The Subcommittee was provided with an update on the status of the Worker Readiness Credential Project being undertaken in conjunction with the National Institute for Literacy, and the states of New York, Texas and Pennsylvania. This project will develop the assessment and validation tools for a Worker Readiness Credential that will be tied to the standards set forth in the Equipped for the Future product of the NIFL.
A team will be meeting in Washington on January 22, 2003 with the partner states to work on the timeline, expectations, roles and responsibilities of the various partners and begin review of the draft work product developed by the University of Tennessee. Key for the states will be identifying their local partners, businesses and sets of individuals who will be part of the piloting process. Businesses will be key to identifying elements of the assessment and validation process that meet their needs; local partners on local boards will be key to buy-in for use and validation of the credential. Education and training providers will be key to understand that the move toward a Worker Readiness Credential is a quality assurance tool, not a tool to exclude or preclude providers from being a part of a workforce development system.
The State of New York's team will include members of the Department of Labor's Research & Statistics division and Workforce division; Sherryl Weems will be participating as both a member of the State Workforce Board and the Buffalo EOC.
Committee members stressed the need for this process to be inclusive; and that technical assistance will be key to ensure buy-in, usability, relevance for both the individual and the business, and for a move toward ensuring that we are truly meeting the need as expressed by businesses across the state. Soft skills training continues to be identified as a key need across industry sectors.
The State Board and its committees will need to identify steps throughout this process that will require policy decisions on how to integrate this credential with local demand occupation lists, the Eligible Training Provider lists, and how program funding streams are aligned to support the use of the Worker Readiness Credential.
The committee directed DOL staff to reach out to various trade organizations across industry sectors to solicit participation; to reach out to the local boards who have expressed interested in a soft skills credential to secure their participation; and to work with Sherryl Weems to identify appropriate education and training providers to participate in this pilot process.
Board members were then provided with an update on the Building Skills in New York State incumbent worker training grant program (BUSINYS). To date, 190 applications have been received with requests totaling approximately $3 million. Members suggested staff track cycle time on this process to identify ways to improve and streamline the process.
Finally committee members discussed subcommittee realignment to follow-up on State Board action taken at the November meeting. The subcommittees agreed to realign the two committees from Incumbent Worker and Transitional Worker to Systems Integration and Skills/Assessments/Standards committees. Paul Cole and Greg Moreland will co-chair the Skills Subcommittee; Dan Richardson and Paul Slobodian will co-chair the Systems Integration Subcommittee. Members of both will be polled for interest and assignment to either subcommittee. Both committees will reach outside board membership to include interested parties for their expertise. The System Integration Subcommittee, in conjunction with board action in November, will include as a mandatory part of its membership business board members from Local Boards across New York State.
The committees ask for a board action to affirm this realignment.