The WorkKeys Center at Syracuse University is housed at University College. Its services revolve around the WorkKeys Skill Assessment System created by ACT in the 1990’s. WorkKeys was created as an “Entrance Exam” for the workplace is response to employers need to get the right person in the right job the first time.
At University College, our niche in this model is the Career Readiness Certificate, the first rung on the ladder. We collaborate with CBO’s in 13 different workforce development projects funded through a myriad of sources including HUD, Department of Education, OTDA, DOL, OASAS, and self pay.
We use online courseware to enable individuals to build skills
Traditionally, Continuing Education provides services to adults who have successfully navigated the secondary education and or higher education system and are seeking more education and training. In this model our (UCE’s) “bucket” is at the end of the pipeline.
However, the pipeline is leaking badly, significantly reducing those who are in a position to benefit from our services
From National and State Bureau of Educational Statistics
Ever wonder why the market for your services is not larger?
While we in continuing education continue to target our marketing toward the relatively small percentage of the population who do “make it” Business and Industry cannot afford to wait for education reform to catch up with the demand for high skill workers. One sector of the economy that is launching its own education reform initiative is manufacturing.
In response to this overwhelming data, The National Association of Manufacturers decided on a course of action that would support long-term, systemic change to the development of the skills and competencies required by industry. In March 2009, the NAM-endorsed Skills Certification system was launched to support the growing technical demands of the modern manufacturing workplace. The system maps to both career pathways across the manufacturing economy and to the educational pathways in postsecondary education.
Contrary to popular opinion Manufacturing is not dead. As we enter the new decade, U.S. manufacturing is strong: if it were a country by itself, it would be the eighth largest economy in the world. At over $1.6 trillion, it is nearly 12% of the total U.S. GDP.
At the heart of NAM’s strategic agenda is an acknowledgement that at every point in our pipeline we have “leaks” As manufacturers, if we have a challenge, we fix it at the source and always process improve. With our limited resources we need strategies that drive systemic change because we no longer have the luxury of developing a worker over decades – we need them productive on day one to compete in the global marketplace.
The foundational competencies in the first 3 tiers are grounded in ACT’s National Career Readiness Certificate. (same as the one issued by Syracuse University) The credentials aligned to manufacturing-wide technical skill requirements are AWS’s Certified Welder, MSSC’s Certified Production Technician, and NIMS’ Machining and Metalforming certifications. Finally, SME’s Engineering Technologist certification caps our entry-level skills system. These are the postsecondary credentials that have real value in the manufacturing workplace: For workers who need to improve their skills; For workers whose jobs may be at risk, or workers who have lost a job and need to return to the workforce; For individuals coming out of the military; and, For people moving out of welfare and into work. An investment in workforce training that leads to specific credentials produces both a sense of accomplishment and merit for workers, and substantiates for manufacturers that the person has the skills to succeed in the workplace.
The Skills Certification System, and the career pathways in manufacturing that it supports, also align to education pathways in secondary and postsecondary education. Integrating the skills certifications into those education pathways implies that they should become part of degree programs of study, so that a worker can progressively pursue stackable credentials and “bank” credits, engaging in a lifetime of learning. This upwardly mobile ladder directly demonstrates how learning is a continuum throughout a worker’s life as more competencies are acquired and documented with a recognized credential. Credentials gained through the Skills Certification System will strengthen an individual’s ability to be mobile in the workforce, compete for higher-level jobs, and move to in-demand careers by: Providing skills and competencies recognized industry-wide; and Providing career pathways clearly mapped to educational pathways tied to credentials preferred by employers in multiple sectors. This system gives each individual a path to succeed, the skills to compete, and the opportunity to win.
Our certificate is based on the National Career Readiness Certificate
We are part of a national initiative – these certificate holders represent individuals at the first rung of the career ladder – They have acquired the foundational skills that will enable to pursue progressively higher credentials and education. Find them and you will find a new market
Where might university continuing education programs be involved in this deployment?
Evidently they are not going to wait around for us to get out act together!
This is a community wide initiative
Funded by DOL – NRRA funding – collaboration of regional manufacturers association (MACNY) and a CBO – we brought the grant to MACNY