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


Volume 2, Number 8, July 2008

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


  • Save the Date! This 2008 Summit on Economic and Workforce Development (October 27-28, Oklahoma City) is presented as the combination of the Oklahoma Governor’s Summit on Economic and Workforce Development and the Midwest Regional WorkKeys Conference. States represented and invited include:
    Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Virginia.

    This event is recognized by the International Economic Development Council
    (IEDC) as a professional development event that counts toward the recertification of
    Certified Economic Developers (CEcD).

  • Southeastern Employment and Training (SETA) Conference, September 14-17 in Biloxi, MS
  • ACTE Convention & Career Tech Expo, Charlotte, NC, December 4-6. Daniel Pink and William Daggett are featured speakers. Visit for more information
  • NC Workforce Development Partnership Conference, October 22-24, in Greensboro, NC
  • National Workforce Association conference, Tampa, FL, November 29-December 2, 2008. Visit for more details.
  • Center on Education and Work Careers Conference: From Inspiration to Application, Madison, WI, January 27-28, 2009. The Call for Proposals is now open.


  • In a 2007 report, Where New Ideas Flourish, published in Inc., Ryan McCarthy reported rankings of states by the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation. The rankings were based on assessments of 26 areas related to innovation. It is significant to our work that the researchers gave the most weight to data related to "knowledge jobs", including the level of education of the state labor pool .

    Massachusetts was rated #1 with a score of 96.1 with New Jersey coming in second (86.4) due largely to its pharmaceutical industry.

    According to Robert Atkinson, President of the Foundation, policy-makers would do well to pay attention to the things that make a state hospitable to innovative ventures. Former Governor of Maine, Angus King is quoted in the report. He comments, "I would much rather have ten 100-person companies in my state than one 1,000-person company." He makes this comment based on his observation that the reality of economic development is that "new jobs come from within, from indigenous businesses succeeding." Read the full Inc. article at

  • In April of this year, another interesting report appeared in Fortune Small Business. This one listed the top 100 best places to live, work, and start up a new business. Nearly 40 million Americans move every year, seeking a better job and/or better living conditions. With the success of the digital revolution, entrepreneurs have a great incentive to be mobile. Using a combination of assessments of business environment and leisure activities (Launching score; Living Score; % New Businesses), FSB ranked Bellevue, WA top of its list. Georgetown, a very congested few miles north of Austin, TX came in at #2 so it is unclear whether driving conditions were taken into account in the survey!
  • If you have received your copy of Diplomas Count from Education Week, you know that it contains a wealth of good reading on the current state and work of P-16 Councils across the country. It is disappointing that so few of these councils focus on the value of teachers in the education process. Even with rapid advances in technology and the well-accepted need to raise academic standards, the importance of well-trained, dedicated teachers should not be underestimated. After all, standards are not worth the paper they are written on if there are not well-trained people in the classrooms to help students to achieve them!
  • Bill Novelli, AARP CEO has annnounced the co-hosted AARP Forum on the Future Workforce with the European Commission in Brussels later this month. There will be an expansion of AARP's Best Employers for Workers Over 50 awards to include multinational corporations based overseas. These changes are in response to AARP's recognition that economic growth and successful competition in the global economy are clearly linked to the employment of older workers. Bill mentions the need for businesses to harness the creative power of millions of trainable employees.
  • For the first time since the dot-com bust, the median pay for IT professionals has dropped year over year. This is reported in the April edition of Information Week as a result of the magazine's annual IT salary survey. More than 96,000 IT professionals responded to the survey.

    IT is still a powerful industry segment that employs more than 4 million. Average IT employment over the last 12 months (to March, 2008) shows an increase of 12% over last year. This increased hiring is growing faster in the lowest-paying IT segments. Long-term forces exist, such as competition with lower-cost off-shore talent but only one in five respondents sees outsourcing as a problem. Median pay may be slipping because of retirement of baby-boomers who are being replaced by less-expensive younger workers. There is also concern about an industry-wide mismatch of skills with job titles. It is important to understand that this report was published before the full impact of the financial crisis showed up so things may be worse now. To read the full report visit

  • A report in the June 11, 2008 issue of Education Week gave evidence that the number of "Highly Qualified" teachers is on the rise. This credentialing initiative is part of NCLB. It is obvious that students in high-poverty schools are not reaping the benefits as much as those in low-poverty schools. The data look at the number of highly qualified teachers teaching core subjects in these two categories, and they show that in low-poverty schools 96% of the teachers are highly qualified while in high-poverty schools the percentage is only 91%. All states must report annually on the number of highly qualified teachers being used for core subjects, and only North Dakota hit the desired mark of 100%.
  • In the same issue of Education Week, it was reported that the latest analysis of a 20 year old early-childhood-education program for low-income children in Chicago schools seems to indicate that benefits continue well into adulthood. Researchers estimate that for every dollar spent in the Chicago Child Parent Centers, almost $10 is returned by age 25. This is a result of savings on school remediation, in the criminal justice system, or in benefits to the participant in the form of increased earnings.
  • As we rush toward election day in November, it is a little disappointing that the only mention of workforce development (so far as we know) has been a reference to "more job training programs" from one campaign office. "More" (and even "better") is not the issue. We already have many excellent training programs in place in high schools, post-secondary institutions, and apprenticeships. The problem is that many of them are empty of students and some are having to close due to lack of support. We learned this week for example that an excellent training program in MI, encouraged and supported by Dow Chemical in 2001, has now been closed due to very low enrolment--and this at a time when Dow urgently needs employees! With the severe economic crunch that is hitting our country, you would think that people would be more than willing to take advantage of these training opportunities. Lack of awareness of emerging careers and training opportunities has always been an issue but now more than ever it seems that we need some sort of national marketing strategy, perhaps a shift in attitude toward careers in certain industry sectors, and a continued battle against the perception that all students must get a 4-year college degree.


  • It has been a very busy week at the NOCC office. Following the publication of the article "The New Exit Exam . . . for Jobs" in Inside Higher Ed, we have received phone calls and e-mails from university and college representatives across the country and from overseas, and also enquiries from federally-funded organizations. We are confident that many of our colleagues in higher education will be starting CRC certification in their institutions this year. Author Andrew David Moltz found information on the CRCC from the web site and he was amazed at the current size of the CRC initiative. Once he scratched the surface and began to speak with people around the country, he found a much bigger story than he had at first anticipated. Once again the web site has proven to be of immense value so we are (once again!) urging you to send in your most current information on what is going on in your state so that visitors get the most accurate data possible.
  • To be specific, the NOCC office would love to receive updated information from the following states: OH, NM, MO, GA, LA, KY, TN, IA, UT, NY, WA, CO, and AR.
  • Two reports from colleagues in PA indicate that the CRC is really taking off in that state. Shannon Miller from the Central Pennsylvania Workforce Development Council is proud to have 175 local employers now endorsing the CRC. She is also working with local school districts to assess juniors and seniors. So far, 1037 CRCs (192 Bronze, 611 Silver and 234 Gold) have been issued by the CPWDC.

Then, Peter Balsamo, VP for Workforce and Community Development at Luzerne County Community College reports that his Division at LCCC was recently awarded two grants totalling almost $200,000 from the WIRED Wall Street West program. LCCC will receive $165,000 for a project aimed at helping GED completers to pursue post-secondary education. Peter is the project director. And $31,850 has been awarded for a "WorkKeys Assessment to Provide a Baseline for Curriculum Development and Skills Gap Identification program".

  • The Career Readiness Certificate: An Implementation Handbook (2nd. Edition, 2008) is available for download from the NOCC web site. Suggestions for future updates of the Handbook may be submitted directly to the author.
  • In the last newsletter, we reported on queries and concerns regarding costs associated with issuance of the National CRC. The ACTTM web site shows a cost of $15 for printing each copy of a National CRC on a private printer. Scott Stimart at ACT has clarified the situation as follows:

    Please let the NOCC readers know that when properly set up as an Agency the NCRC price for Registration, Printing and Maintaining a data base to validate the Credential is $5.00 per NCRC. Individuals will continue to pay $15.00 as reported in your newsletter.

    For more information, please contact Scott at

  • Marcia Olson reports from Alaska that there are now 2 certified WorkKeys profilers in the state, and that the first round of piloting the Alaska Career Ready program has been completed in a few school districts. So far, they have issued 162 CRCs to 11th. grade students. Marcia is interested in hearing from colleagues in other states where they are experiencing problems with large scale WorkKeys Internet testing. So far, Alaska has set up approx. 50 high schools as testing sites, and about 250 more will be added next yearIf you have had problems with the testing system, please contact NOCC or Marcia.

  • If you are issuing a "credit card" version of the CRC (i.e. a plastic/laminated mini-version or some other facsimile of the paper certificate), or a wallet card showing all WorkKeys certified, please click here to let us know.
  • Bill Guest, our data guru in west Michigan has submitted the latest news on state rankings with reference to the number of CRCs issued. Remember --Bill works only with the data shown on the CRC web site so if you have not updated your CRC numbers recently, your state's progress is NOT ACCURATELY REPRESENTED on these lists! A quick, brief e-mail is all it takes to bring your data up to date!
  • RANK


    rounded to nearest 0.1 mill.

    State totals from CRC web site July 7, 2008.
  • Due to technical difficulties with the server, some of these numbers have not been updated in the last two weeks. New data and information will be on the web site soon. Thanks for your patience!


The NOCC spring fund-raising drive brought several promises of donations. However, none of them has materialized yet. If you were kind enough to promise a donation, please send your check to the NOCC office as soon as you can. Your funds go toward paying for web hosting, and other services of significant benefit to you and the CRC initiative. Thank you. If you were kind enough to promise a donation, please send your check to the NOCC office can.

NOCC Thought(s) for the Day:

A clean office is the sign of a broken computer!


Thanks to the internet, you can get hopelessly in debt without even leaving your house.

(J.Wagner, "Maxine" cartoons, Hallmark, Inc.)


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© NOCC, July, 2008