Vanishing Middle-Skill Jobs

The Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank published an article entitled “The Vanishing Middle: Job Polarization and Workers’ Response to the Decline in Middle-Skill Jobs.”  The article appears in their Economic Review, First Quarter 2013.  The research explores the demand side, as well as the supply side, of the employment equation and provides insight into some industries and occupations in CTE career pathways.

You can find the publication on the Kansas City Federal Reserve site here.

Below is a summary from their site:

The Vanishing Middle: Job Polarization and Workers’ Response to the Decline in Middle-Skill Jobs

The share of middle-skill jobs in the United States has fallen sharply in the wake of advancing technology, the rise in outsourcing jobs overseas, and contractions in manufacturing. This shift of employment toward high- and low-skill jobs, known as “job polarization,” is not well understood.

Tuzemen and Willis analyze thirty years of data from the Current Population Survey and show that changes in job composition within industries have been the primary driver of job polarization, not shifts in employment away from industries such as manufacturing.

They also find that women have responded to the trend with increased educational attainment and a pronounced shift toward high-skill jobs, while men have shifted more evenly toward both high- and low-skill jobs.

Save the Date: OVAE’s 2013 Community College Webinar Series Continues on April 10!

OVAE is hosting a series of community college webinars in 2013, in collaboration with the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT), to bring together experts from the field and local practitioners to discuss some of the key challenges these institutions face and highlight promising institutional practices and policy changes from around the country that aim to increase postsecondary student success.

The second event in this series will be held on Wednesday, April 10 from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. ET.  This 90-minute webinar will explore promising community college correctional and re-entry education models from across the country. Fred Patrick from the Vera Institute of Justice will discuss the Vera-led Pathways from Prison to Postsecondary Education Project that aims to expand access to higher education for incarcerated and recently released individuals.  Brian Walsh from Peninsula Community College will present on the efforts of his institution to provide technology-enabled integrated basic education and skills training to inmates at Clallam Bay Corrections Center in Washington State.  The webinar will also highlight the partnership between Hostos Community College and the Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO), called CEO Academy, which provides accelerated basic education and occupational training opportunities to ex-offenders in New York City.

Registration information for this webinar will be sent out in the coming weeks.  Stay tuned!

PIAAC: A Once in a Decade Opportunity

A “once in a decade opportunity” was how OVAE Assistant Secretary Brenda Dann-Messier described the Department of Education’s anticipation of the pending release of the international survey of adult skills and competencies, known by it’s acronym as PIAAC. Led by the OECD, the survey was conducted in 24 countries among adults 16-65 years of age. An international comparison report will be released by the OECD on October 8, 2013 along with the datasets and web-based tools for analysis.

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Career Pathways Webcast Double Header at COABE

Join U.S. Department of Education Department of Adult Education and Literacy (DAEL) Director, Cheryl Keenan and a panel of experts at the 2013 the Commission on Adult Basic Education (COABE) and The Louisiana Association for Public, Community, and Adult Education (LAPCAE) Conference in New Orleans as they discuss key topics on developing high-quality Adult Career Pathways programs during two new live Adult Career Pathways Training and Support Center (ACP-SC) Premiere Webcasts.  Be sure to watch and participate on March 27, 2013 when Cheryl Keenan, Director of the Division of Adult Education and Literacy at OVAE, facilitates:

  • Integrating Career Planning and Counseling for Adult Career Pathways (9:30AM CT) and
  • Designing Contextualized Instruction for Career Pathways (11:15AM CT).

The ACP-SC Premieres Webcasts Series is part of the federally funded Designing Instruction for Career Pathways initiative. To register, go to the events page on the ACP-SC website from March 11-27, 2013. If you have questions for the panelists post them to the ACP-SC Facebook page or Tweet them using the hashtag #CreatePathways. View the last two webcasts online at http://www.youtube.com/user/AdultCareerPathways?feature=watch. For additional information, email info@acp-sc.org.

Career Pathways in Construction and Healthcare Feed Employment Demand

The U.S. Department of Labor reported that the economy added 236,000 non-farm jobs in February, according to their preliminary figures.   Industries that added workers in Career and Technical Education pathways include Construction, Healthcare, Leisure and Hospitality, and the Motion Picture and Sound Recording Industries.

Industries with the most workers added to payrolls in the last month include:

  • +44,100   Admninistrative and Waste Services
  • +39,100   Health care and Social Assistance
  • +31,700   Specialty Trade Contractors
  • +23,700   Retail Trade
  • +20,800   Motion Picture and Sound Recording
  • +26,800   Professional and Technical Services
  • +20,600   Accomodations and Food Services

Industries with largest reductions in the number of workers in the last month include:

  • -31,700    Electronics and Appliance Stores
  • -14,700    Educational Services
  • -10,000    Government

Visit www.BLS.gov to see the press release, access employment figures by industry, and dig deeper into state and local data.

Employment figures based on preliminary data reported by BLS for February 2013.

How OVAE Celebrated 2013 CTE Month

Just like CTE students, teachers, and administrators, OVAE celebrates CTE every day of every month.  However, during the month of February the pride is elevated with celebration and recognition for all that is CTE during “CTE Month”.

We used CTE Month 2013 as an opportunity to collaborate with our colleagues across the U.S. Department of Education (ED) as well as our dedicated professional associations.  We shared the message that it was CTE month and CTE Works! (this year’s theme as designated by the Association of Career and Technical Education (ACTE)).  It seemed that no workspace or office in OVAE was spared a CTE Month poster to hang with pride.  We made sure to say “Happy CTE Month!” in our phone calls, office meetings, and every chance we had.

Secretary Arne Duncan, Deputy Secretary Tony Miller, Undersecretary Martha Kanter, and Assistant Secretary Brenda Dann-Messier all contributed to the OVAE Connection newsletter; supporting articles were also sent through the Teaching Matters newsletter and Homeroom, ED’s official blog.

We were excited and proud to see two CTE students were sitting in the First Lady’s box at President Obama’s State of the Union address.

The week of February 11th saw an increased volume of social media buzz about how CTE professionals and CTSO students were celebrating CTE Month.  On my own hand held device, I read tweets and updates at #CTEMonth and #CareerTech.

ED staff also attended a student recognition event at McKinley Technology High School, which houses a STEM-focused CTE program where students have the opportunity to select one of four pathways in a STEM-related strand. The strands provide students with relevant, real-world project-based learning opportunities that prepare them for postsecondary education and 21st century careers.

On February 21st, ED hosted a policy briefing to all agency staff on how CTE is addressing the nation’s skills gap.  The session included a pair of conversations – one with educators and business leaders, and a second with Career and Technical Students Organizations (CTSO) participants. Check out the blog post recapping the briefing.

Finally, the Secretary visited the Harbor School in New York City, a CTE school that prepare students for success in college and careers through restoration of the local marine environment.

As you can see, OVAE enjoyed celebrating CTE Month and looks forward to celebrating 2014 CTE Month with you next year!

Robin Utz is the Director of the College and Career Transitions Branch in the Division of Academic and Technical Education at OVAE

OVAE Hosts First Event in 2013 Community College Webinar Series

OVAE hosted the first event in its 2013 Community College Webinar Series on Thursday, March 7, in collaboration with the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT).  This first event focused on transforming adult education to better prepare adult learners to successfully transition to postsecondary education and training.  Over 380 stakeholders from community and technical colleges, community based organizations, state and local government, four-year colleges and universities, and workforce development organizations took part in the webinar.  For those of you who could not participate in the live event, or would like to view the webinar or presentation again, the recorded webinar and presentation will be archived in the coming days on OVAE’s website at www.ed.gov/ovae.

Assistant Secretary Brenda Dann-Messier noted, “This was a fantastic start to OVAE’s Community College Webinar Series. The number of participants and the thoughtful questions asked illustrated the importance of the topic and the level of interest from the field!  We are looking forward to this ongoing engagement in our future events.”

OVAE’s 2013 Community College Webinar Series will continue next month with an event on April 10 that examines the role community colleges can play in correctional and re-entry education.  More information on this event, along with the registration link, will be shared in the coming weeks.  Stay tuned!