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.
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.
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!
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.
Our certificate is based on the National Career Readiness Certificate
We use online courseware to enable individuals to build skills
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
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
For Every 100 9 th Graders 68 Graduate on time Of those, 40 enroll directly in college Of those, 27 are still enrolled the following year Of those, 18 earn a Associates Degree within 3 years or a BA within 6 years 82 Don’t make it! Tough Choices or Tough Times – National Center on Education and the Economy
If someone had done to us what we have done to our education system it would have been considered an act of war. Nation at Risk 1983
Regional Economic Validation: Using real-time data on occupational, employment, and industry outlooks, complete a validation of the job availability and growth patterns within the regional economy.
Define Education Pathways: Design and/or validate career and educational pathways aligned to the available jobs and growth sectors in the regional economy.
Map Current Education Assets: This alignment will begin with the educational programs in Advanced Manufacturing of the community colleges and colleges/universities in the region and include articulation from high schools to postsecondary programs of study.
Press Release 3-17-2010 University of Phoenix Teams with The Manufacturing Institute to Educate Workforce to Meet the Challenges of the 21st Century Alliance will Bridge Manufacturing Talent Gap While Addressing Needs of the Working Learner
Certificate of Workplace Competency A portable assessment-based credential that gives employers and career seekers a uniform measure of key foundational workplace skills.
Benefits of the National Career Readiness Certificate Based on objective, standardized results Nationwide portability An internationally recognized assessment organization Available for immediate use
Career Readiness Certificates Issued State Number Certificates Issued Arkansas 25,731 Alabama 29,551 Florida 889,446 Georgia 100,452 Indiana 66,023 Minnesota 39,378 Michigan 74,982 New York 2,000 North Carolina 57,944 South Carolina 113,688