Mike Rowe visits, encourages SkillsUSA students

A longtime supporter of Skills USA showed up on Wednesday to thank students for working hard and learning trade skills that will contribute to America’s workforce.

“Skills USA is among the best-kept secrets, tragically,” said Mike Rowe, former host of the Discovery Channel show Dirty Jobs and the CNN show Somebody’s Gotta Do It.

Click here to view the News 3 newsclip featuring Mike Rowe. 

Apprenticeships, technical education offer a path to a successful workforce – ‘college-only’ is a myth

In making his impassioned speech on how our county’s economy can grow through tax reform, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said Tuesday, “We need to connect people with the skills they need to get good-paying, in-demand jobs.”

Speaker Ryan is absolutely right, and the House is immediately answering the Speaker’s call to action.

There is a myth about success as it relates to education in this country. Too many Americans have come to believe that the pathway to a successful career lies solely on a college campus, and in a baccalaureate degree.

For many Americans this is not the case, and not the best path they can take to find the skills needed to ultimately lead them to the overall goal of an education — a  good paying job and a successful life.

Click here to read the rest of Rep. Virginia Foxx’s article from Fox News website. 

Skilled Labor a Critical Option for Millennial Workforce

When Nick Peterson talks about welding, his eyes light up.

“A lot of people see welding as just fusing metal together,” he said. “I don’t. You have to have that little touch to make it look great. It brings out my creative side.”

Peterson’s grandmother, who raised him, was an artist. If she wasn’t watching the Food Network, she was drawing. Several of his six siblings picked up the gift, but Peterson never acquired it.

“She could look at something and draw it as if you took a black-and-white photo of it,” he said. “I tried my hardest to draw. I also went to culinary school for a while, because she taught me how to cook. I wasn’t the greatest at that, either. Now I know that welding is my art.”

But it wouldn’t be until he reached his late 20s that Peterson discovered welding when a co-worker convinced him to leave his grocery store assistant manager job to work at John Deere as an assembler.

“It paid well, so I took the opportunity,” he said. “As I was going through orientation, they asked, ‘We have 22 welding spots open. Anyone want to try welding?’ They had a six-week training program, and if you passed, you became a welder.”

Click here to read the rest of Nick Peterson’s CTE successes from the Inside Track website. 

Plan aims to double number Maine high school students getting technical education

The Maine State Chamber of Commerce, along with the group Educate Maine, say expanding the number of high school students enrolled in the so-called CTE Centers will give more Mainers access to good paying jobs and careers.

It will also give Maine employers access to more skilled workers.

The Future of Education, Skills and the Economy

David Deming is the Professor of Public Policy, Education and Economics at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research. His research focuses broadly on the economics of education, with a particular interest in the impact of education policies on long-term outcomes other than test scores. Before becoming a professor at Harvard, David attended Berkeley and Ohio State University where he was trained as an economist. He has always been motivated by policy oriented questions and how economics can affect the real world.

Click here to listen to David Demming’s podcast and read Jacob Morgan’s posting on the CustomerThink website.

What is Oklahoma doing to fill the skills gap?

Oklahoma has more than 60,000 unfilled jobs, and about 18,000 are occupations deemed critical to growing Oklahoma’s economy.

Natalie Shirley, secretary of education and workforce development, said those occupations include nurses, engineers, teachers, computer programmers, chemists, accountants and truck drivers.

“We have a huge number of those jobs that are open and it will only get larger,” Shirley said.

State leaders are looking at a number of ways to fill that skills gap.

Click here to read Kathryn McNutt’s entire article published on the NewsOK website. 

What They’re Saying: Strengthening CTE Is a Win for Students and Communities

From technological advances to the expansion of the economy, today’s job market is significantly different from the one even just a few years ago. To help America’s students and workers gain the skills and knowledge they need to fill these in-demand, high-skilled jobs, Reps. Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA) and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) introduced the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 2353). This bipartisan legislation, which the committee unanimously passed, includes a number of positive reforms to strengthen career and technical education programs (CTE) and help more Americans succeed in the workforce. But you don’t have to take our word for it…

Click here to read the remaining News & Opinion piece posted on the Education and the Workforce Commitee website. 

US tech titans urge Trump to tackle skills gap

President also hears how AI could help modernise government IT

America’s tech leaders spoke to President Donald Trump of the need to upskill US citizens to meet a growing demand for digital skills yesterday.

Meeting with his America Technology Roundtable yesterday, Trump sat next to Apple CEO Tim Cook, Microsoft chief Satya Nadella and Amazon boss Jeff Bezos as he outlined his aim to save $1 trillion over the next decade by upgrading government services.

“Our goal is to lead a sweeping transformation of the federal government’s technology that will deliver dramatically better services for citizens, stronger protection from cyber attacks,” he said.

“We’re embracing big change, bold thinking, and outsider perspectives to transform government and make it the way it should be, and at far less cost.”

Click here to read Joe Curtis’ complete article from the ITPro website. 

Wyoming Dept. of Education unveils new plan for CTE support

Wyoming teachers soon will have more support in offering career and technical education (CTE) to students.

The Wyoming Department of Education currently is implementing Wyoming Service Implementation Matrix Process and Log (WyoSIMPL), a new system to provide support and resources to career and technical education teachers and administrators.

Loralyn O’Kief, educational consultant in career and technical education for the Wyoming Department of Education, said, her team brought together representatives from the state’s 48 school districts, and used their input and data to better align the department’s support services, funding opportunities and professional development offerings.

Click here to read more about Wyoming’s improved CTE program by Kristine Galloway published on the Wyoming News website. 

Fighting the Workforce Skills Gap

The labor skills gap has become a contentious issue with no clear solution. But better understanding what exactly is happening is critical to eventually solving it.

Economists and policymakers have been in a fierce debate over how best to address the skills gap problem. Some have even argued the problem is overblown and possibly nonexistent. While the debate continues, many employers have been expressing great concern over their ability to get workers with the skills they need.

“We have all these jobs open, and we have all these people unemployed–where’s the disconnect?” Kristen Fyfe-Mills, the associate director of communications at the Association for Talent Development, told InsideSources. “Clearly there is something that is missing from the workforce.”

Click here to read Connor Wolf’s complete article from the InsideSources website.

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