Obama Supports Initiative to Increase Manufacturing Job Training

President Barack Obama announced his support [yesterday] for expanding Skills for America’s Future, an industry-led initiative to partner community colleges and businesses to meet the demands of the labor market. Specifically, Obama stressed the importance of increasing job training in the manufacturing sector, an area that he views as critical to strengthening and rebuilding the economy.

Plans to increase the reach of Skills for America’s Future include helping 500,000 community college students to earn industry-recognized credentials for manufacturing jobs, and providing a website to connect job-seekers to businesses. The President added that more high school students will have an opportunity to earn college credits. The initiative would benefit industry as well as students by addressing the current mismatch between skills earned by students and those required to fill vacant positions.

Applause erupted from an audience filled with business and non-profit leaders when Obama pushed Congress to reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). He wants the new legislation to build on innovative and effective programs, and to eliminate ineffective programs.

“Right now, there are people across America with talents just waiting to be tapped, sparks waiting to be lit,” Obama said. “Our job is to light them and there’s no time to lose when we’ve got folks looking for work, when we’ve got companies that need to stay competitive in this 21st Century economy, and when we know that we’ve got to rebuild the middle class. A lot of that’s going to have to do with how well we do in manufacturing and how well we do in jobs that are related to making products here in the United States of America.”

Career Technical Education (CTE) offers tremendous opportunities for and access to training in the manufacturing sector. Industry-verified Knowledge and Skills Statements ensure that students graduate from CTE programs with the skills demanded by industry.

via NASDCTEC. Also of interest:  Community Colleges Critical For Job Creation, Says Obama via NEA Today.

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Teachers are Students During 3-Day Agriculture Program

Some students returning to school in the fall might find that the reading list includes vegetable seed packets.

About 25 teachers spent three days around Modesto this week learning how to get lessons about farming and nutrition into their classes.

They toured three businesses. They learned about soil, photosynthesis and DNA. And they heard how students can learn a little math and science by tending a campus garden.

“Make a hypothesis: How long do you think it takes a carrot to sprout?” said Anne Schellman, who works on school gardens and other projects at the University of California Cooperative Extension.

The Teacher Agricultural Science Technology Education Seminars, or TASTES, program was put on for a fourth-straight year by the planners of the Ag Science Center, an interpretive museum envisioned for Modesto Junior College.

The program mostly drew teachers from the Central Valley; two were from Sonoma County. They ranged from second grade to high school.

“It’s a lot more applied than teaching out of a textbook,” said Joe DiGrazia, an agriculture teacher at Turlock High School. “It’s good to keep these kids informed about where their food comes from and the importance of ag to our area.”

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