Bipartisan Bill Would Give Small Businesses a Tax Credit for Employee Training

A bipartisan group of congressmen has filed legislation to encourage employers to invest more in training and educating their employees.

The legislation would create a tax credit for 25 percent of the first $5,000, or up o $1,250, that an employer spends on qualified education and training expenses for an employee.

Representatives Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.), Mike Thompson (D-Calif.), Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.) and Derek Kilmer (D-Was.) introduced the Career Advancement Through New Skills Act, which they hope will incentivize employers to provide employees with the necessary training needed to close the skill gap that exists between employers’ needs and employees in many industries.

“One the greatest challenges facing workers today is connecting the skills and knowledge they have with the jobs that actually exist. Similarly, small businesses have trouble finding qualified applicants for the jobs of the 21st century. This bill encourages these employers to put resources toward training and educating workers for the jobs that exist now,” said Rep. Hultgren. “Let’s help the backbone of our economy—small businesses—create opportunity for their workers in order to grow.”


Closer Collaboration with Colleges Can Close the Skills Gap

If Gov. Jerry Brown approves a bill passed by the legislature in September, California will join Oregon and Tennessee on the list of states offering tuition-free community college programs.

As businesses turn to community colleges to train talent, some analysts say it just might help close the skills gap many employers are facing. According to one estimate, 65 percent of all jobs will require an associate or bachelor’s degree or other form of education beyond high school by 2020.

David A. Bergeron, vice president for postsecondary education at the Center for American Progress, a nonpartisan policy institute, said free community college tuition could build a better talent pool if it is part of an overall strategy to enhance the workforce, including providing an incentive for people to finish college degrees.

Getting students in the door is half the battle, said Lisa W. Wardell, CEO and president of Adtalem Global Education, the for-profit education institution formerly known as DeVry Education Group. Getting them to graduate is the ultimate goal.

Click here to read Ave Rio’s complete article published on the Chief Learning Officer website.  

East Bay students get look at possible manufacturing careers

Some 250 high school students in the Contra Costa County Career Technical Education/Regional Occupational Program visited modern industrial businesses on Oct. 6, in observation of Manufacturing Day.

Mt. Diablo Unified School District students are among those in the county who attend CTE/ROP engineering/industrial-related courses. Through a partnership with Earn and Learn East Bay and the Contra Costa Office of Education (CCCOE) students received a first-hand look at their hosts’ manufacturing operations and possible career opportunities.

Ygnacio Valley students from Concord visited QuickMount PV, a manufacturer of solar roof mounts, in Walnut Creek, and Concord-based Fresenius, a medical equipment manufacturer, was visited by students from Deer Valley High School in Antioch.

Click here to read the entire Staff Report published on the East Bay Times website.

Group of educators assist in transition from school to workplace

Making the transition from school to the workplace isn’t easy. A group of educators are working to make that process a little easier.

Career Technical Educators from across the state gathered at the New Bern Convention Center before taking a tour of a few places around town that work with CTE. Of of those stops was at the Hatteras Yachts plant in New Bern.

“These administrators are here not only to learn about what the various advances are in career technical education, but also we’re able to showcase some of the partnerships we have here in Craven County and Eastern North Carolina,” said Chris Bailey, CTE Director for Craven County Schools.

CTE works with students to help transition from school to the workplace. In Craven County, CTE offers more than 80 courses that expose students to skills needed to make a proper living for themselves.

Click here to read Nate Belt’s complete article published on the WCTI12 website.

Realityworks to Unveil New Animal and Plant Science Learning Aids at National Agriculture Education Conference

Realityworks, Inc. will unveil over a dozen interactive models for agriculture education at the 2017 National FFA Convention and Expo in Indianapolis, IN on October 25-27. Created to teach students the anatomy and systems of animals and plants, these teaching tools feature large-scale, removable parts and lifelike details. The conference will be the first chance for many educators to interact with these unique tools in person.

Click here to read the entire article on the Digital Journal website. 

Willis Independent School District celebrates $39.4M CTE Center

Under a cool, clear blue sky, Willis ISD board members joined Superintendent Tim Harkrider in shoveling dirt Wednesday in celebration of the realization of a community vision.

School officials laughed and spoke loudly over the construction sounds of steel beams being erected behind them for the long-awaited $39.4 million Career and Technology Education Center. The 112,950-square-foot project is one of nine passed by WISD voters in the $109.5 million bond package in 2015.

Harkrider arrived at Willis ISD in 2013 and recalled nearly two years of meetings, drawings and more for the first bond passed under his leadership with the CTE project.

“To see it now, and when I walked through it two weeks ago, all I could say was wow,” Harkrider told a crowd of about two dozen community members gathered under a tent. “To build a facility like this for the community of Willis, this is a big day for our school district and I’m thrilled that you are a part of it. There was a lot of hard work and dedication, a lot of hours spent on a whole lot of different fronts by a lot of people. I think a lot of dreaming, a lot of hoping, a lot of praying, but hopefully Lord willing this thing is going to open August 2018 …”

The CTE Center, which sits next to Willis High School on FM 830, will house nearly 500 to 600 students who will step foot in a modern-day learning environment with a tech look and collegiate feel designed with open spaces, common areas, garage doors, classrooms, dining areas and areas for culinary arts, manufacturing, automotive mechanics, welding and manufacturing, health and science, cosmetology, media technology, robotics, computer programing, architecture, engineering labs, its own cafeteria and more.

“I think it can have a profound impact just from a stand point of about 55-60 percent of (about an average class of 400) seniors enroll in a university or junior college the following year, so we have about 35-40 percent now that we are really wanting to appeal to because we’ve doubled the certification offerings we will have,” Harkrider said. “With the offerings, kids enjoy coming to school because they have something they believe in – so attendance improves, grades improve because you’re here and you have a little bit more motivation to come to school every day.”

Click here to read Meagan Ellsworth’s complete article published on LMTonline website. 

Enrollment climbing in Michigan’s CTE programs, but completion rates remain low

After falling for several years, enrollment in career and technical education programs in Michigan is on the rise, climbing by nearly 5,000 students since 2015, according to state data.

Last school year, 22.7 percent of high school students statewide were enrolled in at least one career and technical education course, such as manufacturing, business, health science and construction.

That’s up from 22.4 percent in 2015-16 and 21.4 percent the year before that. However, CTE enrollment remains below a high of 23.2 percent in 2010-11.

Roger Curtis, director of the Michigan Talent and Economic Development Agency, said the increase is “encouraging,” given efforts to “eliminate stereotypes surrounding these programs and build a more robust and diverse talent pipeline in Michigan.”

“We will continue to press on with creating multiple pathways for our students to explore and land one of the many good jobs available in the Great Lakes State, but it’s becoming increasingly clear one standout way to accomplish that is through these programs,” he said in a statement.

Click here to read Brian McVicr’s entire article published on the MLive website.

How schools can help close the skills gap (Britain Based)

The lack of skills in workers fresh to the workforce isn’t a new problem – according to the Unlocking Britain’s Potential report from 2012, 53% of employers and 46% of employees say that university does not equip graduates with the right skills for the workplace.

The research also found that 52% of workers think the education system has failed to provide young people with the skills needed for the workplace. In fact, 46% of graduate workers confirm this, believing that university does not give them the right skills they need to do their job.

This was reflected in more recent research carried out by Career Colleges. Their research found that: ‘three quarters (76%) of pupils say that their school trains them just to pass exams and get good grades rather than preparing them for the world of work.’

In light of the recent Matthew Taylor review, here’s what the education system can do to better prepare people for the world of work, and ultimately help to close the skills gaps.

Click here to read Chris Moore’s complete article posted on the Training Journal website.

Valley business hoping to inspire young people to work in manufacturing

“You can learn other skills and still be a valuable member of the community without having a college degree,” said Michele Clarke, CEO of Valley Forge & Bolt.

The company, which employs around 80 people and produces industrial fasteners that are shipped around the world, has been in the Phoenix-area since the 1970s.

“We make a quality product, and we stand by our product,” Clarke said.

Valley Forge is among thousands of manufacturing companies across the country offering tours this month to lure students and young people to the profession.

The National Association of Manufacturers estimates there are 500,000 open manufacturing positions in the U.S. By 2025; they anticipate an additional 3.5-million jobs will be available.


Click here to watch the ABC 15 Arizona new slip entitled ‘Inspiring The Next Generation of Workers’.

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