the Skills Crisis And Workforce
Challenges of the New World Economy
2, Number 11, October 24, 2008
submit articles and news items to the NOCC
for inclusion in future newsletters and on the CRCC web site.
WorkKeys Conference, Good To Gold, November
19-20, Warren, MI.
Tampa, FL, November 29-December 2, 2008. Visit www.nwaonline.org
for more details.
on Education and Work Careers Conference: From Inspiration to Application,
WI, January 27-28, 2009. Click here
for more details.
Annual Southeastern WorkKeys Conference, February
4-6, 2009, Wyndham Jacksonville Riverwalk Hotel, Jacksonville, FL.
The deadline for proposals is September 30, 2008. Visit www.southeasternworkeysconference.com
for more details.
news from Oklahoma just keeps getting better! Two cities and their
associated counties were recently recognized as Certified
Work Ready Communities.
and Grady County were the first city and county in the state to
achieve certified Work Ready status but Pryor and Mayes County were
hard on their heels.
and into the foreseeable future the key to economic development
in Oklahoma is workforce recruitment, training, and certification,"
said Oklahoma Commerce Secretary Natalie Shirley. "Work Ready
Community certification is another tool we have to focus efforts
and prove results."
Certified Work Ready Communities is an innovative program that encourages
communities to put workforce at the front of their economic development
agenda. It builds on the success of Oklahoma's Career Readiness
Certificate (CRC) program, which assesses and certifies
individual workers' skill sets and abilities.
Ready Communities elevates the certification to a geographical
area. A certified "community" can be individual communities
or counties, groups of contiguous cities and counties, or a regional
partnership. However the community defines itself, certain criteria
must be met. Certification is reviewed annually.
be certified Work Ready, a community must meet the following requirements:
of its incumbent or existing workforce must have a gold, silver,
or bronze CRC;
25% of its workforce not currently employed but looking for
work must have a CRC;
The school system must graduate 82% of its high school seniors
or 82% of its high school seniors must have a CRC.
state in the country is competing to attract industry and grow existing
businesses. But it takes a skilled, available workforce to compete
communities are certified Work Ready, they gain a competitive
advantage over non-certified communities because they can quantify
a skilled workforce to an existing employer or a new business
considering Oklahoma for a new location," said Norma Noble,
Deputy Secretary of Workforce Development for Commerce.
a recent issue of Education Week, survey results indicated
that career-switchers could be an important and valuable source
of new talent that could help to address the deficit of 1.5 million
teachers in the next decade. However, potential teachers expressed
concern over the poor salary and working conditions in schools.
Also, a significant number of respondents said that policy-makers
could do more to encourage them to teach by providing certification
and training programs designed to help them to transition into
and succeed in their new career. The potential teachers want these
programs to be close to their homes, contain practice-teaching
experiences with experienced teachers, coursework that builds
on their professional skills and experience, and that provide
mentoring opportunities during the first year of teaching. Many
current alternative teacher-training programs are oriented toward
young post-graduates rather than recruits with workforce experience.
Overall, the survey indicated that what career-switchers are looking
for is NOT short training programs but rather ones that provide
is becoming common to hear of large corporations going "green"
and taking the lead in the sustainability discussion. This is clear
evidence that the creativity and innovation that made the US a world
leader during the 20th. century is still there and just needs to be
harnessed. There's nothing like a crisis for spurring action, and
our current dependence on foreign oil and rapidly depleting global
energy resources is forcing companies like Wal-Mart to make changes
through their suppliers. Recent reports indicate that major supplier
Hewlett Packard is experiencing significant savings and reduced costs
to the planet by eliminating "traditional" packaging materials
for electronics shipped to Wal-Mart stores. "Sustainability"
is fast becoming the new buzz-word as threats to our planet and existence
are becoming obvious. It is significant that in Bentonville, AR, the
corporate HQ of Wal-Mart, a new Global Business Development Center
at North West Arkansas Community College will include a Sustainable
Thrive: The Skills Imperative, a
publication from the Council
on Competitiveness, Joseph Stanislaw is quoted as noting that
"We are at the very beginning of a global race to create dominant
green economies." It is also worth noting that many of the "new"
green skills required in the "race" are actually not new
skills at all. They have simply been relabeled! When you consider
that the skills needed to operate a turbine do not depend on whether
wind or petroleum turns the blade, and that boiler maintenance does
not change because solar power heats the water, we need to concentrate
on the NUMBER of workers in these fields. It is the lack of workers
that poses the greatest barrier to more sustainable energy. The average
age of energy workers is 50, at least half of the country's utility
workers are expected to retire in the next 10 years, and more than
half the oil and gas workforce is expected to retire in the next 10
years at all skill levels from equipment operators to scientists and
engineers. Despite an increase of nuclear engineering majors at colleges
around the country from 500 in 1998 to 1800 in 2007, this number is
still not enough to meet current needs. For more details, read The
Energy-Competitiveness Relationship from the
workforce development Pop-Quiz:
you know the meaning of each of the following--affluenza,
educonomy, an Americum,
the Conceptual Age? (Answers at the
end of the newsletter)
the most recent copy of Enterprising Women, Marilyn
Carlson Nelson, Chair of Carlson, the enormous global
hospitality enterprise headquartered in Minneapolis, emphasizes
that jobs in today's environment depend much more on brains
than brawn. She recognizes that competition for talent
can be fierce and that it is essential to begin with the
end in mind. "Ask yourself what is the talent that
is needed for this particular time in this particular
organization. You start by considering your objectives."
A significant practice at Carlson is the use of an annual
Gallup poll to identify the engagement of their current
workforce in the company and the strengths of supervisors
within the company. Then they create an annual succession
plan so that each leader in the company identifies who
their successor could be and whether that person is ready
now or will be in one or two years. Supervisors also point
out developmental issues with employees and appropriate
training is provided by the company. Needless to say,
Carlson has been recognized as a "great place to
work," and Marilyn Carlson Nelson has been named
as Chair of the National Women's Business Council. The
Women Presidents' Organization named her its woman entrepreneur
of decade, and she was among the first group inducted
into the Enterprising Women Hall of fame in 2003.
the same issue of Enterprising Women, survey
results show that 62% of all US employees find their work
place stressful. Up to 90% of all primary healthcare visits
are stress related, and workplace stress is estimated
to cost the economy $1.1 trillion in lost production and
$277 million in treatment costs for stress-related illnesses.
Clearly, there is a need for more employers to consider
wellness programs for their staff as part of their way
of doing business.
Fall 2008 issue of Literacy Connection from the Literacy
Center of West Michigan has as its lead story news of a partnership
between Grand Rapids Community College and the Literacy Center to
provide classes to support Career Readiness Certification for ESL
learners. Lacks Enterprises is using the Center's Customized Workplace
English program to prepare ESL workers for the credential. Participants
are excited that they now have a way of demonstrating their skills
even though they may not speak perfect English. Many participants
are so enthusiastic about getting the CRC that they take the pre-tests
on their own and are working ahead using on-line training materials.
WorkKeys and the CRC are not only being used to prepare people for
the workplace-- they are tools for enhancing the quality of life for
many. For more information on the ESL program, click here.
theme, Documented Results, recently caught the attention
of businesses at an event hosted by Bill Ratzburg of District U-46
in Elgin, IL. Over 100 educators and business leaders gathered to
attend a session that included speakers from across the United States
highlighting the results of using WorkKeys. Rose Hodges, Human Resource
Director of Wyeth Pharmaceuticals in Richmond, Virginia showed how
the maker of such products as Advil™, Robitussin™, and
ChapStick™ built an award-winning employee development program
using WorkKeys and the Career Readiness Certificate. Randy Lane of
Eastman Chemical in Tennessee demonstrated how WorkKeys played a significant
role in making their selection process efficient and effective as
they faced the challenge of hiring 1,500 new employees over a five
year period. Dr. Bill McMillan, formerly of the City Colleges of Chicago,
explained how WorkKeys was instrumental in helping thousands of Chicagoans
aquire jobs with Ford Motor Company. In each case, Keytrain was used
to assess and train for WorkKeys success. (An excerpt
from Keytrain News, September 2008)
NOCC continues to receive many enquiries about the CRC and its implementation.
Most of these enquiries are a result of Google searches that lead
to the CRCC web site. So here is another
reminder to send your news and CRC number updates to the NOCC
for inclusion on the web site so that we can present an accurate picture
of the tremendous work that is being done in the states to address
the trainability issue in our current and emerging workforce.
year, KeyTrain sponsors the Hugh McCrabb Scholarship. The Scholarship
honors the late Hugh McCrabb for his pioneering work in making the
Career Readiness Certificate a reality in Oklahoma and helping to
increase workplace skills for thousands of Oklahomans. The
2008-09 Scholarship was awarded to Billy Henson, an adult student
enrolled in the HVAC/R program at Moore Norman Technology Center.
Billy, married with one son, plans to graduate, gain a position in
the HVAC field, and eventually start his own business. Billy’s
application showed a wonderful sense of humor (a requirement based
on McCrabb’s ever-present wit) but also a serious side. In it,
he states “Gaining an education and a career that I can be proud
of will take me one step closer to becoming the man and father that
I want to be.” Hugh McCrabb would have been proud to assist
Billy in accomplishing his goals. (An excerpt from
Keytrain News, September 2008)
progress continues to be made in terms of the number of CRCs issued
across the country. Once again, Bill Guest in MI has summarized this
progress by ranking the states. Here is the latest Top 10 list:
just in from Central PA that they now have a talent reserve link available
through their web site, www.cpwdc.org.
They have issued a total of 1349 certificates so far so things are
going well for this local WIB and its customers.
NOCC recommends that you place a live link to the CRC
Consortium web site on your state or local web pages.
This would make a reciprocal arrangement as your web sites are listed
on the CRC site. The NOCC
would also appreciate being listed and linked. We can send you
the NOCC logo if you need it. Click here
to make the request.
NOCC newsletters are archived under Resources
on the NOCC web site. The links sent out previously through e-mail
will not work since the server was updated.
Flat, and Crowded,
compelling and somewhat alarming picture of our world and the threats
to its well-being. Friedman doesn't disappoint. As eye-opening and
thought-provoking as The World Is Flat, this latest work
sets out a clear pathway for action based on frightening but undeniable
and The Whole Brain Business Book,
but goodies! Ned's work can stand the test of time, and his findings
are most relevant (and worth revisiting) as we move into the Conceptual
Remaking the Way We Make Things, William
McDonough & Michael Braungart
Sustainability Work: Best practices in Managing and Measuring Corporate
Social, Environmental, and Economic Impacts,
Marc J. Epstein
to Pop Quiz:
term used by critics of consumerism is defined as follows:
n. a painful, contagious, socially transmitted condition of overload,
debt, anxiety and waste resulting from the dogged pursuit of more
n, 1. the bloated, sluggish and unfulfilled feeling that results
from efforts to keep up with the Joneses. 2. An epidemic of stress,
overwork, waste and indebtedness caused by the pursuit of the American
Dream. 3. An unsustainable addiction to economic growth.
intersection of education and the economy
Americum--any group of 350 million people with
a per capita income above $15,000 and a growing penchant for consumerism.
These people aspire to an American middle-class lifestyle.
Burke of E3G, quoted by Friedman).
are taking shape all over the world. For many years there was only
one in North America and another in Europe. Now China has one and
another will be "born" there in 2030, India has one with
another on the way, and several more exist or are being hatched.
By 2030, it is estimated that there will be 8 or 9 Americums on
the planet. Of course, that number was estimated BEFORE the recent
global financial collapses)
Conceptual Age--the next phase in our economic
progression from the Agrarian Age through the Industrial Age, to the
Information Age and now the Conceptual Age. According to Daniel Pink,
the main characters in this new age are creators and empathizers,
pattern recognizers, and meaning makers. The transition is being fed
by affluence, technological progress, and globalization, and it will
build an economy in which both the linear left-brain thinkers and
the more creative, design-oriented right brainers will play roles.
Thomas L. Freidman.
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