AACC Health Care Career Exploration Project
In June 2010, the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) received a $6.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to develop a virtual career platform that will help people explore possible careers in health care. The platform will provide an online continuum of tools, from skills assessment to training and job placement. According to the AACC website, the AACC Health Care Career Exploration Project "...will build on existing resources and new technology to set a new standard for career exploration and expand opportunities for health care careers." It will engage many of the nation's 1,200 community colleges, which currently educate over 60 percent of U.S. health-care professionals.
Also according to the website, key partners in the initiative include the National Association of Workforce Boards and the National Association of State Workforce Agencies, which will link to the public workforce system. Other partners include the American Council on Education, Direct Employers Association, Jobs for the Future, XPAND and Minnesota's ISEEK (Internet System for Education and Employment Knowledge).
"In addition to helping to address the nation's high unemployment rate, the initiative is designed to tackle growing shortages of health care professionals. The expanding field will provide some 2.8 million job openings over the next eight years, providing one of the largest areas of job growth in the country, according to a new study by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce."
Dann-Messier Joins Kennedy, Oates to Discuss Workforce Development
OVAE Assistant Secretary Brenda Dann-Messier joined Rep. Patrick Kennedy (RI) and the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration Assistant Secretary Jane Oates on Aug. 30 in Riverside, R. I., for a roundtable discussion on adult education, workforce development, and the community college initiative. The discussion was held at Local 51, a state-of-the-art training center. The discussion also focused on other adult education and workforce development programs, such as the Stepping Up program, an urban community partnership between local hospitals, education and training providers, and labor unions that provides training, education, career coaching, and support services to help individuals develop careers in the health industry. Also participating in the discussion were Keith Stokes, executive director of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation, and Sandra Powell, director of the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, as well as numerous leaders of labor and workforce development.
ASVAB Career Exploration Program Available to Schools
The ASVAB Career Exploration Program was re-designed recently by the Department of Defense to be helpful to all students whether they are planning on immediate employment after high school in civilian or military occupations, or further education at a university, community college or vocational institution. ASVAB, acronym for Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, is available to high schools and postsecondary institutions as a comprehensive career exploration and planning program that includes a multiple aptitude test battery, an interest inventory, and various career planning tools designed to help high school and postsecondary students explore the world of work. The results of the aptitude test and the interest inventory enable students to evaluate their skills, estimate performance in academic and vocational endeavors, identify potentially satisfying careers, and consider personal work-related values in order to make informed choices. OVAE works collaboratively with the military to share approaches and resources for training youths for careers.