Stackable Skills:An Approach to Career and Workforce Development UPCEA 2012 Portland Amy Hyams, Ed.D.
Presentation Overview• Setting the stage: Workforce Development Issues• Stackable Skills Approach• Case study: Fitness Industry• Other examples
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
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
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
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.
Value of Credentials• An occupational certificate earned through just one year of postsecondary study can produce a 20 percent increase in earnings.
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.
Value of Credentials• Valuable if: –Industry recognized. –Portable. –Stackable.
How Have We Responded?• Courses that teach skills: – Computer applications. – Soft skills (communication, leadership, writing, etc.)
How Have We Responded?• Certificate programs: – Allied health care. – Fitness. – Banking. – Paralegal.
How Have We Responded?• Developmental education. – Reading. – Writing. – Math. – Study skills.
How Have We Responded?How can we do better?
Stackable SkillsBased on the concept of“Stackable Credentials”
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.
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.
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?
Stackable SkillsIdentify 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.
Stackable SkillsRespond 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.
Case Study Fitness Industry:A practical example of the application of “Stackable Skills”
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%.
Fitness Industry• High demand for trained, skilled workforce that can perform multiple functions and grow within the business.
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.
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.
Solution• Identified the skills most needed by successful fitness professionals.• Clustered training programs and created opportunities to gain “stackable skills.”
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)
SolutionWHY STOP THERE?
Solution• Once the basic knowledge and skills are acquired, additional career pathways can be pursued with further education and training.
Solution• High attrition rates also suggested a need for more management and leadership skill development.
Solution• Fitness Club Management Certificate. – Best practices from management and leadership training programs. – Customized application to fitness industry.
Opportunities• “Stackable Skills” can be applied to any industry and workforce training.
Opportunities• “Stack” technology training to develop comprehensive skill sets.• Applications, Social Media, Hardware
Opportunities• Technology training can be “stacked” with ANY other industry training.• Healthcare, Business, Banking, Finance, Education
Opportunities• Leadership training can be “stacked” with ANY industry training and workforce development.
Opportunities• Other “Stackable Skills”: – Communications – Ethics – Social media – Writing skills – Presentation skills and public speaking
OpportunitiesThe possibilities are endless!!!
SummaryReview 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.
SummaryMeet 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.
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………………….
Summary• Brings those students back to YOUR program to further their education.• It’s a WIN-WIN-WIN for everyone!
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.
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
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
Questions?Amy L. Hyams, Ed.D.Amy.firstname.lastname@example.org