This blog is cross-posted from the White House site.
As President Obama recently reminded us, “We can never say it often or loudly enough: Immigrants and refugees revitalize and renew America.” Many immigrants and refugees arrive in the United States having already completed extensive education and job training, or with significant work experience abroad. However, all too often they face challenges to fully utilizing these skills. Yet as the White House Task Force on New Americans One-Year Progress Report highlighted, there are communities that are developing programs to help skilled immigrants return to their careers in their new home.
The Task Force is seeking to support communities that are focused on finding solutions to this challenge through its National Skills and Credential Institute. This peer-learning forum aims to connect a consortium of leaders from state and local workforce areas; adult and post-secondary education systems and institutions; representatives from departments of labor, licensing, and regulatory affairs; immigrant serving organizations; and external technical assistance providers. The goal of this institute is to help communities understand how policies and practices help or hinder credential attainment and recognition, and to assist in developing strategies for how the public, private and nonprofit sectors can strengthen career pathways for skilled immigrants.
The Task Force will host this exciting forum at the White House, in partnership with the Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, and Labor on June 29, 2016. Communities are invited to submit a letter of interest by May 1, 2016.
To learn more about this exciting opportunity, click here.
There is one week left for schools to enter the CTE Makeover Challenge and compete for a share of the $200,000 cash prize pool and additional in-kind prizes! The Challenge was launched on March 9, 2016 and calls on high schools to design makerspaces that strengthen next-generation career and technical skills.
Schools can join the Challenge by visiting CTEMakeoverChallenge.com and completing a short submission form. The Challenge website also contains more information about the Challenge as well as complete rules, terms, and conditions.
A guest blog by Cristina Miranda, Division of Consumer and Business Education, Federal Trade Commission
April is Financial Literacy Month! Find free tools to help students understand consumer protection basics – including financial literacy – in plain and simple language at Consumer.govin English and Consumidor.gov in Spanish. This free educational website from the Federal Trade Commission can help students learn how to avoid scams, manage their money, use credit and loans carefully, and protect their personal information.
It’s easy — and free — to use and share Consumer.gov and Consumidor.gov information. Everything is in the public domain and there are no copyright limits. Users can download copies to hand out, link to a page or copy text into a newsletter.
Request printed copies of the Consumer.gov and Consumidor.gov materials as a sample pack, including all topics in English and Spanish, or in tear-off pads of 50 for each topic. Students can refer to these one-page flyers when making financial decisions, or complete the Making a Budget worksheet to make their own monthly budget. Copies may be ordered from ftc.gov/bulkorder (unlimited quantities) and the FTC will ship them for free.
Both Consumer.gov and Consumidor.gov are featured resources in the LINCS Learner Center, which connects adult learners to freely availalbe learning sites.
UTEC has an opportunity to partner with two national organizations that are Social Innovation Fund intermediaries. REDF specifically invests in mission-driven businesses that hire and assist people willing and able to work, but who face multiple barriers to employment. The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s new Learn and Earn to Achieve Potential (LEAP) initiative aims to increase educational and employment opportunities for youth ages 14 to 25 who are involved in the justice system or have other significant barriers to success. This work closely aligns with the existing Improved Reentry Education program, which seeks to demonstrate that high-quality, appropriately designed, integrated, and well-implemented educational and related services—provided in institutional and community settings—are critical in supporting educational attainment and reentry success for previously incarcerated individuals.
This work also aligns with broader federal priorities for criminal justice reform. The Obama Administration has consistently taken steps to make the criminal justice system fairer and more effective and to address the vicious cycle of poverty, criminality, and incarceration that traps too many Americans and weakens too many communities. This includes a series of concrete actions to reduce the challenges and barriers that the formerly incarcerated confront, including through the work of the Federal Interagency Reentry Council, a cabinet-level working group to support the federal government’s efforts to promote public safety and economic opportunity through purposeful cross-agency coordination and collaboration.
This post is created by Guest Blogger, Sean Addie, Director of Correctional Education in OCTAE.
OCTAE is procuring services to establish a professional development center, the LINCS Professional Development (PD) Center. This Center will encompass and replace the four regional professional development centers that have been funded as cooperative agreements since they came to OCTAE from the National Institute for Literacy in 2010. At a webinar for prospective vendors and partners held on March 16, OCTAE shared the new model and its grounding in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA, PL 113-128) changes to requirements for state and national leadership activities.
The LINCS PD Center will assist states to leverage the many resources and capabilities in the LINCS system to meet two WIOA requirements for state leadership activities:
(1)“The establishment or operation of high quality professional development programs to improve…instruction.” (Sec 223 (a)1(B))
(2)“The provision of technical assistance to eligible providers of adult education and literacy activities receiving funds under this title, including—
the development and dissemination of instructional and programmatic practices based on the most rigorous or scientifically valid research available and appropriate, in reading, writing, speaking, mathematics, English language acquisition programs, distance education, and staff training;
the role of eligible providers as a one-stop partner to provide access to employment, education, and training services; and
assistance in the use of technology, including for staff training, to eligible providers, especially the use of technology to improve system efficiencies.” (Sec 223 (a)1(C))
The current LINCS system has a wealth of resources that can help States meet their requirements, including:
Online Community of Practice platform
In-person training packages
Tools and resources
Technical assistance provided by the LINCS PD Center will support states in the establishment or operation of their own state-based program, or the establishment of a regional consortium to establish such a program; make available existing and developed LINCS high-quality PD resources and experiences that serve to disseminate information on evidence-based instruction and programming; and support adult education programs and instructors to be effective partners in the public workforce system.
Because state agencies have various models for PD systems already in place and to varying degrees of central coordination, the LINCS PD Center will establish a tiered menu of services to meet the varied needs and to allow for and support localization of the offerings. This menu will provide tiers and options of services to assist with PD program establishment or operation and with dissemination of LINCS’ PD resources and learning experiences.
The new Center will be awarded in August, 2016. The regional professional development center grants will conclude September 30, 2016. Questions about the procurement process may be addressed to Pamela.Bone@ed.gov.
For more information on WIOA, see OCTAE’s resource page.
The National Supplement, collected in 2014, augments the 2012 data collection with an enriched sample of young adults (age 16-34), unemployed adults (age 16-65), and older adults (age 65-74) in the United States. A sample of incarcerated adults is expected to be released in summer 2016. Additionally, the newly released data uses updated U.S. Census data, resulting in adjusted estimates. As a result, the data reveal that the percentage of the U.S. population age 16-65 with college experience (some college or a college degree) increased by 3-4 percent and the percentage of the population age 16-65 with less than a high school diploma decreased by 4 percent. This adjustment is evident in a slight upward adjustment of the U.S. performance in literacy to being on par with the international average, relative to the 2013 report.
The skills of older adults (66-74) were surveyed in the newly released data for the first time. The previous survey of this population’s literacy and numeracy skills was in 2003 as part of the National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL). The Survey of Adult Skills includes older adults’ skills in digital problem solving, information that will be of great interest to senior digital literacy designers and advocates.