Career and Technical Education Center to Provide High-Demand workforce Training to High School

The Career and Technical Education Center will enable Baton Rouge area high school juniors and seniors to get workforce training in high-demand jobs while also pursuing their high school diploma. It will address two challenges: the lack of skilled workers needed to fill positions at local companies and plants and the gap between young people and well-paying jobs. The center will offer high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to earn a diploma from their regular high school while also receiving workforce training and industry certification in high-demand fields.The dual-enrollment facility is a proverbial win-win for the community and promises to put a dent in one of the area’s most pressing challenges.

The $17 million facility, under construction next to the McKay Automotive Training Center at Ardendale, has been in the works for more than a decade and is the product of a collaborative effort between multiple agencies and organizations led by the Baton Rouge Area Foundation. 


Caterpillar to Strengthen STEM Pipeline; Drive Innovation in the Workforce

“Through the company’s dedication to building a STEM pipeline, Caterpillar has a long history of supporting FIRST by providing team sponsorship's and valuable mentor-ship from employee volunteers,” said FIRST President Donald E. Bossi. “FIRST is proud to call Caterpillar a strategic partner in our mission to inspire young people to become innovators, leaders, and creative problem solvers. Together, we can help even more students gain both the STEM and soft skills they need to achieve successful careers in the 21st century.”


Students Career Ambitions Shaped by Television, Movies and YouTube

A joint study conducted by the New York Life Insurance Company and Fatherly–an online parenting resource for men–recently surveyed over 1,000 kids under the age of 12 in hopes of understanding their career ambitions as well as the motivations behind them.The study found that the most desired job for children in the U.S. is doctor, followed by veterinarian, though both professions inspired significantly more interest from young girls than boys. The next most desired jobs, police officer and firefighter, were primarily chosen by boys.


IBM, Amazon, and Microsoft Now Have Apprenticeship Programs

IBM now has several hundred open jobs in the U.S. for people early in their IT careers — a number expected to grow over time — and is tackling the vacancies with its new apprenticeship program, vice president for talent Joanna Daly said.

 "It's not just IBM," Daly said. "When you look at nationally, there's a half-million open technology jobs in this country and we're only producing 50,000 computer science graduates each year. So for the industry, we have a technology skills gap."

IBM has long had apprenticeships at its operations in Germany, the United Kingdom and Australia, Daly said. The tech giant hired hundreds of people who've completed those apprenticeships, but hasn't pinpointed if the program is mainly responsible for greater talent supply, she said.


STEM EDUCATION IS ABOUT HANDS ON EXPERIENCES

The processes of inquiry, reasoning and collaboration required in STEM learning are similar to any experiential activity; learning activities must be hands-on experiences. STEM classes also demand rigor and relevance in a curriculum, and the students who take these classes must learn to think critically as they use science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to solve real world problems through direct learning experiences.

Reading does not provide the kind of authentic experiences that students need. Students aren’t likely to be motivated by reading content alone, and as a result, their overall academic performance will likely suffer.


Engineering Practices for Effective STEM Learning

“What if schools could offer a different approach to STEM education that provided students with truly immersive learning opportunities?” That question came to Ethan Berman, founder of i2 Learning, after the experience of his nine-year old daughter, who liked school but loved solving problems and making things with her own hands, especially, as she put it, “if it was something useful.”

That was what inspired Berman to found Boston STEM Week, which just concluded its second successful year by replacing the usual curriculum for the more than 6,000 students and 300 teachers across 37 Boston middle schools. During this week, schools replace their usual curriculum with projects aimed at building lunar colonies, creating interactive monsters, designing digital games, and practicing surgical techniques.

 


The Path Less Taken: Barriers to Providing Career and Technical Education at Community Colleges

This report produced by Diane Auer Jones for the American Enterprise Institute, provides discussion on the type of post-secondary degree programs perceptions and significance to earnings. Findings include:

-The earnings associated with post-secondary education vary significantly based on one’s major and career path, among other things.

-Some certificate and associate degree programs in technical and allied health fields at community colleges can result in higher earnings than some bachelor’s degree programs.

-Despite evidence that vocational sub-baccalaureate certificates and degrees have a relatively high payoff, liberal arts and general studies programs have experienced the most rapid growth in community college enrollments and credentials. This may partially explain the mismatch between graduates’ skills and the skills employers demand.

-Community colleges face tremendous structural and policy barriers when trying to create new or expand existing vocational programs, including funding allocation formulas, accreditation requirements, federal regulations, transfer-of-credit policies, and stigmatization of occupational and vocational programs.


Apprenticeship and Work-Based Learning, Solutions for a Stronger Economy

America’s most famous youth apprentice, Ben Franklin (a printer’s apprentice at age 12), reputedly described the basic learning process of apprenticeship this way: “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” This aphorism fits 19-year-old New Orleanian Da’Jonae Curtis. Although she was valedictorian of her high school class in 2016, she had no interest in post-secondary education: “I knew that I didn’t want to go to school—I was just done with school.” Instead, Da’Jonae found Earn and Learn and is about to complete her job placement with Tulane’s HVAC department. “I was kind of skeptical [of HVAC work] at first. It was something I never thought about doing,” she says. But after almost eight months on the job, Da’Jonae is proud of the certifications she’s earned and looking forward to an externship. Da’Jonae describes what she likes about work-based learning: I like that it’s very hands on.


More Cars and Fewer People to Fix Them

It's a concern shared by most of the nation's roughly 16,700 new car dealerships whose profits are increasingly reliant on servicing the vehicles they sell, and less reliant on profits from the sales of the vehicles themselves. Dealerships are sacrificing margin on sales in favor of putting more cars on the road. More cars on the road lead to more cars in the service bays, and that means more qualified mechanics are needed.

New car dealerships sold a record 17.5 million new cars in 2016, as well as nearly 15 million used cars: 37 percent of the total of all used cars sold.

Service, parts and body shop activity accounted for 47.3 percent of the average dealership's gross profits in 2016, according to a study by the National Automobile Dealers Association, up from the 45.4 percent the previous year.


Career Tech Courses Becoming Core Subjects

The job market is shifting so that most traditional “trade” paths require a greater understanding of STEM courses and communication, requiring administrators and teachers to find more ways to incorporate this knowledge into career and technical education (CTE) tracts, District Administration reports.

•Traditional CTE pathways often now require post-secondary education, but the need for four-year degrees is diminishing as only about 23% of occupations require it — which means higher education institutions may need to spend more resources in promoting the idea of going to college.

•Students need to be exposed to a variety of career pathways in elementary and middle school so that they can begin thinking not only about their career goals but also about the courses they will need to get there, an approach that results in higher graduation rates.

 


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