OVAE Connection -- March 15, 2012
Archived Information

Summer Jobs + Helping American Low-Income Youths Get Work Experience

The Department of Education has joined White House efforts to engage organizations to create new and promote existing summer jobs for low-income youths. These summer opportunities yield experiences for the youths of America to learn life and work skills, laying the groundwork for pathways to educational and professional success.

OVAE urges those who can to help meet President Obama's goal of having 250,000 jobs in the Summer Jobs+ Jobs Bank by Friday, March 16, and increasing that number through the end of May. Employment is a critical element of success for young people. Unfortunately, youth employment numbers, especially for those most at risk, are far too low.

To help change that condition and create opportunities for low-income and disconnected youths, please commit to creating new pathways to employment in any of the following categories for youths ages 16 - 24:

Pathway 1: Life Skills - Provide youths work-related soft skills, such as communication and time management, resume writing, interview workshops and mentorship programs.

Pathway 2: Work Skills - Provide youths insight into the work-world to prepare them for employment. This includes job shadowing days and unpaid internships.

Pathway 3: Earn and Learn - Provide youths on-the-job skills and wages in a learning environment.

Action Items:
1) Can you offer new, never-before-offered career opportunities for youths ages 16-24 during the summer?

2) Can you post your existing summer employment opportunities for youths ages 16 – 24 at the jobs bank website?
The Summer Jobs+ Jobs Bank will be a one-stop-shop for youths looking for summer job opportunities. If you are unable to create new pathways or opportunities, but have existing ones, enter them in the job bank by going to:, and enter your organization's or company's name, the number of pathways or opportunities you can provide, and the type of pathways they are.

Thank you for helping to create summer jobs, internships, and professional opportunities to ensure the future success of America's youths!

Kanter Keynotes 2012 ACTE National Policy Seminar

Under Secretary Martha Kanter and OVAE Deputy Assistant Secretary Johan Uvin were featured speakers at the 2012 National Policy Seminar of the Association for Career and Technical Education on March 5. Kanter’s keynote address focused on the importance of career and technical education in achieving President Obama’s goal for America to lead the world in the proportion of college graduates by 2020. Achieving this goal is crucial to ensuring that America has the world’s most qualified, most competitive workforce. According to Kanter, “At no time in U.S. history has education mattered more to the strength of our nation, the prosperity of our states, and the ability of individual Americans to succeed in today’s global knowledge economy.” Recent research finds that over the next 10 years, more than half of all new jobs will require more than a high school diploma and skills beyond those learned during adolescence.

Excellence in CTE is essential if the United States is to develop the workforce that will maintain the country’s place in the global economy. Under Secretary Kanter articulated the administration’s commitment to CTE: “For years we’ve known that, at its best, CTE engages students deeply in learning, enriches instruction with real-world applications, and helps students master three types of skills: academic skills, technical skills in a career pathway, and the transferable career skills that characterize today’s knowledge worker—the ability to think critically, solve problems, synthesize information, communicate effectively, value diversity and work well in teams.”

CTE’s ability to fulfill its role depends in large measure on the CTE community being engaged in “fundamentally redefining and reinventing CTE—all across the country,” said Kanter. Specifically, “[w]e want to better align the [Perkins reauthorization] with other federal legislation that supports postsecondary education and career training. …We want these laws … to promote seamless connections between secondary and postsecondary education, between adult education and higher education, and between workforce training and postsecondary education.” Ultimately, “[w]e also want the law to better connect what students learn with the demands of the workforce. And we want to ensure that federal funds promote innovations that yield positive outcomes. …”

The CTE community already is busily engaged in creating the essential components of a re-designed, revitalized CTE. “All of us in the CTE community are striving to build challenging academic and work-experience programs that span secondary and postsecondary [education], that provide coherent and rigorous content in a clear sequence of courses; that yield dual enrollment and credits; …and that connect to high-wage, high-demand careers.”

A detailed blueprint for achieving these objectives currently is scheduled for release in 2012.

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Last Modified: 03/19/2012