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The Progress of Education Reform: Reimagining Business Involvement PDF - Business thrives on the sure thing—the in-demand product, the new technology, the well-educated worker. Yet while new technologies and products have revolutionized the economy and our way of life, college graduates' workforce readiness has not kept pace. This issue of The Progress of Education Reform explores new models of business involvement that could substantially decrease private sector training costs and presents ways that policymakers can integrate these approaches into a coherent statewide engagement strategy.(Matthew Smith, ECS, June 2013) ...

Engaging Employers as Customers: How Education and Business Can Join Forces to Boost Success for All - Educators and employers often seem to speak different languages, with different goals in mind. But when it comes to preparing people for work, they have the same objective — helping learners gain the skills and opportunities they need in order to succeed in the workplace. This brief highlights strategies for building effective employer-educator partnerships to increase college and career success for underprepared youth and adults. (Jobs for the Future, May 2015)...

Collaboration and Coordination to Improve Adult College Completion Efforts - Research on the common characteristics of effective multi-stakeholder collaborations is provided, with a particular focus on initiatives working to tackle complex social challenges. The brief includes examples of collaborative efforts that are uniting diverse stakeholders to support adult degree completion at the state and local level: the Greater Louisville (KY) Education Commitment, the Georgia Adult Learning Consortium and Cincinnati Health Careers Collaborative. (Patrick Lane, WICHE, April 2015)...

Employer Perspectives on Competency-Based Education - A survey of 500 hiring managers at different companies revealed that overall employer awareness of competency-based education (CBE) is low, those few who were aware of CBE had a favorable impression and employers remain generally unable to articulate discrete needs as competencies. An opportunity exists for the field to engage employers more proactively as partners in CBE programs. (Chip Franklin and Robert Lytle, American Enterprise Institute, April 2015)...

Let's Get Real: Deeper Learning and the Power of the Workplace - Career readiness deserves as much attention as college prep, the author argues, because millions of American young people have no work experience. Over the last decade and a half, the youth labor market has plummeted from 44 percent of U.S. teenagers in 2000 to 24 percent in 2011. A workplace experience can offer young people a range of academic, interpersonal and intrapersonal capacities - deeper learning. The Swiss system of vocational education is examined. (Nancy Hoffman, Jobs for the Future, February 2015)...

Making Skills Everyone's Business: A Call to Transform Adult Learning in the United States - Seven strategies are proposed for improving conditions that create and perpetuate poor literacy, numeracy, and problem solving among adults. Based on shared responsibility, they include raising awareness; transforming opportunities to assess, improve and use skills; making career pathways available in every community; ensuring all students have access to highly effective teachers and programs; creating a "no wrong door approach;" engaging employers to support upskilling and committing to closing the equity gap. (U.S. Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education, February 2015)...

Success in Real-Time: Using Real-Time Labor Market Information to Build Better Middle-Skill STEM Pathways - States are encouraged to use labor market information in an ongoing way in this brief, making it available to community colleges and other stakeholders. That means state-level data systems need to be strengthened and institutions' use of labor market information should be supported by technical assistance and professional development. Labor market needs should inform decision making at the state, system and institutional levels.(Ian Rosenblum and Christopher Spence, Jobs for the Future and Achieving the Dream, January 2015)...

Aligning Postsecondary Education and Workforce Strategies to Drive Attainment - To align postsecondary and employer strategies to meet workforce needs, this primer advises building data systems to share information on the labor market and graduates' outcomes, aligning graduates' skills and workforce needs, integrating learning outside the classroom to improve transition from college to workforce and workforce to college, increasing career advising and providing affordable postsecondary education options. (Institute for Higher Education Policy, November 2014)...

Mastering the Blueprint: State Progress on Workforce Data - Results of a nationwide survey on states' progress to connect and use workforce data found 37 of 40 states plus the District of Columbia were moving forward on tracking whether workforce and education program students were getting employment. Standouts were Utah, Maryland, Florida, North Carolina and Maine. (Workforce Data Quality Campaign, October 2014)...

Beyond the Skills Gap: Making Education Work - A reframing of the Higher Education Act is called for, in ways that support all forms of postsecondary learning, including students on non-degree paths, the author argues. Recommended reforms include strengthening the role of programmatic accreditors as gatekeepers to financial aid, removing barriers to better data collection on student outcomes, and expanding eligibility for financial aid.(Mary Alice McCarthy, New America, October 2014)...

Evidence Review of the Economic Contribution of Libraries - Figuring out libraries' economic contribution, while necessary given today's economic climate, isn't easy. To begin, the English Arts Council asked for this study, a review of the literature on libraries' worth. England's director of libraries points out that while they may not 'turn a profit,' libraries provide communities with support that goes beyond checking out a book or DVD: training sessions, a place to meet a friend or client, Internet access, information for local businesses, essential and expensive textbooks, all with little money exchanged. The study reviews difficulties and modes of evaluation and points to new directions research should take. (Arts Council England, June 2014)...

Education at a Glance 2013: Highlights - The 2013 edition of Education at a Glance: Highlights summarizes the OECD's flagship compendium of education statistics. It provides easily accessible data on key topics in education today, including: education levels and student numbers; higher education and work; the economic and social benefits of education; paying for education; and the school environment....

Failure to Launch: Structural Shift and the New Lost Generation - Hard hit by the economy, young adults are taking longer to establish careers, four years longer in 2012 than it took in 1980. Labor force participation for young people is at its lowest since 1972, exacerbated by a loss of blue collar jobs. Meanwhile, college-educated older workers, especially women, are staying in the workforce longer though that doesn't mean they're taking jobs from youth; baby boomer retirements have created more job openings than in the 1990s. The authors call for better alignment between postsecondary programs and career pathways, mixing work and learning for youth, and slower transitions from work to retirement for older workers. (Anthony P. Carnevale, Andrew R. Hanson and Artem Gulish, The Generations Initiative and the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University, September 2013) ...

Condition of Work Readiness in the United States - Part of a series that looks at defining, measuring, and interpreting gaps in skills needed for various jobs, this report examines levels of work readiness for various subgroups using three foundational skills: reading for information, applied mathematics and locating information. Among other observations, the author found that a higher level of education does always guarantee work readiness.For example, in the high education group the most apparent gaps were in locating information. Tables provide information on fastest-growing occupations, occupations with the most openings and highest paying occupations. (Mary LeFebvre, ACT, June 2013)...

Using Data to Improve the Performance of Workforce Training - Course-for-course, workplace outcomes of career training can rival or even outstrip outcomes from select universities, yet only 31% of community college students earn a degree. The problem, authors of a recent report assert, is that prospective students have little information to make wise career training decisions. They offer a plan to fix that which would raise students’ completion rates, raise their earning capacity and act as a statewide economic generator. Proposing a competition among states, they say states can use longitudinal data systems they already have and provide better training choices for students taking into account their academic preparation, facility with using data, workplace skills, and interests. User friendly report cards would be generated with information on best-paying jobs for trainees based on personal characteristics. (Louis Jacobson and Robert Lalonde, America Achieves, April 2013)...

Connecting At-Risk Youth to Promising Occupations - Mathematica researchers first identified four features for job consideration: median earnings level, education and training requisites, projected growth in labor-market demand, and potential for individual advancement. Using various measures, they came up with a minimum salary of $25,000. They looked for jobs requiring only brief training, apprenticeship, or education up to an associate’s degree. Using the Bureau of Labor Statistics, they searched out fields that forecasters predicted would have “faster than average” or “much faster than average” growth between 2010 and 2020. Finally, they wanted fields in which employees could advance with additional education, training or work experience. They chose health care and construction. Take a look at the two charts on each field with occupations, annual median projected growth, education requirements, and work experience/on-the-job training requirements. (M.C. Bradley, Jiffy Lansing and Matthew Stagner, Mathematica, January 2013)...

Education to Employment: Designing a System that Works - The authors studied education-to-employment programs in nine countries and found that among the most successful, employers and educators regularly checked in with each other; also, employer commitment to students began before enrollment. (Mona Mourshed, McKinsey Center for Government, December 2012)...

The College Advantage: Weathering the Economic Storm - This report explores how college degrees have served as protection for Americans seeking shelter during a tough economic storm. The authors found that workers with a high school diploma or less bore the brunt of recession job losses and that job gains in the recovery are confined to those with education beyond high school. (Georgetown Public Policy Institute, August 2012) ...

A Decade Behind: Breaking Out of the Low-Skill Trap in the Southern Economy - This report projects job growth and education requirements in the southern United States over the coming decade. The authors find that 57% of all jobs in the South will require some form of postsecondary education or training, compared to 65% for the nation. (Georgetown Public Policy Institute, July 2012)...

U.S. Education Reform and National Security - This report finds that the United States' failure to educate its students leaves it unprepared to compete and threatens the country's ability to thrive in a global economy and maintain its leadership role. The Task Force proposes three overarching policy recommendations: Implement educational expectations and assessments in subjects vital to protecting national security; make structural changes to provide students with good choices; and launch a "national security readiness audit" to hold schools and policymakers accountable for results and to raise public awareness. (Council on Foreign Relations, March 2012)...

Employer Perceptions of Associate Degrees in Local Labor Markets: A Case Study of the Employment of Information Technology Technicians in Detroit and Seattle - While promoting postsecondary credential completion is a national priority intended to help graduates secure good jobs, the value of credentials in the labor market from the perspective of employers is not well understood. This study provides suggestions on how an understanding of the specific qualities employers expect in credential holders and of the role of the local labor market can help colleges better engage with employers and fine-tune their programs to more effectively meet students' and employer's needs. (CCRC, February 2012)...

A Better Measure of Skills Gaps: Utilizing ACT Skill Profile and Assessment Data for Strategic Skill Research - This research report was designed to assist economic and workforce developers as they contend with the increasing mismatch, or skills gaps, between labor market supply and demand in America. As the nation grapples with the effects of the recession, policymakers struggle to find ways to integrate the millions of unemployed workers whose current skills may not be adequate. The new reality is that a significant segment of today’s labor force does not have the requisite skills that employers demand. (ACT, August 2011)...

Driving Innovation from the Middle: Middle-Skill Jobs in the American South's Economy - Fifty-one percent of jobs in the American South require “middle-skills” – such as medical technicians or computers support workers. The region has a shortage of people able to fill the positions. Highly skilled jobs make up 29 percent of the market and low-skill jobs make up 20 percent. The South is finding it difficult to fill these positions even when four-year graduates face difficulty finding a job and paying off their student loans. (Rachel Unruh, National Skills Coalition, August 2011)...

Integrating Intake Among Workforce Programs: Key Strategies - This issue brief provides examples of key strategies for creating a common intake process for customers throughout the workforce system. Examples of state and local tools, processes, and policies designed to create or improve integrated intake are included. An annotated list of additional resources is also provided. (Mathematica Policy Research, June 2011)...

Select Findings From "What's It Worth? The Economic Value of College Majors" - This report analyzes the correlation between undergraduate major and earnings after graduation. Students graduating in the fields of engineering, computers, math and business were found to earn the highest salaries, with education, psychology and social work representing fields with the lowest earnings potential. Click here for the full report. (Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, May 2011) ...

Leaving No Worker Behind: Community Colleges Retrain the Michigan Workforce – and Themselves - This report examines what five community colleges learned about catering to the needs of dislocated, jobless and otherwise low-skilled adults. These lessons can help institutions and states nationwide as they strive to serve this rapidly growing college population. (Jobs for the Future, May 2011)...

Is College Worth It? College Presidents, Public Assess Value, Quality and Mission of Higher Education - Findings indicate that the majority of Americans feel the higher education system fails to provide good value for the money students and their families spend. Additionally, about four-in-ten college presidents say the system is headed in the wrong direction. This report is largely based on findings from two Pew Research Center surveys conducted in the spring of 2011: The general public survey is based on telephone interviews of adults; the college president survey is based on a web survey conducted with college and university presidents.(Pew Research Center, May 2011)...

Building for Growth: Business Priorities for Education and Skills--Education and Skills Survey 2011 - Responses were received from 566 employers, collectively employing 2.2 million people in businesses of all sizes and sectors across the United Kingdom. Over two thirds (70%) want to see the development of employability skills among young people at school and college made a top priority. What is required is simply embedding the skills in the curriculum, as the best schools and colleges already do. Employers also see a pressing need to raise standards of literacy and numeracy amongst teenagers and to want to see university students doing more to prepare themselves to be effective in the workplace. (Education Development International, May 2011)...

Research Shows the Effectiveness of Workforce Programs: A Fresh Look at the Evidence - A growing body of research suggests that workforce investments are likely to pay off for the next generation. (CLASP, May 2011)...

Breaking New Ground: Building a National Workforce Skills Credentialing System - This report introduces the need and associated benefits for establishing a national workforce credentialing system, as we know of no other set of activities more important than getting a critical mass of state, national and public and private workforce leaders to co-construct this foundational framework to address our national workforce challenges. (American College Testing, January 2011)...

Degrees of Separation: Education, Employment, and the Great Recession in Metropolitan America - Each of the economic downturns in the United States in the last two decades has been greeted with claims by some that it is affecting professional, "white-collar" workers more severely than other workers, or than in past recessions. However, when the full impact is measured, those with higher levels of education have consistently done better than those with lower levels of education. This report examines the relationship between educational attainment and employment status during the two years of the "Great Recession" from 2007 to 2009. Particular focus is placed on the nation's 100 largest metropolitan areas. (Alan Berube, Brookings Institution Press, November 2010)...

The Economic Value of the U.S. Early Childhood Sector - This study concludes that the level of investment in early childhood education is not adequate to meet the needs of our nation’s youngest children, who comprise over 8 percent of the population and will grow to be our future workforce. (Elaine Weiss and Robert Brandon, Early Childhood Sector, July 2010)...

Help Wanted: Projections of Jobs and Education Requirements Through 2018 - The U.S. economy is in serious danger from a growing mismatch between the skills that will be needed for jobs being created and the educational backgrounds of would-be workers, according to this report. By 2018, there will be a shortage of 3 million workers who have some postsecondary degree and of 4.7 million workers who have a postsecondary certificate. The report urges colleges to be more career-oriented and overhaul the way they educate students, to much more closely align the curriculum with specific jobs. (Anthony Carnevale, Nicole Smith and Jeff Strohl, Center on Education and the Workforce, June 2010)...

The Breaking Through Practice Guide - The Practice Guide has four components, each devoted to a “high leverage strategy” that community colleges and other programs can adopt to increase their success with low-skilled younger and older adults. The components are: (1) Accelerated learning; (2) Comprehensive support services; (3) Labor market payoffs; and (4) Aligning programs for low-skilled adults. Breaking Through is a collaboration between Jobs for the Future and the National Council for Workforce Education, an organization of community-college-based workforce-development leaders. (Jobs for the Future, Spring 2010)...

New Paradigm for Economic Development: How Higher Education Institutions Are Working to Revitalize Their Regional and State Economies - In states across America, higher education institutions and systems are working to become key drivers of economic development and community revitalization. These trends suggest a new paradigm for economic development programs--one that puts higher education at the center of states' efforts to succeed in the knowledge economy. (David Shaffer and David Wright, Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, March 2010)...


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