Our mission is to seek, create, fund, and manage innovative, demand-driven workforce development programs. Programs that provide individuals with the education and skills they need to be successful in today's job market.

In a previous post, we mentioned the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's (OECD) recent report which revealed extensive problems with the US's career training programs. Today's New York Times chronicled what they term "a stubborn skills gap" in America's workforce, as demonstrated by OECD's international study, The Survey of Adult Skills. As we, as a nation, ponder how to make our labor force competitive in the short and long-term, it's worth giving the Times article and OECD's report a close read.  
We're not sure how we missed it, but the Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration announced 57 grants totaling $474.5 million in grants to provide training assistance to unemployed individuals as part of its Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) initiative last month. Congrats to all the recipients. We wish you the best as you work to change the lives of Americans affected by foreign trade and other barriers to employment. To read DOL-ETA's full release, click here.
If you didn't hear it covered this morning by CBS This Morning, you may want to check out this piece by the New York Times. As the Times article relates in greater detail, the monthly jobs report published by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics has been delayed due to the government shutdown. What does that mean, exactly? Essentially, the unemployment rate and job creation numbers for September aren't available for Federal and state agency staff, economists, investors, and financial analysts to examine. For labor departments across the nation, it means that a clear snapshot of the state of our workforce is unavailable for the indefiti

President/CEO Andy Moser recently participated in the Southern Growth Policies Board’s Re-Imagining Workforce Development conference held on September 6, 2013 in Louisville, Kentucky. Mr. Moser represented the State of Maryland as part of an esteemed panel of State Workforce Development Leaders from Alabama, Kentucky, Maryland, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia. The panel was facilitated by Ted Abernathy, Executive Director of the Southern Growth Policies Board.
Yesterday on the official White House Blog, Katherine Vargas blogged about the swearing in of Tom Perez as the US Secretary of Labor. Ms. Vargas wrote that, "...as an immigrant myself, his story reminds me of this country’s promise that if you are willing to work hard, it doesn’t matter where you come from, you can still get a fair shot at success."

We couldn't agree more. Congrats to our friend, Secretary Perez. We wish you all the best. 

For Ms. Vargas's full blog, please click here.   

According to a recent article in the Community College Times, Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs in the United States haven't received an 'A for effort,' so to speak.

In full studies of several countries, including Austria, Denmark, Egypt, Germany, Israel, Korea, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the UK (England), and the US (case studies of Maryland, Florida and Washington State), the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)'s Skills Beyond Schools reports noted a few factors particular to the US CTE programs. The report "cites three factors that may be barriers to postsecondary attainment: 
  • The basic skills of U.S. high school graduates are weak compared with many other OECD countries.
  • Decentralization leads to a confusing array of choices.
  • The financial risks of investing in postsecondary education can be higher in the U.S. because "costs and
    returns are highly variable.”

To read the full article in the July issue, click here.

The Workforce Corp's Andy Moser was recently interviewed by Shantee Woodards, a veteran reporter for the [Annapolis] Capital Gazette, on the topic of temporary workers. The article followed April's 2013 Bureau of Labor Statistic's Current Employment Statistics Highlights report which noted that "temporary help services added 31,000 jobs in April. Employment in the industry has expanded by 184,000 or 7.4% over the past 12 months."
Kudos to our friends at Montgomery College for providing dependable, affordable child care support services to parents pursuing degrees. Montgomery College's Beverly Walker-Griffea, senior vice president for student services, was recently quoted in a Community College Times article titled, "Child Care Remains a Barrier for Many Student Parents." In particular, Ms. Walker-Griffea noted that providing child care is "key to completion" for student mothers. The article chronicled the results of the American Association of University Women's (AAUW) Women in  Community Colleges: Access to Success report, a study well worth the read.

Does having a college degree really help you weather a recession? According to this article in the New York Times, that answer is a resounding yes. But earning a four-year college degree may mean that you'll be taking a job usually held by workers with less skills or credentials.   
In this article in the New York Times, colleges are offering students the ability to take remedial and basic education courses online rather than in traditional classrooms. Are MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) the new cure to helping students of all income levels get the basic ed skills they need to be successful in the classroom and their careers? From what we can tell, that answer is debatable but it's certainly one worth exploring.