Wednesday, November 12, 2014

MOVING DAY: Wisconsin Career Pathways Blog

Dear Readers,

It has been my pleasure to create newsletters and pass on pertinent news stories regarding education and career pathways, work-based learning, dual enrollment, workforce development, partnerships, labor market information, STEM, CTE Advocacy, the skills gap, national policy and student employability tips from multiple reputable resources.  At the same time I have been honored to receive wonderful comments back about the usefulness of the information in your work.  

I AM still continuing this format for news sharing; however I will be combining this blog WITH my other blog currently available on Academic and Career Planning (ACP).

As many of you are aware, the Academic and Career Planning project is the manifestation of legislative action to to provide for services to better prepare our grade 6-12 students- not just for entrance INTO post-secondary education, BUT for personal and thoughtful choice making in high school for entrance and persistence THROUGH post-secondary education to careers and life sustaining wages.  Which is to say that ALL of the topics above ALSO apply in ACP, so I am moving!

I look forward to continuing to our communications relationship; and, as always, please feel free to post, add comments, or email me directly!

Robin Kroyer-Kubicek
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
Career Pathways Consultant

Monday, September 8, 2014

For Students & Teachers

Career Info for Students & Teachers:

Career Headlines:  Projecting Confidence, Not Arrogance at Work
Your confidence on the job has a great deal to do with how others look at you. If your attitude communicates that you know what you are doing, your coworkers and boss are more likely to believe you are competent. However, there's a fine line between confidence and arrogance. To appear confident, but not like a know-it-all, use these tips:
Confidence, not arroganceTalk teamwork - Avoid overstating your role in team projects. "I did this," or "I did that" is off-putting. Instead, talk about what the team accomplished and about your role on the team. To be an effective person on a successful team is the best of both worlds.
Engage your coworkers - You must be able to work with diverse people, including those in ranks below you. Showing enthusiasm about other employees' work shows you are confident about yourself.
Don't fixate on your job title - It's okay to be proud, but don't get hung up on a job title. How you perform, not what you're called, is what's important. Chances are your job will change within a few months after it starts. Your supervisor may move on, or the job may grow or shrink. Be more concerned with how you fit the firm in general than with what your role is called.
Have realistic expectations - No matter how smart you are, how good your school grades were, or how many achievements you have under your belt, you'll be considered a beginner for a considerable period of time. You'll disappoint yourself and others if you desire more than is reasonable for a beginning employee.
Action: Analyze the following statement by a new sales clerk at a tee-shirt shop during a team meeting. List whether he comes across as confident or arrogant and explain why.
"When I worked at Shoe Barn, they taught me some really important ways to deal with customers, and I'll be glad to share them with you."

FREE Career Speaker Presentations and Videos
Don't miss access to these resources as part of your CTE programming OR Academic & Career Planning toolkit.  Developed in Wisconsin for Wisconsin students, the Students & Leaders Network serves as a bridge to identify and involve experts with the educational system by providing live, interactive videoconferencing and web site stored video discussions on topics that provide information and insight on careers and life challenges for students, teachers and parents.  Start exploring today at:  http://www.studentcareerinfo.com/index.shtml

FREE AGC Job Shadow Program
The Wisconsin Associated General Contractors (AGC) have piloted, and are now excited to share the news about their new job shadow program!  Students are invited to complete 5- 1/2 day job shadows encompassing architectural design & engineering, construction management, skilled trades, internal operations, and jobs site tours.  Piloted in Middleton and Oregon, AGC would like you to contact Laura Cataldo at 608-221-3821 or visit buildwisconsin.com for more information and connect your students to local programs.

OCTOBER IS Manufacturing Month!
Join participating manufacturers, chambers of commerce, state agencies, and technical colleges in celebrating the importance of manufacturing in Wisconsin.  How to get involved?

All well-paying careers do not require four years of college. These have big payback potential after only two years:
Paralegal — Top pay: $75,410 Most frequent pay: $46,990 Lowest pay: $29,240
Paralegals may not go to law school, but they do the legal prep work behind the scenes. Pay is high because of their probing and investigative mind and critical thinking skills. Most have an associate's degree in paralegal studies or a bachelor's degree in another field and a certificate in paralegal studies.
Registered Nurse — Top pay: $94,270 Most frequent pay: $65,470 Lowest pay: $45,040
RNs need technological knowledge, empathy, attention to detail, and the ability to operate medical equipment, record patient medical information and educate patients on continuing care. RNs earn a bachelor of science, an associate's degree in nursing, or an approved nursing diploma program. RNs must also have a license.

Dental HygienistPolice Officer — Top pay: $89,310 Most frequent pay: $55,270 Lowest pay: $32,350
Cops respond to calls, enforce laws, write reports, and testify in court. They must be high school graduates, 21 years old, and pass a rigorous physical exam. Candidates must also graduate from the local police academy. Many agencies require some college coursework.
Dental Hygienist — Top pay: $96,280 Most frequent pay: $70,210 Lowest pay: $46,540
This career takes less time than dental school, but still pays big. Dental hygienists clean and examine teeth, look for signs of oral disease and educate patients on preventing disease. State licensing and an associate's degree in dental hygiene are typically needed.
Computer Programmer — Top pay: $117,980 Most frequent pay: $74,280 Lowest pay: $42,850
To be a computer programmer, you must understand computer languages, know how a computer works and be able to communicate that to others. Many employers require a 4-year degree, but some accept an associate's.
Medical Records Technician — Top pay: $56,200 Most frequent pay: $34,160 Lowest pay: $22,250
The people who record data about caregivers and patients and who can access and understand medical financial information are needed because of regulations on health care. These technicians usually need a postsecondary certificate or associates degree, ability to pass an exam and personal certification.
Action: What is your chosen career? What additional education and training do you need after high school?
Adapted from Yahoo.com. Salary information from U.S. Dept. of Labor Occupational Employment and Wages data, May 2012

These jobs offer great opportunities without the cost and time commitment of a full university degree program.  Here are a few-
  • Engineering Technician
  • Aerospace Technician
  • Medical Sonographer
  • Registered Nurse
  • Nuclear Technician
  • Dental Hygienist 
  • Air Traffic Controller

Wisconsin News

Beloit HS Tech Incubator.
Hillary Gavan of the Beloit Daily News reports that Beloit Memorial HS is partnering with AccuLynx and Premiere Technologies to work with local students on joint projects as a means of getting students interested in information technology and computer science; fields expected to grow about 62% by 2020.  The goal is for some students to advance to working on actual projects.  The incubator is still in the planning stages but the newly formed advisory committee will be helping the school to determine topics and courses.

Financial Aid now available for UW Flex Degree.
As reported by Dan Simmons, Wisconsin State Journal, UW has received approval to provide financial aid for some students in its newer flex degree program.  Introduced in 2012, and accredited in 2013, students can learn at their own pace and test out of units as they gain proficiency.  The degree is aimed at the estimated 750,000 Wisconsin adults who have some college but no degree.

Career Pathways Success!
WTCS reports that WCTC student, Enisael Aguilera, was blogged about by Education Secretary Arne Duncan in a posting, "Upskill America:  Creating Pathways to the Middle Class"  discussing career pathways and ladders for entry-level workers who have access to the right educational content and job training.  Enisael spent years repairing shipping and storage pallets before deciding to improve his skills in order to obtain better paying employment.  He studied to pass the GED exam at Waukesha County Technical College, earned the Metal Fabrication Technical Diploma and became aware of its associated Career Pathway. After finishing the course, he began work at the Wausau Equipment Company as a finish welder, and shortly thereafter received his “welder registration” from the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services, gaining a 12 percent pay-raise in just his first-year on the job.

Knowing today's HS Grads

The annual mindset list was recently compiled and released by Beloit College in WI.  These students were generally born in 1996 and graduated high school in 2014.  Some interesting points to note:

  • They were upset by the endless and repeated images from the World Trade Center in kindergarten.
  • "Press Pound" on the phone is really "hit hashtag."
  • Hong Kong has always been part of China.
  •  Parents have always been able to rely on a ratings system to judge TV shows.
  • They gather with friends on Skype and other social media, not on playgrounds.
  • They probably have never used the browser, Netscape.

Mechanic out earns peers

FROM:  ACTE STEMBrief 8/27/2014

According to Bloomberg News reporters Jeff Green and John Irwin (8/25/2014), a local 19 year old, only 2 years out of high school, is earning $40,000 per year.  "His secret:  shop class."

With schools focusing on preparing kids for college, programs in CTE, like "shop class" are going the way of stenography class.  But at least the message is getting through, This year the US Government boosted funding for CTE, but it is still $188 million smaller than it was in 2004.

From 1999 to 2009 high school credits earned in CTE fell 15%, while core academic credits rose 20%.  A familiar story, where the prejudices of CTE manifested in parents pushing kids into 4 year university programs despite the agreement that kids should have more vocational skills.  Interestingly, it is the parents who held these kinds of jobs who are the most dubious about the value of CTE long term after experiencing lay offs.

Progress is spotty but educational advocates with business support are re-imagining education to help identify students' career interests and guiding them to BOTH CTE and other classes to support career development no matter the post-secondary pathway.

Fewer Jobs, Lower Wages for Youth

FROM:  ACTE STEMBrief 9/2/2014 

Bloomberg Businessweek author Natalie Kitroeff reports that Young people of all races and ethnicities were not employed in 2013 at the rate they were a generation ago, according to data reported today by the National Center for Education Statistics.  

Americans aged 20 to 24 who did have jobs were paid $4,800 less in 2012 than they were in 1980, when adjusted for inflation.  Seventy-one percent of people aged 20 to 24 participated in the labor force in 2013, down from 77 percent in 1980. Those who had a job earned about $17,500 per year in 2012, compared with an inflation-adjusted $22,300 in 1980.  

More youth, however, are advancing their education, according to the report. In 2012, more than 40 percent of people aged 18 to 24 were in college, up from about a quarter of that group in 1980. Women and men were also more likely to have a high school diploma than they were three decades ago.

Young adults “are much less likely to have had job experiences while they were in high school than they were years ago, so that could be one factor in terms of preparation for their first big job after high school,” said the NCES’s Tom Snyder in the CSPAN broadcast.

WIOA Highlights

FROM:  Workforce3One August 2014

When the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) was recently reauthorized as WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act), it marked bipartisan legislative support to better connect education, training, employment, and support services to succeed in the labor market.   Here are some highlights of the legislation:

  • Aligns federal investments to support job seekers and employers
  • Strengthens the governing bodies that establish state, regional, and local workforce investment priorities
  • Fosters regional collaboration to meet the needs of regional economies
  • Targets workforce services to better serve job seekers including youth workers
  • Improves services to individuals with disabilities including providing youth with extensive pre-employment services
  • Supports access to services with co-location of programming
For More Information, SEE the WIOA Resource Page.