Upceastackable skills


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  • The concern is not necessarily about degrees, but more about SKILLS that can help individuals and companies compete and be successful.
  • Again, degrees may not be as important as developing skills to perform.
  • In the global economy and workplace, individuals change jobs, careers, industries, and multitask. Having a diverse skill set is key to success.
  • Professional credentials, more so than degrees, will increase an individual’s resilience if they get laid off, need to change jobs, or if their company downsizes they can be more flexible and take on new responsibilities rather than become unemployed.
  • Industry recognized: Self-explanatory. Must be recognized and valued by the particular industry. Portable: Can transfer to a different geographic region, employer, organization, setting. Stackable. Accumulated to build credential and qualification.
  • Traditionally, continuing ed has offered individual and isolated courses in professional development. These courses are typically “stand alone” rather than part of a comprehensive course of study or credential.
  • In addition CE traditionally offers certificate programs that prepare students for a particular job. Quite often these certificate training programs only prepare students for a specified job—usually entry level. The skills do not necessary carry over to other jobs, industries or careers—so students options are limited.
  • CE has also engaged in developmental education…providing programs to help students with remedial program, entry level job skills, or to help them be successful in a degree program.
  • Do the training programs and courses we offer effectively prepare students to compete and be successful in the workplace? Are we limiting their options by only providing opportunities for very targeted, entry level positions? How can we improve our training program options to increase the workforce opportunities and pathways available to students---while ALSO helping businesses in our community create a more stable, productive, and successful workforce?
  • The term “stackable skills” is relatively new---but it’s based on a more well-known concept of “Stackable Credentials.”
  • So the concept of stackable credentials is to provide multiple credentials that will build upon each other to not just prepare an individual for a single, entry level job, but will provide different options for career pathways and growth.
  • As a continuing education professional, you may not be involved in developing credit or degree programs, so the concept of “stacking” may not have seemed relevant to you. However if you think of creating “stackable skillsets” rather than credentials, you can see the relevance.
  • In order to put together a program of stackable skills, you must involve industry leaders and business owners. Perhaps individual interviews or focus groups to find out what the skill sets they need and where gaps exist. We can’t assume we know. For instance, a colleague was developing technology training programs and was focused on software applications. When she finally conferred with business leaders in that industry, she found out that their biggest frustration was with the lack of interpersonal communication skills. The business owner also felt that the employees needed ethic training to complement their technology skills.
  • Once you identify the skill needs, you can then create programs to provide those training, or customize existing programs in your catalog offerings. Ideally, rather than offer individual programs (i.e. leadership, communication, etc.) you can “bundle” them so that the skills are stacked and provide for a more well rounded, skilled professional.
  • Background and context of the fitness industry. There is significant growth and job opportunities and opportunities for earning a pretty good wage. In spite of this, fitness clubs are reporting an average attrition rate of 80%.
  • Interviews with business owners and managers revealed a high demand for skilled professionals that can perform multiple functions and services and are prepared and willing to growth within the business, rather than leave.
  • Background on W.I.T.S.
  • W.I.T.S. became more aware of the growing problems with quality professionals in the industry. Our graduates needed places to work, and opportunities to develop professionally and the employers needed better trained, higher skilled employees
  • Through interviews, student feedback, employer surveys W.I.T.S. identified the essential skills needed. We recognized that rather than prepare students for a single career path as a Personal Trainer, we could provide multiple skills training opportunities, cluster them together and create what we call “stackable skills” that will ultimately create multiple career pathways.
  • We started with our Personal Trainer Certification which provides the foundational knowledge and skills needed to enter the industry and start earning a decent wage.
  • But we didn’t want to stop there. While Personal Training may be a rewarding profession in and of itself, many wanted opportunities to use these skills and develop further. And employers wanted the personal trainers they hired to perform multiple functions, serve multiple populations and growth with the company.
  • So, the student gets the foundational knowledge and skills with the PT program and can then move up and expand into different career pathways.
  • All of these programs offer opportunities for growth, alternative pathways, increased revenue for the business and income for the professional.
  • The interviews with club owners and managers also identified major gaps in the management and leadership skills of professionals they were hiring.
  • So we created a new program to add another “stackable skillset” and provide a whole different career pathway option.
  • All of these programs offer opportunities for growth, alternative pathways, increased revenue for the business and income for the professional.
  • What WITS did in the fitness industry can be applied to just about any industry and career.
  • All of these programs offer opportunities for growth, alternative pathways, increased revenue for the business and income for the professional.
  • All of these programs offer opportunities for growth, alternative pathways, increased revenue for the business and income for the professional.
  • All of these programs offer opportunities for growth, alternative pathways, increased revenue for the business and income for the professional.
  • Upceastackable skills

    1. 1. Stackable Skills:An Approach to Career and Workforce Development UPCEA 2012 Portland Amy Hyams, Ed.D.
    2. 2. Presentation Overview• Setting the stage: Workforce Development Issues• Stackable Skills Approach• Case study: Fitness Industry• Other examples
    3. 3. Setting the Stage• As the economy recovers and job growth returns, the public workforce system has a critical role to play in ensuring that job seekers and employers have access to the skills they need to compete and succeed. U.S. Department of Labor
    4. 4. Setting the Stage• A recent study from the Brookings Institution projects that nearly half of all (job) openings over the next decade will be for “middle-skill” jobs, those requiring more than high school but less than a college degree. U.S. Department of Labor
    5. 5. Setting the Stage• At current rates of postsecondary educational attainment, U.S. employers will face significant skills shortages by mid- decade, threatening their ability to compete in today’s global economy
    6. 6. Setting the Stage• Some researchers and policy analysts have suggested that it would be beneficial to encourage more students into pathways that involve multiple, stackable credentials.
    7. 7. Value of Credentials• An occupational certificate earned through just one year of postsecondary study can produce a 20 percent increase in earnings.
    8. 8. Value of Credentials• Credentials also provide some insulation for workers from downturns in the economy.• Industry-recognized credentials provide a significant lift to precisely those workers who are most vulnerable in the labor market.
    9. 9. Value of Credentials• Valuable if: –Industry recognized. –Portable. –Stackable.
    10. 10. How Have We Responded?• Courses that teach skills: – Computer applications. – Soft skills (communication, leadership, writing, etc.)
    11. 11. How Have We Responded?• Certificate programs: – Allied health care. – Fitness. – Banking. – Paralegal.
    12. 12. How Have We Responded?• Developmental education. – Reading. – Writing. – Math. – Study skills.
    13. 13. How Have We Responded?How can we do better?
    14. 14. SolutionStackable Skills!
    15. 15. Stackable SkillsBased on the concept of“Stackable Credentials”
    16. 16. Stackable Skills• A credential is considered stackable when it is part of a sequence of credentials that can be accumulated over time to build up an individual’s qualifications and help them to move along a career pathway or up a career ladder to different and potentially higher-paying jobs.
    17. 17. Stackable Skills• Stackable credentials has traditionally referred to the “stacking” of degree programs and certificate programs, which may be beyond the scope of our offerings.
    18. 18. Stackable Skills• So what can we do?• If you are not offering degree programs, how can you help students develop “stackable skills” to create pathways to employment and career growth?
    19. 19. Stackable SkillsIdentify industries in your community with the greatest need for skilled workforce.Meet with those business leaders to identify required job skills and opportunities for growth.
    20. 20. Stackable SkillsRespond to those needs with new programs or the customizing of existing programs.Bundle programs to create a comprehensive course of study that does more that just provide entry level training.
    21. 21. Case Study Fitness Industry:A practical example of the application of “Stackable Skills”
    22. 22. Fitness Industry• Department of Labor projects 29% increase in job openings for fitness workers.• Fitness workers, particularly Personal Trainers earn average of $35/hr.• Fitness club owners report attrition of over 80%.
    23. 23. Fitness Industry• High demand for trained, skilled workforce that can perform multiple functions and grow within the business.
    24. 24. Solution• W.I.T.S. has been offering fitness training and certification programs for over 20 years.• W.I.T.S. is recognized as an industry leader and graduates are in high demand.
    25. 25. Solution• W.I.T.S. works closely with employers and graduates and grew concerned about the lack of career development, high attrition, and few opportunities for growth.
    26. 26. Solution• Identified the skills most needed by successful fitness professionals.• Clustered training programs and created opportunities to gain “stackable skills.”
    27. 27. Solution• Personal Trainer Certification – Provides the basic educational framework needed for all fitness professionals. – Provides the hands-on skills required by all fitness professionals. – Provides the professional networking opportunities for entry into the workforce. (internships)
    28. 28. SolutionWHY STOP THERE?
    29. 29. Solution• Once the basic knowledge and skills are acquired, additional career pathways can be pursued with further education and training.
    30. 30. Solution
    31. 31. Solution• High attrition rates also suggested a need for more management and leadership skill development.
    32. 32. Solution• Fitness Club Management Certificate. – Best practices from management and leadership training programs. – Customized application to fitness industry.
    33. 33. Fitness Professional
    34. 34. Opportunities• “Stackable Skills” can be applied to any industry and workforce training.
    35. 35. Opportunities• “Stack” technology training to develop comprehensive skill sets.• Applications, Social Media, Hardware
    36. 36. Opportunities• Technology training can be “stacked” with ANY other industry training.• Healthcare, Business, Banking, Finance, Education
    37. 37. Opportunities• Leadership training can be “stacked” with ANY industry training and workforce development.
    38. 38. Paralegal Certificate
    39. 39. Fashion Design
    40. 40. HR Certificate
    41. 41. Opportunities• Other “Stackable Skills”: – Communications – Ethics – Social media – Writing skills – Presentation skills and public speaking
    42. 42. OpportunitiesThe possibilities are endless!!!
    43. 43. SummaryReview your current offerings and look for opportunities to “stack” skills and cluster programs.You may not need to create new programs but “re-package” current offering to provide comprehensive learning opportunities.
    44. 44. SummaryMeet with business and industry partners and find out what skills they need “stacked.”Align your program offerings and training with the available career pathways and growth opportunities.
    45. 45. Summary• By creating “Stackable Skills” we create a more skilled workforce, that is more resilient during a downturn, that provides more earning potential, strengthens your relationships with business, and………………….
    46. 46. Summary• Brings those students back to YOUR program to further their education.• It’s a WIN-WIN-WIN for everyone!
    47. 47. Additional Resources• National Center for Education Statistics http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/.• ETA’s CareerOneStop Short-Term Training Finder: http://www.careeronestop.org/EducationTr aining/Find/Short-TermTraining.
    48. 48. Additional Resources• The National Association of State Directors of Career and Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc): Career Clusters. www.careerclusters.org• NASDCTEc has recently added related credentials listings to these cluster resources http://careerclusters.org/credentials.php
    49. 49. Additional Resources• Competency Model Clearinghouse (CMC) at http://www.careeronestop.org/CompetencyM• Department of Labor—Education and Training Administration http://www.doleta.gov/oa/links.cfm
    50. 50. Questions?Amy L. Hyams, Ed.D.Amy.hyams@hotmail.com702-266-0692