Forbes: Why We Need to Bring Back Vocational Training in Schools

Forbes recently published an article titled "Why We Desperately Need To Bring Back Vocational Training In Schools".

The article concludes, among other things, that "The demise of vocational education at the high school level has bred a skills shortage in manufacturing today, and with it a wealth of career opportunities for both under-employed college grads and high school students looking for direct pathways to interesting, lucrative careers. Many of the jobs in manufacturing are attainable through apprenticeships, on-the-job training, and vocational programs offered at community colleges."

Read the complete article here.

 

Michigan Receives ApprenticeshipUSA Accelerator Grant

June 2, 2016 -- Today the Department of Labor announced the award of $10.4 million in ApprenticeshipUSA State Accelerator Grants to help expand and diversify registered apprenticeship programs nationwide. These grants are part of ApprenticeshipUSA, the department’s coordinated effort with industry and education leaders, nonprofits, and local governments to highlight the benefits of apprenticeship and expand the use of this time-tested, earn-while-you-learn model.  Awards were made to 51 states and territories and the District of Columbia. 

These accelerator grants will help states develop a strategic plan and build partnerships for apprenticeship expansion and diversification with State education, workforce and economic development systems.  States will also receive support to develop strategic plans for encouraging businesses to launch Registered Apprenticeship programs in high-demand industries including advanced manufacturing, healthcare, IT, construction, and transportation.

These investments are part of a historic bipartisan Congressional effort to appropriate funds specifically for apprenticeship for the first time, and align with President Obama’s bold challenge to double and diversify the number of apprenticeships by 2019

Each Accelerator grant of $200,000 will allow states, including Michigan, to develop a strategic plan and build partnerships for apprenticeship expansion and diversification with state education, workforce and economic development systems.

In addition, in the coming weeks, the department will announce the availability of an additional $50 million in State Expansion Grants for those looking to expand their capacity to collaborate with employers and start new apprenticeship programs across diverse industries and communities.

Both of these ApprenticeshipUSA State Grants are designed to help states plan and implement strategic state strategies to expand Registered Apprenticeship across the country.  Grantees will utilize the grants to help state governments integrate apprenticeship into their education and workforce systems; engage industry and other partners at scale to expand apprenticeship to new sectors and new populations; support state capacity to conduct outreach and work with employers to start new programs; provide support to promote greater inclusion and diversity in apprenticeship, and implement state innovations, incentives and system reforms. By investing in state strategies for growing Registered Apprenticeship opportunities, these funds will help strengthen the foundation for the rapid and sustained expansion of quality apprenticeship nationwide.

For more information on this funding announcement please see the links below:

USNews: Obama's Budget to Boost Funding for Workforce Programs

Obama's Budget to Boost Funding for Workforce Programs

The president's proposal will include billions of dollars aimed at connecting people to their first job.

President Barack Obama will make an ambitious pitch to Congress next week in his fiscal 2017 budget, asking lawmakers to approve nearly $6 billion to help more than 1 million young people gain work experience and nab their first job.

The U.S. is in the midst of the longest streak of private-sector job growth ever, according to the administration, with more than 14 million new jobs created during the past 70 months and 5 million jobs currently open?. Yet 1 in 7 young people ages 16 to 24 are either not in school or don't have a job.

"The challenge is that if employers are looking for experience, how does a young person convince a company to give her a first shot to show what she can do," Jeff Zients, director of the National Economic Council, said on a press call Wednesday afternoon.

To that end, the president's budget proposal will include a $5.5 billion request – nearly double the $3 billion included in last year's proposal – to connect people to their first jobs over the summer and throughout the year.

Read the rest of the US News article here.

What if the "skills gap" is actually a "values gap"?

Jen Guarino, a VP at Detroit-based Shinola, recently appeared on Michigan Radio's Stateside with Cynthia Canty program to discuss how to get more young people into skilled trades.

In an associated article on Michgan Radio's website, Guarino explores the notion that the "skills gap" in America is, in fact, a "values gap"...and how it can be overcome. In the article, she observes:

"At some point in our nation’s history, we stopped considering skilled trades viable, credible and honorable career options. We stigmatized them so much that we created a lack of interest and an overall devaluation of the trades in education, industry and society at large."

To read the full article and listen to the Stateside program, click here.

 

 

NYT Article Highlights German-model Apprenticeship in SC

Where Factory Apprenticeship Is Latest Model From Germany

GREER, S.C. — For Joerg Klisch, hiring the first 60 workers to build heavy engines at his company’s new factory in South Carolina was easy. Finding the next 60 was not so simple.

“It seemed like we had sucked up everybody who knew about diesel engines,” said Mr. Klisch, vice president for North American operations of Tognum America. “It wasn’t working as we had planned.”

So Mr. Klisch did what he would have done back home in Germany: He set out to train them himself. Working with five local high schools and a career center in Aiken County, S.C. — and a curriculum nearly identical to the one at the company’s headquarters in Friedrichshafen — Tognum now has nine juniors and seniors enrolled in its apprenticeship program.

Inspired by a partnership between schools and industry that is seen as a key to Germany’s advanced industrial capability and relatively low unemployment rate, projects like the one at Tognum are practically unheard-of in the United States.

But experts in government and academia, along with those inside companies like BMW, which has its only American factory in South Carolina, say apprenticeships are a desperately needed option for younger workers who want decent-paying jobs, or increasingly, any job at all. And without more programs like the one at Tognum, they maintain, the nascent recovery in American manufacturing will run out of steam for lack of qualified workers.

For the rest of the article at the New York TImes website, click here.