Employers nationwide are taking more of an interest in public education than they have for decades. Many are looking to improve the quality of their workforce by becoming engaged with secondary, middle, and sometimes even elementary schools. A new report, Partnership is a Two-Way Street: What It Takes for Business to Help Drive School Reform, from the Institute for a Competitive Workforce, an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, details three sophisticated partnerships between employers and public education in Austin, Texas; Nashville, Tennessee; and the state of Massachusetts. It shows that employers can do much more than participate in career fairs and offer job shadowing opportunities. In these three locations, employers stepped in to foster radical re-engineering of the education process.
In Austin, Texas, the Chamber of Commerce introduced an initiative "20,010 by 2010," aimed to "increase Metro Austin’s college enrollment rate by 20,010 students by the year 2010 by injecting a performance management approach into the regional college enrollment process.” The object of this reform was to boost the number of local residents capable of filling the increasingly technical jobs offered by Austin's business community.
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
The combination of technical and STEM skills that Career and Technical Education programs provide is key to U.S. economic competitiveness, according to a recent CNBC article, "U.S. Competitiveness Becoming a Tale of Two Economics."
at 9:54 AM
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Through his popular Discovery Channel program, Dirty Jobs (which has aired for 7 years), Mike Rowe has been educating America about the essential work done to sustain our country by men and women in the skilled trades. Now he is speaking up for Career and Technical Education. He testified recently before Congress that the country needs a "national PR campaign for skilled labor."
at 7:55 AM
Thursday, June 9, 2011
This spring I have been visiting schools with Career and Technical Education programs that are able to recruit and retain nontraditional students. One of these was Parry McCluer High School in Buena Vista, a small city in Rockbridge County. In this high school, unusually large numbers of young women enroll in technology courses; half of the programming students are female, for example, and young women are even signing up for HVACR and cabinetmaking courses. It seemed a great place to visit in order to learn more about how to encourage young women to enroll in a wider range of CTE courses.
Listen to the CTE instructors talk about their success with non-traditional enrollment.
at 6:19 AM
Monday, June 6, 2011
When we talk about nontraditional students, most of the attention is on girls and on the question,"How can we recruit more young women into the STEM courses and careers in which they still lag behind." This is an important question. After all, STEM is not just the current buzzword, but an important pathway into jobs and careers. We have been concerned about helping girls onto this pathway because they are underrepresented there and for a long time were underrepresented across most of the spectrum of education.
at 6:26 AM