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When is language the barrier to building literacy skills?

This very well-written piece gets right to the heart of the objectives we should emphasize when working with English language deficient adults.

Increasingly we hear from trainers that there are more learners for whom English is a second, or third, or … language in the course they deliver.  This brings additional challenges to assist learners who may be unfamiliar with the workplace context and language. Language is the link or key to being able to grasp concepts, interpret texts, and communicate.

It’s not surprising that more trainers speak about the multiple languages spoken by learners in class. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reveals:

  • in 2016, for approximately 40% of the Australian population English is not their primary or first language.
  • in 2016, over 400 languages were spoken in Australia – more than a 100% increase since 2006.
  • the percentage of the population that speak only English is declining.

Furthermore, RTO delivery has expanded to include training within, or for countries other than Australia, so more trainers are involved with workplace training and…

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Categories: Workforce Development

Interesting Stats on The Education and Earnings Connection

August 25, 2015 Leave a comment

 

Per the 2010 Help Wanted Report from the Center on Education and the Workforce…

► Having a high school diploma is worth about $569,000 more than being a dropout. 

► Having some college but no degree or a postsecondary certificate is worth about $473,000 more than a high school degree. 

► Having an Associate’s degree is worth about $15,000 more than some college but no degree. 

► Having a Master’s degree is worth $457,000 more than a Bachelor’s degree.

 

But… Innovative entrepreneurs generally beat these odds.


 

Bringing Manufacturing JOBS Back to the US

August 21, 2015 Leave a comment

 

Have you heard all the whoopla about bringing manufacturing jobs back to the US?  The real economist say it can’t happen; and I agree with them. Idealistically it sounds great, but fiscally I don’t see how it could ever work (especially in California).    This California EDD Labor Market Report supports my thinking. It says:

“manufacturing sector is expected to lose 40,100 jobs through the projection period. This sector has a long history of declining employment due to increases in automation and outsourcing…”

 

Manufacturing may surge in the US; but manufacturing JOBS will not.

Have you seen what became of the old NUMMI plant which once was the biggest employer in Alameda county?  It’s now the TESLA plant. It still manufactures automobiles, but it employs minimal human resources.  TESLA employs robotics to do the grunt work of manufacturing vehicles. If your dream job involves building cars, you may want to spend a little more time gaining higher-level math, problem-solving, and computer skills (like coding, computer aided drafting and so forth). Take a look at this video:


 

 


 

Compare what you just saw at TESLA to this short overview of the old NUMMI plant.  There was quite a bit of automation then; but you’ll also see a lot of human talent involved in getting the job done.


 

This major shift in automobile assembly and the unemployment of more than 5000 people only took 20 years to happen. I remember when the NUMMI plant opened, and I was on the front line helping calm the most frantic dislocated workers through the emotional experience of job loss, financial calamity, and workforce skills deficiency. If your dream job involves building cars, you may want to spend a little more time gaining higher-level math, problem-solving, and computer skills (like coding, computer aided drafting and so forth).

Manufacturing isn’t the only industry that will see many of it’s jobs replaced by robotics. Anywhere it can happen, it will happen.  Consider the self-driving vehicles being tested right now. The long-term plan, as I understand it, is for the transportation industry to replace truck drivers with self-driving big rigs.


 


 

The point of my writing this article is this: Right now workforce systems will promote manufacturing careers, and that’s good for now; but for those who choose manufacturing as a career pathway, always remember the future plan is  for  robotics to replace humans. Use this knowledge to your advantage and as a constant motivation not to get comfortable doing the same thing over and over. If you can do it over and over, so can a robot. Diversify your skill-set and invest time in learning innovative, higher-level thinking. See yourself several steps ahead of where the industry is today.

 

No matter what industry you currently work in, take out a little time to see how things are changing in the manufacturing industry.

 

National Manufacturing Day is October 2, 2015. So far there are over 600 events nationwide planned for this day.  Go to www.mfgday.com to find an event near you.

 

Creating Accelerated Career Pathways into Healthcare

August 4, 2015 1 comment

BLOG_AcceleratePathwaysHealthcare-1According to Manpower’s 2015 Talent Shortage Survey (#TalentShortage), nursing occupations is #7 on a list of 10 industries. For survey purposes, nurses includes:

Non-degree: CMAs, PCAs, CNAs, HHAs, LPNs, and LVNs

Degreed: RNs

Advanced degree: APNs, NPs,  PAs, CLNs, CNSs, CNMs, CRNAs

Doctoral degree: DNPs, PhDs

 

According to Stephanie Neuvirth, chief human resources and diversity officer at City of Hope in Duarte, CA:

“Jobs in accounting, finance, IT and administration are plentiful in health care. Although these jobs provide the infrastructure for the health care industry, parents, guidance counselors and students don’t realize they exist.”

Career fields such as healthcare, especially where patient contact is key, are challenging to fill because success depends on having the right combination of soft skills, technical skills, and physical ability. Certain roles in health care also needs individuals who are able to relate to the cultural and spiritual norms of the patient. Healthcare providers in Duarte, CA understand this challenge all too well, as 71% of their patients are Hispanic.

“Only 6 percent of the physicians and 8 percent of the nurses in the U.S. are Hispanic”

When I look across the landscape of career education, I see many schools providing training in allied healthcare, yet employers still struggle to get the type of employee they really need. It’s clear that the typical training program is not quite hitting the mark. In some cases the problem is the curriculum, in other cases the problem is access to internships, but in some cases (and I hate to say this) it’s the student. I’ve had first-hand experience on numerous occasions where a student wanted to join my healthcare training program because “there’s a lot of jobs in healthcare”. As a program manager, if your primary concern was getting enough students enrolled into the course to meet your revenue target, it may be easy to fill your class with students who can do the technical skills of medical care, but who lack the genuine compassion for patient care. These type of students will ultimately be fairly unemployable in the healthcare industry. As workforce development planners and education & training providers I believe this is something that deserves our consideration.

There are three programs making an impact on suring-up our need for qualified and quality health care talent I’d like to share with you:

CareerSTAT is “an initiative to document and endorse the business case for investments in frontline hospital workers and to establish an employer-led advocacy council to promote investments that yield strong skill development and career outcomes for low-wage, frontline hospital workers”. Nearly 100 health care organizations partner with CareerSTAT including Kaiser Permanente and Banner Health. Some of their activities include:

  • An employer-led national collaboration of health care leaders
  • A clearinghouse for best practices in health care and shared information in training development
  • A focus on early college and career pathway programs and provides low-income and minority students with access to in-demand health care careers
  • Work towards initiatives that would get Hispanic youth engaged in health care careers

TEACH Project (Train, Educate, and Accelerate Careers in Healthcare)- seeks to create skilled workers in health IT. This project works with high-school students to provide education, training and job shadowing opportunities, integrated with their current school studies. Students concurrently receive high-school credit, community college credit, and on the job experience that accelerates their entrance into a job in the medical field.

Homebridge, Inc in San Mateo, CA – One of the most advanced employer-based, entry-level training programs into the medical field. The Homebridge training program provides adult-centered, competency- based training curriculum, designed to be accessible to students with a minimum of 6th grade proficiency. The training highlights the value of hands-on learning and includes a simulation apartment where caregivers can practice with beds, wheelchairs, and bathroom facilities. Success in the classroom is supported in the field by peer mentors who provide on- the-job training and a work-life coach who addresses barriers to job retention. Because of their strong emphasis on training & development, Homebridge’s 37% turnover rate for frontline caregivers is 31% lower than the 54% national average.

 


 

As workforce developers and education & training providers move forward with WIOA (Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act) implementation activities, I believe programs like these give great models to emulate, but more so, some good starting points for finding the right kind of partnerships. Remember, partnerships and “stackablity” are key components to a successful WIOA funded program.

This article is based on my own research, therefore I have no endorsement of any kind from these three programs. If you’d like to read more about them you’ll find articles at these two links.

CareerSTAT & TEACH – http://tinyurl.com/p8vjymn

Homebridge, Inc: http://tinyurl.com/o88rjsf

Michelle Walker-Wade Workforce & Training Professional

Michelle Walker-Wade
Workforce & Training Professional

Introducing the America’s College Promise Act 2015 (H.R. 2962)

Introducing Americas College Act 2015

On July 8, 2015 the House and Senate introduced the America’s College Promise Act 2015. This act would make up to two years of community college tuition-free for up to 9 million qualifying students. Funding could cover 100% of in-state tuition and fees (75% covered by Federal funding, 25% by State funding).

Eligible students:

  1. Must be enrolled in an eligible program at a community college for the first time
  2. Must attend college on at least a half time basis
  3. Must also maintain satisfactory progress in their course of study
  4. Must enroll in:
  • academic programs that fully transfer to a bachelor’s or graduate degree at any public college or university in the state
  • occupational skills training programs that lead to a recognized postsecondary credential in an in-demand industry sector or occupation in the state

The bill includes funding for community college, technical college, tribal colleges and historically black colleges and minority serving institutions.

It’s important to note:

  • The Federal will provide $3.00 for every $1.00 of State funding.
  • States’ must agree to participate.
  • If a State opts-in, colleges must also commit to certain education reforms aimed at improving the quality of the educational experience and its outcomes.
  • This act is in effort to build a strong workforce and global economy.
  • Thus far, this act is not a bi-partisan effort. It was introduces by the democrats with 61 sponsors.
  • With regards to community college, because this funding only applies to academic courses that are transferable to a 4-year institution, it cannot be used for remedial and/or non-transferable pre-requisite college courses.

As of July 2015, this act has not yet passed. It’s simply been ‘introduced’.

Click here and listen to an audio recording of the live press release.

A recent poll  indicated nearly 70% of Americans oppose free community college. Based on the requirements introduced in this bill, what are your thoughts? Yay or nay?

Adult Literacy Education Providers Prep for WIOA’s Integrated Education and Training pt 2

THE WIA-TO-WIOA TRANSITION BEGINS JULY 1, 2015 

 THE UPCOMING ACADEMIC YEAR IS A YEAR OF CHANGE

In 2012 the U.S. Department of Education Office of Vocational and Adult Education produced a 30-page document titled: Promoting College and Career Readiness: Bridge Programs for Low-Skill Adults. If you read through it, you will see very sharp resemblances of what we as Education & Training professionals should be focusing on to  gear up for WIOA changes on our campuses and in our classrooms.  Some of the terms in the report vary from the terms in the WIOA proposal, but the meanings are the same.

 


Adult Education & WIOA-1


♦♦♦ I will highlight some of the report’s content below ♦♦♦

Create bridge programs (“Pathways”) to  help adult students identify career and education goals and develop the skills, content knowledge, and learning strategies needed to enter and succeed in postsecondary education and employment.

Combine (“Integrate”) basic skill instruction in reading, math, writing, and English language, including preparation for the GED test,  employment skills, and college success strategies. Some bridge programs also offer college credit and certificates (“Nationally recognized credentials”), which may be the first step toward a college degree.

Use state and local labor market information  develop bridge programs focused on occupations or industry sectors with a high demand for employees. ♦ Note: Your local Workforce Investment Board will need to be very involved in your education and training program planning, per WIOA.

For examples of what your education and training programs should emulate, consider these: 

  1. Washington’s I-BEST approach: an integrated ABE (and now ELA) and CTE instructional planning process and co-teaching.
  2.  Oregon Pathways for Adult Basic Skills Transition to Education and Work Initiative (OPABS) provided the impetus for the state’s Adult Basic Skills (ABS) system to incorporate career pathways and assist  in transitioning learners  into further education and employment, including formal connections to postsecondary education and OneStop Career Centers.
  3. (Alabama Community College has also gained recognition for being fairly “WIOA Ready’ and therefore also serve as a great example for planning and implementation.)

Finally

Look to form partnerships with organizations such as these:

Jobs for the Future (JFF) Breaking Through and ABE to Credentials initiatives

The Joyce Foundation Shifting Gears initiative

The Nellie Mae Education Foundation New England ABE-to-College Transition project

The time to get involved and to start your transitional planning is now.

Sources:

http://www.nationalskillscoalition.org/resources/webinars/aligned-by-design-wioa-and-career-and-technical-education

http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ovae/pi/cclo/brief-1-bridge-programs.pdf

WIOA!!! What’s Going to Happen to Low Literacy Adults (Part 2)

Many adult education practitioners share the concern that while WIOA legislation ‘says’ Family Literacy is an eligible activity, the law is so job-focused that it seems to leave no room for parents who do not work outside of the home, or for full-time caregivers, nor for retirees/senior citizens who do not plan on returning to work. This is a fully-loaded question and may be the reason why so many adult education professionals are not ready to tackle the changes WIOA may bring. It’s not yet clear where this demographic of learners will fall in the spectrum, nor how education providers will account for serving this group of participants under WIOA. It is believed that changes to core ESL programs will happen later on in the transitional phase-in of WIOA. Some have asked about the possibility of Federal WIOA funds (vs. State funds) be used to serve Family Literacy needs. For now, the answer to this question has not been clarified. The good news is…this concern has been heard! Take a look the National Skills Coalitions May 18th webinar. It’s one of the best I’ve seen to address concerns most relevant to Title II / AEFLA thus far. https://youtu.be/I1GdL6f6Tx0

Categories: WIOA, Workforce Development Tags: ,