US - EURO - NET
Work - based Learning / Training Networks / Learning - based Work

UNITED STATES – EUROPEAN NETWORK for EDUCATION and TRAINING
120 Little Quarry Road, Gaithersburg, MD 20878 USA
Tel: 301.216.0811 / j.h.king@worldnet.att.net / Fax: 301.216.2212

Jeff King, PhD
Director
NYSWIB-INCUMB.RECOMM

TO:NEW YORK STATE WORKFORCE INVESTMENT BOARD,
SUBCOMMITTEE ON INCUMBENT WORKER TRAINING
 
FROM: JEFF KING
 
DATE: MAY 1, 2001
 
RE: RECOMMENDATIONS FOR POLICY DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY

Per your request, please find below my written responses to the April 23 meetings of the State Workforce Investment Board, the Subcommittee on Incumbent Workers, and our subsequent meetings April 24.

Please note that the points below are a preliminary set of responses. They may be useful as an outline or set of starting points for later fuller analysis to support more detailed proposals on policy development and program options in New York, based on additional state and national data.

The major problems, difficult for all states, center on fragmentation of policy responses, in disconnected policy and program silos. Hence the major need is for an integrated response and an integrated system in New York. New York is more fortunate than most states in already having in hand many of the elements, in quantity and especially in quality, needed for this integration.

Per discussions with Greg Moreland and Paul Cole, I will be glad to help all I can to assist New York in its effort to advance this agenda and related work, at local, state, national and international levels.

ANALYSIS & ESSENTIAL STARTING POINTS

New York's workforce education and training needs center first and foremost on the imperative to bring greater coherence and system integration to its multiple agendas and programs, to achieve not only greater efficiencies in costs and benefits, but also far stronger synergies, focus and effectiveness for individuals seeking skills, qualifications and jobs, and for firms and communities needing stronger workforce skills in New York.

This entails state-wide policy agendas that recognize and act on key issues comprehensively and systematically:

RECOMMENDATIONS & ACTION STEPS:

The relevant unit of competitiveness is, in effect: New York Inc., in the first instance for state policy makers, but ultimately for all workers, companies, industries, and communities in New York. Unless the state succeeds overall, most constituent elements—individuals, firms, communities, will not thrive. Some few places and enterprises may do well despite general stasis or even decline--but their human resource skills base and in-state markets and suppliers will not, unless New York thrives overall. Firms will do well if New York does well. The relevant policy goal for New York's citizens is: skills and qualifications adequate to achieve and maintain middle class job and career prospects, despite economic change and life-long-learning and continuing education needs. The relevant policy goal for New York's firms is: global competitiveness and productivity of firms in national and world markets, including small firms able to export; and national competitiveness of internal state economy firms, with rising levels of high skills-high-wage equilibrium jobs as a proportion of total employment.

As research shows nationally (for example, in federal evaluations of problems in Tech Prep and community college associate degree programs), a kind of vicious circle of interlocking problems troubles development of effective workforce qualification systems in the US, in virtually all states:

Because the quality of sub-baccalaureate technical education and training is perceived as weak, institutional development is routinely starved of resources and fragmentary in design. Yet because this institutional infrastructure of needed programs, facilities and resources is under-developed, comprehensive nation-wide and state-wide quality in shared and recognized curricula, standards, performance assessments, industry acceptance and portability of qualifications and credentials is difficult if not impossible to achieve.
This double bind contributes to the low-skills, low-wage equilibrium in some areas, and/or undermines a shift to a high-skills, high wage equilibrium. The need is to break out of this paradox or vicious circle and create a virtuous circle in which training quality and institutional infrastructures are mutually supporting. More than most states, New York has many—but not all—of the tools needed. The missing pieces center on a few critical elements of institutional infrastructure. New York can craft the needed elements if it makes that a priority goal.

GENERAL MEASURES:

FORMALLY LINK EDUCATION & TRAINING TO CONTEXTUALIZED + WORK-BASED LEARNING:

LINK EDUCATION & TRAINING TO INDUSTRY CLUSTER ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES:

INTEGRATING AVAILABLE ASSETS TO FOCUS POLICY AND PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT GOALS:

New York should take advantage of sunk investments and development work in hand in the myriad technical education curriculum content, performance assessment, instructional design, and school-plus-work-based learning integration components already available or in development, to build a hierarchy of standards and content elements—to which NY can add its own elements as necessary, especially for work-based learning, where US Education Dept. and NSSB Career Clusters, and NSF / ATE programs are weak or non-existent. The available prior work which can be deployed as foundation elements for a New York strategy (beyond NY DOL / WIA initiatives, Regents and CTE programs, and SUNY Community Colleges) includes:

A STRONGER NY CAREER LADDER PYRAMID: SYSTEM ASSETS
BUILDING INTEGRATED 'BUY AND MAKE' LINKAGES WITH SYSTEMIC DEPTH

System CREDENTIALS & QUALIFICATION CAREER LADDER COMPONENTS:
State New York Stronger State-wide + Regional Knowledge Economy Skills
Local Communities NY Communities Stronger, more stable Education and Training Skills-base for local Economic Growth
Firms Local and Regional Firms: Stronger, more stable, export competitive Workforce Skills, Plus cost-cutting / cost sharing links to other firms in sector or region
Citizens: Educ+Career “Life-Long-Learning” Individuals Achieve success in formal degrees and Also self-managed integration of informal learning in work experience, Contributing to Communities-of-Practice professionalism & and career mobility
College 2&4 yr degrees: SUNY SUNY: 4 Year degrees accept 2 yr credits, now, but 2 year AA degrees, with SUNY help, can & should accept academically strong Work-based Learning components, in-firm Internships, business process / industry / sector problem projects & exam components
Specific Employers: public, private;SME + Lg firms Employers, incl. Small firms, could link to foundation systems via paid internships, or “final year” / “final project” Internship + Final (Endorsement) Exam / Project, combining high level academics, applied academics, focused on actual problems in firms or sectors, for credit in Comm Coll AA degree + Tech Prep + CTE Endorsement
Sectoral & Regional Skills Alliances NYS Skills and training alliances / networks: business sectors and geographic regions could build cross-referenced alliances: combined CTE Endorsement + Comm. College AA degree + state & national industry skills standards and curriculum & performance assessment frameworks: to input curric. & skills needs: integrated statewide, also disaggregated at regional & local levels
Economic Developmnt EconClusters Empire State Development analysis of NY economic / sectoral clusters, could be used, along with the STRAP program for networking by NY small and medium firms, to develop criteria—by sector—for “NY Technical and Industry Qualification” skills endorsements, in key sectors—health, IT, adv. manufacturing, banking—plus other important NY industry sectors.
Internation--al Assets Apprenticeship countries: offer best practice cooperation to co-develop high academic content work-based learning qualifications by sector: Hundreds of world class curricula exist for NY use US-German + US-Danish agreements: US Dept Education links to secondary, tech college, apprenticeship curric, assessments, Certif content. USDept Educ/FIPSE $ comm collsß à EU
National (Federal) Tech Prepà funding to schools & community colleges: 2 + 2 links of high school to comm. coll. AA degrees. But weak sectoral classes instruction, weak work based learning.
National Science Foundation / Advanced Technology Education: à model national curricula: IT, Telecomm, Manufacturing / Mechatronics, Semi-Conductors, Environmental, & other curric
Fed. Perkins funding à achieve Perkins Indicators in Voc Ed: Extend “indicators” to CTE and NYS Career Cluster Qualifications. Again, work on weak work-based learning
US Dept Education Career Clusters: 16 Career Cluster concentrations by major sector. Building Linkages program links to States. Weak in work-based learning and qualifications.
NSSB à Nat. Skills Standards Board “Voluntary Partnerships”: 15 industry skills standards frameworks by sector: integrate w/ academics
STW à Use established “Job –Shadowing” & (Boston) Pro-Tech models to extend career cluster academics option for all. ßLink local exper. to & Use One-Stops & O-NET.
WIA à funding for Youth and special needs groups: Use to integrate them into integrated higher skills qualification paths
High School “Regents+ ” NYS Regents Core Academics + CTE Endorsements. School districts can enable Incumbent & Transitional workers to get Regent's credentials + CTE Endorsements (incl past work exper).