As reported by the Wall Street Journal, job creators all over the country are struggling to find the skilled labor they require. As mentioned in the article, under Gov. Kasich’s leadership, Ohio is helping community colleges and technical colleges build stronger relationships with businesses that are creating these skilled jobs. These efforts will keep Ohioans living and working in Ohio.
Big U.S. employers, worried about replacing retiring baby boomers, are wading deeper into education and growing bolder about telling educators how to run their business.
Several initiatives have focused on manufacturing and engineering, fields where technical know-how and math and science skills are needed and where companies worry about recruiting new talent.
Their concerns are borne out by the math and science test scores of 15-year-old students in the U.S., which continue to lag behind China, Japan, South Korea and Germany, for example.
The National Association of Manufacturers is leading a drive, partly funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to establish standardized curricula at community colleges across the U.S. with the goal of preparing students to qualify for certification in industrial skills ranging from welding to cutting metal and plastics.
The association isn’t pushing for an end to liberal-arts education, but has said bright students should be encouraged to consider alternatives that lead directly to jobs.
“We need to move aggressively to competency-based education” based on mastery of skills at the student’s own pace, rather than on an accumulation of credit hours, said Emily DeRocco, president of the Manufacturing Institute, a research arm of the group.
Much of the emphasis is on community colleges and vocational schools because they are affordable and can quickly turn out job candidates. Employers increasingly are asking community colleges to create custom training programs for specific jobs. In Ohio, Lorain County Community College’s Nord Advanced Technology Center has provided 41 courses tailored for individual employers in the latest school year, up from 32 a year earlier.
You can read the entire article here.
You can also click here to read a recent editorial about career-technical education in Ohio.