Posts Tagged ‘College and Career Readiness’

Free College for All Gets Headlines… Free Entry-Level Training for Diesel Mechanics, Though, Makes a Difference

April 8, 2021 Leave a comment

Count me among the group who believes that college is oversold and job training for careers that require gritty soap are under-respected. Unfortunately, during the past several years, fly-by-night profiteering programs that offer federally backed loans have gotten far too large a market share in job training leaving prospective trainees without work and saddled with debt and the profiteers with full pockets. What’s the solution?

The NYTimes offered one way out of the woods in “Job training That’s Free Until You’re Hired is a Blueprint for Biden”, and article by Steve Lohr that describes a model developed by Social Finance. Social Finance is described on its webpage as a nonprofit

dedicated to mobilizing capital to drive social progress. We bring uncommon partners together around a common purpose: to measurably improve the lives of those in need.

Through a set of outcomes-based financing strategies called Pay for Success, we work to disrupt the status quo, shifting mindsets to align resources with impact.

As described in Mr. Lohr’s article, I would offer this prosaic description: Social Finance matches employers seeking skilled workers with prospective workers seeking skills that will yields higher pay. And based on my own prejudices for cooperative work-study and an emphasis on the work-ethic in a team setting, I see this model as a great way forward. As much as I wish major corporations would offer their own in-house training programs and wish that schools could create the kinds of networks that Social finance can create, I don’t foresee it happening any time soon. One of the key elements of the job training described in this article is mobility. That is, there is no assumption that those getting training in, say, Ohio, will work in that state. And though Mr,. Lohr does not say as much, it is evident that those who sign on for training enter knowing that this might be the case. As one who moved frequently as a youngster and as an adult, I see no problem in moving from one community to another. But as one who did extensive consulting in rural communities, I can also appreciate why some people would be very unsettled in moving from their home town to a community of strangers.

Will this work to scale? It will if the higher-minded mission of Social Finance works— that is if workers seeking higher wages are willing to shift their mindsets to align their opportunities with where the work is…. AND… employers are willing to align their compensation so that workers feel assured that their commitment to relocation is worthwhile.

Florida Legislature to Students: Want a Scholarship? Forget Liberal Arts and Go Only for a High ROI

April 8, 2021 Leave a comment

As the NBC report below indicates, the conservative legislature in Florida is considering the passage of a bill that would stop the issuance of State scholarships to students who are not majoring in subjects that will result in highly compensated jobs. The effect of this would be the de facto end of scholarships for liberal arts majors and anyone aspiring to a career in public service… which would include social workers, nurses, and (ahem) teachers— none of whom, especially in Florida, will ever earn as much as, say, real estate sales persons. If our country is only interested in money, this is what the future holds… and the Democrats were all in on an Return On Investment model during Obama’s years.

NH Legislature’s Preposterous Law Banning Instruction on Systemic Racism and Sexism Does the GOP Assume that NOT Teaching About it Will Make it Go Away?

March 2, 2021 Comments off

The headline of a recent NHPR report on a bill before the NH Legislature made me realize how preposterous it is to believe that NOT teaching a subject will somehow make it irrelevant or unknown to the general public. The headline read:

Lawmakers Debate Banning N.H. Schools From Teaching About Systemic Racism, Sexism

It dawned on me as I read that headline that I was NEVER taught about systemic racism and sexism during my time in public schools… but the fact that I wasn’t taught about them in the 1950s and early 1960s didn’t mean that it didn’t exist at that time and clearly didn’t mean I didn’t learn about it later in life. Indeed, the social studies lessons I was taught throughout my schooling would match the curriculum Donald Trump’s 1776 Commission sought. Here’s the problem, though: what I WITNESSED and what I read about AFTER I left school brought me to the conclusion that systemic racism and sexism DO in fact exist and, knowing that and finding it distasteful, I hoped to see laws passed and hearts changed so  that it would be put out of existence. So to my GOP friends in the NH Legislature… please do not think for a minute that banning the instruction of a subject will make it go away or make voters fail to learn about it.