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


Volume 2, Number 6, 2008

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


In this issue:

  • Conference News
  • Workforce Development News
  • CRC Consortium News


  • National WorkKeys Conference, April 29-May 2, Indianapolis, IN
  • NCDA Global Conference, July 9-11, 2008, Washington DC.

    July 7-8, Pre-conference symposium on international advances in career development and public policy

  • ACTE Convention & Career Tech Expo, Charlotte, NC, December 4-6. Daniel Pink and William Daggett are featured speakers. Early-bird registration is now open.

  • Workforce Innovations 2008, New Orleans, July 15-17. Registrations are now open.
  • NAWDP 19th Annual Conference, May 18-21, Virginia Beach Convention Center, VA, Workforce Development Is a Journey: Proud History--New Beginnings.


  • Ten Fastest Growing Occupations for College Grads

    Occupation 2004 2014 Percent Change
    Network systems and data communications analysts 231 357 55
    Physician assistants 62 93 50
    Computer software engineers, applications 460 682 48
    Physical therapist assistants 59 85 44
    Dental hygienists 158 226 43
    Computer software engineers, systems software 340 486 43
    Network and computer systems administrators 278 385 38
    Database administrators 104 144 38
    Physical therapists 155 211 37
    Forensic science technicians 10 13 36

    Occupations with the Most New Jobs: Associate's Degrees or Postsecondary Vocational Awards

    2004 2014 Change
    Registered nurses 2,394 3,096 703
    Nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants 1,455 1,781 325
    Preschool teachers, except special education 431 573 143
    Automotive service technicians and mechanics 803 929 126
    Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses 726 850 124
    Computer support specialists 518 638 119
    Hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists 610 708 98
    Dental hygienists 158 226 68
    Paralegals and legal assistants 224 291 67
    Medical secretaries 373 436 63

    Occupations with the Most New Jobs: Bachelor's Degrees

    2004 2014 Change
    Elementary school teachers, except special education 1,457 1,722 265
    Accountants and auditors 1,176 1,440 264
    Computer software engineers, applications 460 682 222
    Computer systems analysts 487 640 153
    Secondary school teachers, except special and vocational education 1,024 1,172 148
    Computer software engineers, systems software 340 486 146
    Network systems and data communications analysts 231 357 126
    Network and computer systems administrators 278 385 107
    Middle school teachers, except special and vocational education 628 714 86
    Employment, recruitment, and placement specialists 182 237 55

    Source: United States Bureau of Labor Statistics,

    Nominations Being Accepted for 2008 NCDA Awards
    Deadline April 11, 2008
    Do you have a colleague who has gone to great lengths to provide career counseling to individuals in your state, who has developed innovative programs to enhance career development, who has influenced legislation, or who has been a leader in your state or in NCDA? Please nominate that person to receive an NCDA award!
    Details at
  • Many of you will remember the Work Readiness Credential (WRC) that was developed (and is still under development) as part of the Equipped For The Future project. The NOCC has received several enquiries recently about the status of this certificate and we have obtained information that may be helpful.

    The WRC is aimed at entry-level workers only and it includes 4 modules: Situational Judgement, Math., Reading, and Oral Language.Since its inception in 2002, at least three (perhaps as many as 5) assessment companies have been engaged to develop/provide the required assessments. The latest is Castle worldwide, and a "soft launch" of the WRC was undertaken a year ago. We have learned that one of the assessments is being changed again this year.

    The assesments focus on skills that are described as "critical for the success of entry-level workers", and they are: Speak so others can understand; Solve problems and make decisions; Read with understanding; Cooperate with others; Resolve conflicts and negotiate; Use math to solve problems; Observe critically; Listen actively.

    The reliability and validity of the assessments used will be determined after a sufficient amount of data has been collected. The assessments are simply that because they do not CERTIFY skill levels. The four modules cost $65 for the first attempt and must be completed within 30 days. Re-takes cost $15 with $25 for oral language. A few sample questions are available from the NOCC if you are interested. Each module is graded pass/fail, and failure is expected to indicate areas of weakness. We have no information about remedial training that might be offered to close apparent gaps.

In 2002, six states (including DC) invested many hundreds of thousands of dollars each to get the WRC project off the ground. At least one of those states, Florida, has now committed to deployment of the CRC statewide. CRC activity is spotty in most of the other founding states, and it makes sense because those states are continuing to seek a return on their initial investment. That does not seem to be happening quickly as the numbers below indicate.

According to data received from the Educational Opportunity Center at the University of Buffalo that has responsibility for data collection for the WRC, the numbers of people who have taken all four WRC modules (as of last week) by state are:

CT 21

DC 242

FL 538;

IL 13

IN 0

KY 35

MA 56

ME 0

MI 0

MN 50

MO 0

MS 14

NC 3

NJ 515

NY 443

OH 21

OR 3

PA 37

RI 10

TN 77

TX 36

WA 102

For more information on the WRC (to contrast with the CRC), please visit the CRCC web site and look under Other Resources. You will find a short written piece and powerpoint slides in the Massachusetts presentation (

  • Foundation For Success, the latest report on the teaching of mathematics from the National Mathematics Advisory Panel is available at . An article on the report and reactions to it are available in Education Week.

    The Panel has called for a systematic, basic approach to math teaching as opposed to the "jumble of strategies" now used in states and school districts. The report has been in the making for two years and the main recommendation is that students need to be grounded in both "the effortless, automatic recall of simple procedures and in the acquisition of broader problem-solving skills." For example, the report states that, in order to prepare students for introductory algebra and advanced math (the main charge of the Panel), students should become proficient with whole numbers, fractions, and aspects of geometry and measurement. It further recommends that the NAEP, currently considered to be the "nation's report card" should be tailored to promote those skills. Many high school and college instructors of mathematics agree that their students do not have problems with advanced math per se but rather with the math they didn't learn in 3rd. grade! The "math wars" between those proponents of a conceptual approach to math teaching and those who support the views outlined in the report are certain to continue. However, the views set out in "Foundation For Success" seem to mirror so much of what we hear often from employers and college faculty that it is almost certain to have at least some effect on how math is taught in our public schools in the coming years.


  • There is a great deal of CRC energy in West Michigan!!! Bill Guest of Michigan NCRC Advocates has undertaken research on behalf of all states in the CRC Consortium.

    Using data from the CRC web site, Bill has developed two lists--a Top 10 ranking in terms of numbers of CRCs issued, and those same states ranked according to certificates per capita and the number of CRCs per million residents. His results to date are shown below.

    These updated lists will be posted in each NOCC newsletter from now on. If your state data on the CRC web site is very out-of-date, please send your latest numbers to the NOCC so that these lists will have more meaning and your state will be better represented.

  • The Top 10 states, as of March 15th, are:

    1. 37,000 Ohio
    2. 35,000 Indiana
    3. 31,000 South Carolina
    4. 14,577 Virginia
    5. 14,009 Oklahoma
    6. 12,521 Michigan
    7. 12,157 North Carolina
    8. 12,093 Louisiana
    9. 11,122 Missouri
    10. 9,269 Alabama

    Gap to #1 is: 24,479 certificates.

    Those same states ranked based on certificates per capita along with calculations of the number of certificates per million residents based on 2000 census data are listed here:

    1. 7726.80 South Carolina
    2. 5756.12 Indiana
    3. 4059.81 Oklahoma
    4. 3259.01 Ohio
    5. 2705.99 Louisiana
    6. 2084.28 Alabama
    7. 2059.33 Virginia
    8. 1987.77 Missouri
    9. 1510.32 North Carolina
    10. 1259.86 Michigan

    Gap to #1 is: 6466.94 per million, or 64,271 certificates.

  • The report Promising Practices: What Works in the Midwest has just been released by the Midwestern Education to Workforce Policy Initiative and the Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC) Promising Practices Series. In the report, Barbara Bolin, President of the NOCC, authored The Role of Context and Transferability in Learning from Promising Practices. Her text contains a case study on the CRC and the Consortium as an example of a successful transfer of a promising practice. There may be information in the case study that would be helpful to you in your marketing efforts to employers and others. You can download the report from under Policy Research, Publications, Reports. If you would like a hard copy of the report, please contact Barbara (
  • Just a reminder that the second edition of the Career Readiness Certificate:An Implementation Handbook is now available for download at the NOCC web site.

The NOCC is now 1 year old. To celebrate, we are having a spring fund-raising drive. Unlike National Public Radio and PBS, we don't have tote bags or coffee mugs to give you for your donation to the NOCC. All you get from the NOCC is: useful, up-to-date information like you've just read, a web site that informs the world of the terrific progress you are making with the CRC and in other areas of economic development, prompt responses to phone calls and e-mails, answers to questions, research conducted on your behalf, a forum that announces your successes to the world, presentations and writings that highlight your work, and connections that are made for you across the country and in other countries.

If you value these services and would like to make a donation to help the NOCC continue its work, please click here for more details. When and how much you donate is entirely up to you. Any and all donations are welcome. Thank you.


NOCC Thought for the Day:

If you lend someone $20 and you never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

Now that tax season is upon us, please remember that if you supported the NOCC as an individual in 2007, your donation is tax deductible.

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


© NOCC, March 2008