-six states and the District of Columbia have adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), approximately two-thirds of Americans say they have never heard of them, according to results released today from the PDK/Gallup Poll. To better inform the public about the standards while also addressing the many misimpressions surrounding them, the Alliance for Excellent Education today released a new report, Common Core State Standards 101. The report examines how the CCSS initiative came about, what role the federal government did—and did not—play in their adoption, and how to ensure that the standards deliver on their promise to fundamentally improve the quality of teaching and learning in the United States".

    Read the full report here.

  • The National STEM Consortium (NSC) is a collaborative of ten leading community colleges in nine states organized to develop nationally portable, certificate-level programs in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and to build a national model of multi-college cooperation in the design and delivery of high quality, labor market-driven occupational programs. The NSC colleges are: Anne Arundel Community College in Maryland (AACC); Clover Park Technical College in Washington; College of Lake County in Illinois; Cuyahoga Community College in Ohio; Florida State College at Jacksonville; Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana; Macomb Community College in Michigan; NorthWest Arkansas Community College; Roane State Community College in Tennessee; and South Seattle Community College in Washington. Together, the NSC colleges enrolled over 410,000 credit and non-credit students in FY 2010.
    Under this program, the NSC targets five high-wage, high-skill STEM pathways: composite materials technology; cyber technology; electric vehicle technology; environmental technology; and mechatronics.

In each pathway, the NSC will develop a “best in class”, nationally portable, one-year certificate program that is in demand by employers and can be disseminated quickly and widely to community colleges throughout the United States. These programs will be designed for TAA-eligible workers in communities directly served by the participating colleges. Upon implementation, the programs will also be available to other unemployed and underemployed working adults, at NSC colleges and nationally. The certificate program was featured on PBS in April 2013.

  • The OECD recently released its latest report A Skills beyond School Review of the United States in which the focus was on postsecondary CTE, career-focused associate degrees, postsecondary certificates, and industry certifications. The report finds that in the US we compare favorably with other OECD countries in terms of an inclusive philosophy of comprehensive high schools, open access to community colleges, and (on average) good labor market returns from postsecondary CTE. However, the report also identifies three major barriers to high student attainment levels. These are: 1) basic skills of high school graduates are relatively weak, 2) decentralization of opportunities often results in many routes to a career or occupation, and 3) there are higher financial risks associated with postsecondary education. The overarching recommendation is for the US to concentrate on higher quality, and more cohesion and transparency in postsecondary skills training. The recommendation for higher quality is: Substantially strengthen quality assurance in postsecondary education and its links to Title IV student aid. The recommendation for more cohesion is: Establish a quality standard for certifications and obtain better data on both certifications and certificates. And for more transparency so that learning acquired in one setting can be recognized and made portable, three recommendations are made to address transitions from high school into postsecondary CTE, transitions within postsecondary education, and transitions into the labor market. Authors of the report observe that while the identified barriers are of relatively long-standing in our country, the issue is becoming more pressing every year as the US continues a slide away from one of the highest levels of high school and postsecondary attainment in the world just a generation ago.


  • To keep the NOCC web site current, please visit the Contact information page on the CRC site and let us know who the present CRC contact is in your state or organization. Also, be sure to pass on CRC news and success stories so that this information can be featured in future newsletters.
  • The latest TOP 10 list on the issuance of CRCs and NCRCs is as follows:
        1. GA (308,996)
        2. SC (181,269)
        3. NC (158,206)
        4. MI (146,045)
        5. FL (113,563)
        6. OH (94,957)
        7. TN (92,197)
        8. IN (89,125)
        9. OK (77,826)
        10. KY (55,017)

    For tallies from each state, visit the CRC web site.


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© NOCC, August 2013