Report of the Working Group on
Workforce Preparation and Business Linkages
TABLE OF CONTENTS
This report is grounded in a fundamental
principle of the Master Plan effort, as well as the
workgroup's overarching philosophy -- that all students should
be better prepared academically, regardless of where they may enter or exit
the K-16 system. For California students to participate fully in the emerging
global, technology-based economy, it is critical that they attain higher levels
of achievement in core academic subject areas, especially, reading, writing,
mathematics, and science. In the 21st Century, business and industry
are demanding individuals who have high degrees of academic knowledge and who
can apply that knowledge in an increasingly technology-rich workplace.
The workforce offers a diverse array of opportunities. While, almost
seven in ten job openings now require postsecondary degrees or certificates,
there is currently a serious shortage of skilled workers, with more than 61
million workers estimated to retire over the next three decades.
foster greater learning among the full population of students, the Working Group
recommends that instruction be more contextualized -- blending theory with
application -- across the full curricula. In addition, this report calls for
widespread implementation of career guidance and advisement across all levels of
education to provide students with a greater understanding of resources and
varied opportunities available to them at major junctures, in order that they
are able to make quality decisions about future careers and/or postsecondary
To facilitate this decision-making, the report asserts that
the workforce preparation programs across all levels of education must be
aligned and have some linkage to workforce training programs in the state and
the labor market. There must be strong articulation of career technical
programs within the education system. In order to maximize the opportunity for
program improvement over time, data should be available to permit analysis of
student achievement, as well as institutional performance. Programs which claim
to have an impact on students' success in the labor market should be held
accountable, to some degree, for the labor market success of their students and
for providing evidence of the extent to which this claim is accurate. The
ability to document student achievement in acquiring appropriate workforce
skills, to make both quantitative and qualitative evaluations of program
effectiveness, and to identify which programs result in higher earnings and
job placement, for all students are fundamental goals for linkage to
statewide workforce preparation programs. The Legislature should make
accountability for outcomes highly visible and public.
structure engages the full system of education and sends the message that the
state must do better. Simply put, the interest of the student must be at the
heart of every structural consideration. The pace of the state's economy is
increasing exponentially, while the pace of workforce preparation programs and
the education system is moving more slowly. To best serve the students, there
must be greater connectivity and synchronicity to facilitate their transition to
the workforce, immediately upon graduation from high school, after a
postsecondary completion, and/or over a lifetime of learning.
Summary of Recommendations
1.1 Integrate academics and career preparation throughout K-16.
1.2 Extend School-to-Career
(STC) concept across K-University.
1.3 Increase resources for career guidance and assistance
1.4 Expand recruitment for counselors and workforce
1.5 Improve Professional Development for Counselors
2.1 The state should establish the following roles and
responsibilities for a statewide system of career/workforce preparation
programs in education:
- Elementary schools shall be responsible for introducing career
awareness to students.
- Middle schools shall be responsible for initiating career exploration
- Secondary schools shall be responsible for providing school-to-career
and employment preparation opportunities to students through programs offered at
school and business sites.
- Community colleges shall be responsible for providing expanded
employment training programs in conjunction with specialized courses, career
certificates, and the AA degree for adults. The training may be in high schools
and ROCPs and/or articulated programs leading to four-year college degrees.
- State-approved Private Postsecondary Institutions, Continuing Education,
University Extension, Employer-provided training, and Non LEA entities, such as
WIA Board Community Partners, shall provide employment training programs
leading to specific jobs and that are responsive to industry requirements for
professional development and license renewal.
- Public and private colleges and universities shall jointly be
responsible for preparing associate, baccalaureate, and advanced degree
graduates for productive roles as problem solvers, innovators, and leaders. All
three public postsecondary systems should give prominent consideration to the
state's changing economic needs and to emerging workforce opportunities for
graduates, as factors in academic and strategic planning.
2.2 The alignment of career technical programs should be
broad in scope.
2.3 The structure of a career/workforce
preparation system should reflect a tightly -coupled network model,
characterized by relatively autonomous nodes of education/training providers,
intermediary industry, trade, and professional organizations; strategic
connections to the labor force; and a high level of communication among network
3.1 The state should expand the current workforce report card
to include K-University programs.
3.2 The state should expand
student data collection system and link to postsecondary institutions and the
Employment Development Department (EDD).
3.3 The state should
focus some portion of postsecondary funding on program/certificate/degree
completion, time to completion, and education/labor market outcomes rather than
4.1 Any proposed funding model must recognize in its formula for
- The costs of recruiting, education and professional development for staff
in career technical programs, and career technical learning strategies;
- The costs associated with the instructional facilities and equipment
required to delivering instruction in career technical
4.2 Consideration should be given to granting
the educational segments flexibility in their internal allocation of funds to
address the higher costs associated with career, technical and scientific
instruction and contextualized learning more broadly.
- The differential cost of recruiting, education and retaining teachers,
faculty and support staff in career, technical and scientific
- The differential costs associated with the instructional facilities and
equipment required to deliver instruction in career, technical and scientific
- The differential costs associated with contextualized learning, including
laboratory, field and applied industry
5.1 The Joint Committee should conduct a review
to determine the most efficacious and effective placement of governance for the
Bureau for Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education
The Workforce Preparation and Business Linkages Strategic Planning
Group's goal envisions a greatly revitalized educational system driven by
increasingly dynamic programs of integrated and contextualized instructional
strategies, which engage all students. The system will provide multiple
entrance and exit points over a lifetime of learning and work and will foster
broad, equitable access to occupational and career opportunities at all levels
of the state's economy.
Equitable and adequate investments will
fuel professional development and instructional innovation to support a
well-qualified teaching force strengthened by collaborative efforts among
K-University, business, and community sectors. Greater accountability will
serve to bring about program improvement to create a decentralized,
high-performance, and learner-focused system of workforce preparation that
guides students toward opportunities and resources through each juncture of
their education, allowing them to thrive and prosper in the workplaces of the