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«A Resource Guide for Parents and Teens Developed and Compiled by the Youth Council of the DuPage Workforce Board A Letter to Parents: Your teen’s ...»

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Only about 5% of low skills jobs were identified as offering opportunities for leadership, advancement, and prestige compared to about half of middle skills jobs and over 90% of high skills jobs. And, when evaluating the skills required across middle and low skills jobs, in all categories but three, middle skills jobs require a higher level of skills - in both traditional "academic" skills (e.g., reading comprehension, mathematics, writing) and traditional "technical" skills (e.g., critical thinking, complex problem solving, monitoring). Many of these skills cannot be fully developed on the job and require additional education and training.

Finally, although over 80% of respondents say their organizations offer advancement opportunities for low skills workers, at the same time, over 80% of respondents acknowledge that they hire employees with educational credentials above a high school diploma for jobs that (as posted) require only a high school diploma.

Page 1Finding #3: The skills mismatch is real

While the vast majority of HR professionals report that most employees hold the education credentials required for their current jobs, looking ahead, companies will be requiring more education and training across the board for nearly all positions in all industries. By one estimate, the U.S. will fall short by at least 3 million middle and high skills workers by 2018.

In nearly every state, the workforce and labor demands are mismatched, with the mismatch most prevalent between the number and type of middle skills jobs available and the number of workers who can fill them. There are more middle skills jobs available than there are middle skills workers.

Part of this is determined by geography, but the lack of aligned education options remains at the heart of this mismatch.

Finding #4: There are many pathways to middle and high skills jobs, but education and training beyond high school is the common denominator Middle skills jobs are those that require some education and training beyond high school, but less than a four-year degree, such as an associate's degree, a certification, completion of an apprenticeship program, or significant on-the-job, employer-provided training. In 2010, nearly 850,000 associate degrees and almost 1 million postsecondary certificates were awarded - a number of which lead to higher-paying jobs than jobs requiring bachelor's degrees. The vast majority of these degrees and credentials are still awarded at institutions of higher education - and commonly two-year colleges.

Given the chronically high remediation rates at two-year colleges (which lower the likelihood that students will earn an associate degree from 13.9% to 9.5% and a 1-1.5 year certificate from 22.6% to 13.1%, let alone on time), broadening access to postsecondary programs is not enough without also ensuring that students are prepared for success in those programs with a strong K-12 foundation.

The bottom line: Employers are demanding more education and training (and will continue to do so in the future) and jobs that require a high school diploma or less are disappearing. Those low skills jobs that do remain provide lower wages and fewer opportunities for leadership and advancement, and require individuals to gain significant skills (likely through formal and education training) to advance out of them. In other words, middle and high skills careers are the path to the middle class and a strong K-12 preparation for education and training beyond high school is the path to those careers.

Originally published by Achieve - http://www.achieve.org/future-us-workforce

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*Zero does not necessarily mean no jobs. Since jobs are rounded to the nearest thousand, zero means less than 500 jobs.

**Total jobs are a snapshot of the economy that shows where jobs are located by education type. They differ from job vacancies because total jobs are filled by people currently working in these positions who may not be leaving in the short-term to create a job opening.

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Our Future Workforce 4 out of every 10 young adults (ages 16 to 24) lacking a high school diploma received some type of government assistance in 2001, and a dropout is more than eight times as likely to be in jail or prison as a person with at least a high school diploma.

The Silent Epidemic, Civic Enterprises in association with Peter D. Hart Research Associates for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, March 2006

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5 According to the 2008 Poverty Guidelines published in the January 23, 2008 Federal Register (Vol. 73, Number 15, pgs. 3971-3972), the poverty level for a family of one living in all states with the exception of Alaska and Hawaii, is $10,400 and a family of four is $21,200.

6 U.S. Census Bureau, 2006 American Community Survey does not include detail data for Grundy and Livingston counties due to sample size. Therefore, all charts compiled using 2006 American Community Survey data do not include these counties. Additionally, 2007 data was not used for this report due to limited availability of data types as compared to 2006.

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The EPERC indicates that children in families where at least one parent works full time is more likely to succeed. While data on householders working full-time year round is not specific to families with children, we do know that 55% of the region’s families meet this standard, slightly better than the State and national rates of 54% and 52% respectively. Also, the rates of households below the poverty level in which a

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7 The Silent Epidemic, Civic Enterprises in association with Peter D. Hart Research Associates for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, March 2006, page iii.

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It is somewhat puzzling why a nation such as ours has so much Had too much freedom and not enough rules in my life (38%), difficulty in addressing a problem that seems so predictable and and instituting intervention strategies.Researchers have identified Was failing in school (35%).17 social and family background indicators, education experience factors such as academic performance and educational engagement, and school characteristics that impact the number of students a school “loses” each year. However, research also indicates that the ability to predict behavior (e.g., dropping out), is a complex process and unique to each school and its student population.16 In focus groups and surveys conducted with high

school dropouts, the top five reasons for dropping out were:

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CTE At A Glance: Career Technical Education (CTE) is helping our nation meet the very real and immediate challenges of economic development, student achievement and global competitiveness. Some 14 million students are enrolled in CTE—encompassing every state, with programs in nearly 1,300 public high schools and 1,700 two-year-colleges.

A Model for Success: CTE programs are organized by 16 Career Clusters™ and 79 Career Pathways. CTE offers a complete range of career options for students, helping them discover their interests and the educational pathway that can lead to success in high school, college and their chosen career/profession.

Making a Difference Nationwide: CTE programs are changing, evolving and innovating to create an environment of opportunity within our nation’s schools.

 Increasing the relevance and impact of student’s education.

 Improving graduation rates in high school and college.

 Actively helping students gain the skills, technical knowledge, and the rigorous academic foundation and real-world experience they need for high-skill, high-demand, high-wage careers.

See more at: http://www.careertech.org/career-technical-education/glance.html#sthash.h9fP2Qjt.dpuf

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The simple facts, upfront: Career and Technical Education (CTE) improves graduation rates in high school and college while providing a solid preparation for high-skill, high-demand, high-wage careers.

FACT: The average high school graduation rate for students concentrating in CTE programs is 90.18 percent compared to an average national freshman graduation rate of 74.9 percent.

Nationwide, some 14 million students are enrolled in CTE programs. Offering a wide range of career options for students, CTE helps pinpoint interests and optimal educational pathways to future success. Across the country, CTE programs are evolving and innovating to create an engaging environment of relevance and opportunity within our schools.

FACT: Seventy percent of students concentrating in CTE areas stayed in postsecondary education or transferred to a four-year degree program, compared to an average state target of only 58 percent.

CTE combines skills, technical knowledge, and a rigorous academic foundation with real-world experiences that facilitate the transition to postsecondary education, making the college experience more productive.

FACT: Experts project 47 million job openings in the decade ending 2018. About one-third will require an associate's degree or certificate, and nearly all will require real-world skills that can be mastered through CTE.

CTE partners with employers to design high-quality programs founded in standards critical to survival in a competitive, global job market. Through advisory committees, internships, teacher externships, workplace experiences, and other interactions, employers share the needs and expectations that drive innovation and world-class performance in their respective industries.

Bottom line: CTE is helping our nation meet the very real and immediate challenges of student achievement, postsecondary success, and economic development.

The Technology Center of DuPage Information and History Technology Center of DuPage (TCD) offers DuPage County area high school juniors and seniors 20 career and technical education programs (CTE) as part of their high school curriculum. Its mission is to provide an education environment that supports and encourages individual learning styles, develops occupational skills and professionalism, promotes academic growth, and assists students in discovering their potential. In addition to high school credit, TCD students may concurrently earn free college credit, simply by enrolling at no cost with College of DuPage during the designated timeframe.

Accredited by AdvancED, NCA Divison (North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement), Technology Center of DuPage features a quarter million square foot campus, state-of-the-art technology, and up-to-date skills instruction used in today’s high-demand careers. Tuition and bus transportation are covered by the participating partner high school districts through a combination of local, state, and federal funding (Perkins Act). Some districts charge students a fee to enroll, otherwise, the only cost to the student is a modest class fee for books and necessary supplies.

Offered in morning and afternoon sessions five days a week, each Technology Center program allows students to learn at their own pace through a hands-on, individualized learning plan based on goal achievement. Through their respective programs, students use field-specific mathematics, science reasoning, language arts, and technology in real world

applications. TCD programs include training in the career pathway clusters listed below:

 Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources  Architecture & Construction  Arts, A-V Technology & Communications  Business & Administration  Education & Training  Health Science  Hospitality & Tourism  Human Services  Information Technology  Law, Public Safety, Corrections & Security  Manufacturing  Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM)Transportation & Logistics TCD academic curricula are aligned with the Common Core State Standards. Employability skills (attendance, cooperation, initiative, dependability, teamwork, and safety/sanitation/accuracy) are as important as occupational and academic skills at TCD. Workplace skills such as résumé writing, interviewing, business correspondence, and portfolio development are also an important part of each program’s curriculum.

In addition to skills learned in the program, career exploration and networking are available through TCD’s work-based learning opportunities. On campus, students operate their own businesses, including a restaurant, bistro, and deli;

automotive repair shop; full-service salon; print shop; greenhouse, and preschool. Off-campus opportunities include job shadowing and paid internships with TCD’s area business partners.

Through Technology Center programs, students have the opportunity to earn transferable, college credit; prepare for industry, state, or national licensing and certification exams; qualify for apprenticeships; or earn scholarships and grants toward college. Over the past four years, TCD seniors were awarded over $1.3 million in scholarships.

Career Skills for the 21st Century: Employability Expertise and Knowledge The shortage of skilled workers is a growing problem for both employers and ill-equipped adults seeking work. This is particularly true in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math. The value of a vocational or technical education is in the forefront within these careers, specifically those which are in critical technical fields.

The following examples highlight the impact of undereducated and unskilled workers. There are fewer

workers with the ability to:

1. Use critical thinking, innovation, and problem solving skills.

2. Make use of effective communication and collaboration skills.

3. Demonstrate a minimum level of industry-specific technical skills.

As a result, approximately one-third of potential employees do not have the proper skill sets employers seek in their workforce to help them remain competitive in today’s global economy. These workers need to continue their education beyond high school to improve employment skills. The following labor statistics demonstrate the need for specialized skills and education for the future workforce.

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