Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Friendly Alignment

"A stronger post-high school education and training system would recognize that education is a life-long endeavor, with each component a natural continuation of the high-quality education that preceded it. The foundation would be a high quality early childhood, elementary, and secondary education system. Post-secondary students would have access to timely and appropriate financial aid to help finance the cost of education and training. Further, all components would share common – or aligned – goals and the classes and programs would be cumulative."

Executive Office of the President, Council of Economic Advisors, Preparing
Workers of Today for the Jobs of Tomorrow
, July 2009.

As I travel the country I get asked on occasion for my opinions about the workforce and education policies and approaches of the Obama Administration. I inevitably say that there has never been such alignment between best and emerging practices in the field and a president, his advisors, and agencies. If only we had an economy, I add, to complement this heady alignment.

This report provides an excellent overview of job projections for the next decade and as well as a quick tour of the evidence about early childhood education, post-secondary achievement, sector-based programs, and investments that increase access and preparation like Washington State's I-Best and Michigan's "No Worker Left Behind."

In addition to the $12 billion community college program announced last week and ARRA funding for green jobs,emerging sectors, and health care, we need to think about what's next for WIA -- the Workforce Investment Act -- not just its reauthorization but its reinvention. Perhaps this report could provide a good starting point.

1 comment:

Colin Austin said...

Seems like an opportunity to rethink the way we do training as well. Work Keys/Career Readiness Certificates are starting to take hold in the South and may offer a more valuable assessment for jobseekers and employers. And do a better job at defining needed remediation.