Don’t forget to tune into the White House Champions of Change event tomorrow, Friday, June 17! Join in the excitement by watching the livestream at wh.gov/live from 1:00pm to 3:00pm Eastern Time for the announcement of the winners of the CTE Makeover Challenge!
The Champions of Change for Making event will kickoff the National Week of Making and feature remarks from senior Administration officials, panel conversations with the Champions of Change, and announcements of new actions and commitments in support of making around the country. Joining the conversation will be businesses, organizations, and government agencies who are leading efforts to empower, support, and inspire makers around this country and the world.
Increasing cooperation among community colleges that serve a large minority population or populations is widely viewed among community college faculty and leaders and policymakers as an integral element in ensuring that these institutions improve their capacities to serve their varied student populations. In furtherance of this collaborative effort, OCTAE, on Thursday, May 19, hosted an all-day virtual event to build upon the efforts begun during its Minority-Serving Community College convening at the Department of Education last fall. Approximately 70 individuals or groups joined to hear updates on a variety of topics and concerns for minority-serving community colleges. Future content and events will be announced through the OCTAE newsletter, OCTAE Connection, the OCTAE Community Colleges website, as well as the Minority-Serving Community Colleges and Affiliates LINCS group, which can be joined here.
The first topical session was hosted by Amy Firestone of the U.S. Department of Labor on the Registered Apprenticeship College Consortium. Registered Apprenticeships and the College Consortium will be considered in more detail in a future issue of OCTAE Connection. The second presentation focused on White House initiatives that support each of the designated categories of minority-serving institutions. Each of these initiatives undertakes activities designed to support their particular constituencies. The third presentation by OCTAE Policy Analyst Kiawanta Hunter-Keiser focused on the Department’s initiatives to support equity in career and technical education, both internally and externally. The fourth session, hosted by Luke Wood and Marissa Vasquez Urias of San Diego State University, discussed the role of faculty in supporting men of color at community colleges with a special emphasis on the need for research, training, and assessment. Drs. Wood and Vasquez Urias invited convening attendees to join the National Consortium on College Men of Color and attend the June 9-10, 2016 working group meeting in San Diego, CA. The topic of the final session was a presentation by some of the lead institutions for the Minority-Serving Community Colleges Communities of Practice initiative regarding a research conference for minority-serving institutions, an Asian American and Pacific Islander initiative, and on middle-college pathways.
Guest blogger: Erin Berg, OCTAE Community College Program Specialist
OCTAE has been shining a spotlight on the challenges faced by disconnected youth and the programming models focused on their challenges for the past several years. These are youth roughly 16 to 24 years of age, who are not engaged in education and not employed. They may be living at home or be homeless. They may be in or may have emancipated from the foster care system. They may be high school non-completers or those who have completed some college courses or received credentials. They may live in urban, rural or suburban communities. They may be in or released from justice-involved facilities. They may be single, married, and/or parents.
With this post, OCTAE kicks off a blog series examining what we know about disconnected youth, promising programming models, and the data used to track progress in reconnecting youth with education, training, employment, community, and their families.
We use the term “disconnected” youth, as this is the term used in the statutes and authorities that allow OCTAE to support disconnected youth. These “disconnected” youth have also been called “opportunity” youth.
Youth Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET)
If you are like me, you like good news more than bad news. That is why many of us in the youth development and education fields were ecstatic to learn that there are almost 300,000 fewer youth who are disconnected than there were in 2010. That is great news.
Not such great news is that these gains vary a lot – and we would argue, too much – depending on where youth live and their race, gender, ethnicity, and home language. Of equal concern is that there are still more than 5 million disconnected youth in our country.
The new data from the Survey of Adult Skills can inform us about youth in the United States who are Not in Employment, Education, or Training, or NEET youth, as the OECD calls these youth.
The U.S. National Supplement of the Survey of Adult Skills, released on March 10, 2016, reported on an enhanced sample in the U.S. that oversampled the unemployed, young adults (ages 16-34), and older adults (ages 66-74). These data allow us to examine the education and work status of youth, their educational and family backgrounds, skill use at work and in everyday life, and proficiency of directly-assessed foundation skills (literacy, numeracy, and digital problem solving).
As the Survey of Adult Skills data have shown, in the U.S. economy, skills matter – almost as much as a credential. The question then becomes: what skills do NEET youth possess? Do they have the foundation skills they need to re-connect and get ahead?
The U.S. National Supplement found that nearly 5% of 16-24 year olds were in NEET status, that is, not engaged in employment, education or training in the 12 months before responding to the Survey. Many of these NEET youth have very low skills. A quarter of NEET youth perform below Level 2 in literacy, and 45% perform as low in numeracy.
Last month, we celebrated the one-year anniversary of Upskill America. There was a lot to celebrate. The employers who made commitments last year at the Upskill America Summit created training for approximately 200,000 frontline workers that could lead to higher-skill jobs. Over 10,000 workers have earned degrees and credentials, and nearly 5,000 workers have already been promoted into higher-paying positions. Over the same period, 532,150 frontline workers participated in adult education programs funded by Title II of WIOA to strengthen their math, reading, writing, or English skills.
This is great progress. An analysis of recent data on frontline workers, however, shows we must do more. See a fact sheet created by OCTAE for the 2016 Upskill celebration, based on the updated Survey of Adult Skills data. The good news is that WIOA creates opportunities to further extend upskilling efforts for the benefit of America’s workforce.
Let’s look at the data first. There are between 20 and 24 million workers who lack foundation skills for getting ahead, with literacy proficiency below Level 2 on the Survey of Adult Skills. Who are they and where do they work?
60% hold one or more jobs in the following industries: retail, health, hospitality/food, manufacturing, and construction
Low-skilled frontline workers have different backgrounds and have different language proficiencies and needs.
57% are men
50% are younger than age 45
Nearly 80% are parents
20% are Black
Nearly 40% are Hispanic
Nearly 70% have at least a high school diploma
60% make less than $20,000 a year, which is much less than the median earnings for all workers with a high school diploma, not just lower-skilled workers.
These workers have different backgrounds and bring diverse views to their work and workplaces, and a significant number of frontline workers are bilingual or multi-lingual.
It is very encouraging that many frontline workers have taken steps to improve their skills. Fifty percent participated in formal or non-formal education in the year leading up to the Survey and 10 percent participated in distance education. Employers were more likely to have paid for non-formal education and training, in 40 percent of the cases, than formal education, in only 10 percent.
If half of these frontline workers do participate in education and training, then half – or roughly between 10 and 12 million workers – do not. So how do we change that? And specifically, what can the public and private sectors do together to give more frontline workers access to education and training opportunities that will allow them to move up?
WIOA offers specific opportunities to expand access. As States are preparing to compete their WIOA Title II funding, for instance, partnerships between employers and eligible providers can apply for funding to support learning opportunities for frontline workers. Here you can find an example of how Alexandria City Public Schools are working with Dominion Services–Virginia Power to create a powerful upskilling program for work in the electrical and utility industry. But, WIOA can do much more for employers and their employees. See a guide compiled by the Department of Labor on how businesses can engage in the workforce development system.
Employers, WIOA service providers, and partners can collaborate to create that first job opportunity for many of our vulnerable subpopulations, particularly those individuals with significant barriers to employment including job seekers with disabilities, foster youth, returning citizens, and others. This type of upskill-backfill partnership creates a pipeline for firms and pathways for workers. There are no losers in this. Only winners.
Median annual earnings for all workers with a high school diploma for all skill levels are approximately $30,000 based on 2012 Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies data.
Eleven CTE programs were selected for 2016 “Excellence in Action” awards by Advance CTE, a national association of state CTE directors. The awards are intended to highlight high quality Career Cluster-based programs of study that have a meaningful impact on student achievement and success. More information about the award program and its winners can be found on the Advance CTE website.
Congratulations to the eleven CTE programs receiving awards:
Tulare Join Union High School District Farm
Agriculture Education, California
Advanced Technologies Academy
Architectural Design, Nevada
Vista PEAK Preparatory
Business Education, Colorado
Peoria Unified School District
Early Childhood Education, Arizona
Hamburg High School
Academy of Finance, New York
Waubonsee Community College
Emergency Medical Technician – Paramedic, Illinois
Des Moines Independent School District
Central Campus Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management Academy, Iowa
Southwest High School
Computer Maintenance Technology & IT Certification Program, Texas
Carl Wunsche Sr. High School
Legal Studies, Texas
Desert View High School
Precision Machining and Mechanical Drafting, Arizona
Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District Career-Tech Center
Manufacturing Technology Academy, Michigan
The National Week of Making is quickly approaching! We are less than one month away from the June 17th kick-off! There are plenty of ways you can get involved.
Learn about the National Week of Making
Webinars are being held to provide information about the National Week of Making. The next webinar is being held on Thursday, May 19, at 12:00 pm Eastern Time. If you are not able to make that session, there will be an additional webinar next week. Registration links are provided below:
Let the White House know what new actions, commitments, or other activities you or your organization might be considering by going to the Nation of Makers website and submitting your information on the “What are you making?” form.
Nominate a Champion of Change
If you know someone who has had a significant impact on moving Making forward, you can nominate them as a Champion of Change. As part of the National Week of Making, the White House will be sharing stories of the countless leaders, innovators, entrepreneurs, and educators who work daily within their local communities across the country. The Administration wants your help to identify Champions of Change who are working to make advances in technology, platforms, educational opportunities, or spaces that empower even more Americans to become tinkerers, inventors, and entrepreneurs.
OCTAE launched the CTE Makeover Challenge to encourage more makerspaces in high schools. Contact your local high school to see if they were one of the more than 600 schools that entered the Challenge. You can learn more information about the Challenge at CTEMakeoverChallenge.com. The CTE Makeover Bootcamp phase of the Challenge will be concluding on May 22 when schools will submit Blueprints for their makerspaces. Stay tuned on #CTEMakeover.
We are looking forward to the National Week of Making and invite you to join forces with us from June 17th through the 23rd and get involved in your local community. Here are a few ways folks in the maker community are already active:
Posting photos using #NationOfMakers to show your latest creation and share news about your events.
Organizing an event and/or hosting an open house at your local school, library, rec center, makerspace or set up a hangout online to connect and share your inventions with Makers across the country. Some have posted their events on a community website such as weekofmaking.org
Volunteering to be a mentor for someone who is interested in learning a new skill or find a mentor who would be interested in teaching a new skill you’ve been wanting to learn for a while.
Organizing a maker roundtable, maker town hall, or maker tour to convene thought leaders and decision makers in your community. (See what was done in Cleveland.)
Your brilliant idea here!
More information about the National Week of Making, National Maker Faire, and Making can be found on the following websites, and share your thoughts and ideas using the following hashtags.
Some public housing authorities (PHAs) are at the forefront of communities that are adopting place-based STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) initiatives, involving family members from preschoolers to adults, and creating opportunities to learn that are life-wide and lifelong.
Increasing exposure to and engagement in STEM learning outside of formal classroom settings is increasingly viewed as key to turning on more young people to STEM studies, and to addressing the equity gaps between high- and low-resourced families, schools, and communities. Recently the Department of Education released a Dear Colleague Letter to help state and local education agencies and their partners better understand how to use Federal funds to support innovative STEM education strategies to address equity goals.
The PHAs featured here, representing over 31,091 residents, with an average household income of $11,109, are part of communities participating in the SEED (STEM, Energy and Economic Development) initiative, supported in part by the Departments of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Education (ED), and Energy (DOE). See a previous blog on the SEED sites. In a three month period last fall, these PHAs have documented 138 STEM-related activities and training that have reached over 1,200 residents.
A new funding opportunity was announced by the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) to establish state or regional consortia to identify cybersecurity workforce development pathways that address local workforce needs. The goal of these Regional Alliances and Multistakeholder Partnerships to Stimulate (RAMPS) Cybersecurity Education and Workforce Development awards is to enhance and create partnerships of employers, schools, and community organizations that focus on cybersecurity skill shortages within a local or regional economy. The program provides an opportunity for secondary and postsecondary educational institutions to help meet the growing need for cybersecurity professionals.
The program supports the President’s job-driven Ready to Work Initiative and focuses on the critical national need to build a high quality cybersecurity workforce.
A webinar will be held on Wednesday, May 18, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time to provide general information regarding this opportunity, offer general guidance on preparing applications, and answer questions. The grant is being funded by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
(all times Eastern Time) Application Open Date: Wednesday, May 11, 2106 Informational Webinar: Wednesday, May 18, 2016 11:00 a.m. Application Deadline:Tuesday, July 12, 2016, by 11:59 p.m.
Federal Student Aid (FSA) office released guidance on Pell grant eligibility for students without a high school diploma (or its recognized equivalent) who are enrolled in career pathways. This Pell eligibility category, also known as Ability to Benefit, was partially restored in December 2014 and through amendments passed in December of 2015.
FSA provides in the new guidance clarification of an eligible career pathway program and implementation information for the new provisions. The definition of career pathways in the guidance is aligned to that in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.
The U.S. Department of Justice, in conjunction with other federal agencies, just concluded National Reentry Week. This was a cross-agency effort geared towards collaboration around helping incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals reenter and reintegrate with society. Reentry Week highlights included a proposed rule by the Office of Personnel Management to “ban the box” in federal hiring and a roadmap to reentry released by the Bureau of Prisons to assist federal inmates with reentry, guided by evidence based practices and principles.
The Department of Education has also released a “Beyond the Box” resource guide and Dear Colleague Letter encouraging postsecondary institutions to assess whether criminal justice information is necessary to make an informed admission decision and highlight the importance of supporting all students, including those who have been incarcerated or come in contact with the justice system, toward postsecondary completion upon admittance. This new guide marks a continuation of the Obama Administration’s commitment to mitigating unnecessary collateral impacts of incarceration and helping colleges and universities to design admissions policies that attract a diverse and qualified student body without creating unnecessary barriers for prospective students who have been involved with the justice system.