Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014

Obama's Job-Creation Plans: Opportunity for All

By Lisa Kaiser
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As he promised in his State of the Union speech on Tuesday night, President Obama is going to take matters into his own hands and work around a dysfunctional Congress. Plan #1 is to do whatever he can to jumpstart job creation and lift up low-wage workers. He’s going to talk about that in his visit to GE in Waukesha today, but he’s also going to use executive orders to spur job training. 

Below is the White House fact sheet on Obama’s executive orders. Looks like he’s going to make good use of Vice President Joe Biden and, like the Race to the Top education initiative, utilize competitive grants to trigger reform.

Opportunity for All: Empowering All Americans

with the Skills Needed for In-Demand jobs

 

  Year of Action: Making Progress Through Executive Action

 

In his State of the Union address, the President outlined a comprehensive agenda to make America a magnet for middle class jobs and business investment. As part of this effort, the President is acting on a set of specific, concrete proposals that will make sure American workers have the skills that they need for in-demand jobs of today and the jobs of tomorrow.

  •  Presidential Memorandum Directing the Vice President to Lead an Across the Board Review of How to Best Reform Federal Training Programs. In the State of the Union, the President asked the Vice President to lead an across the board review of our federal employment and training programs within existing legislative authority.This full review will focus on ensuring that our training programs are job-driven – by making sure that all of our training programs are completely focused on helping people who are ready to work attain the skills needed to fill good jobs that are in high-demand industries.


  •  Immediate Stakeholder Consultation Led by the Vice President on Best Practices to Make America’s System of Workforce Training More Job-Driven. Led by the Vice President, the White House policy councils together with the Secretaries of Labor, Commerce and Education will engage in immediate consultation with business and labor leaders, educators, Mayors and Governors, and Democratic and Republican Congressional officials on the best practices for ensuring that America’s workforce training system is more driven by the needs of employers in order to place workers in good jobs.


  •  Focus Final $500 Million Community College Competition on Best Practices for Job-Driven Training. Secretary Perez and the Labor Department have increasingly emphasized job-driven training as part of their programs and competitions. Building on these successes, the President has asked the Secretary of Labor for an enhanced focus on job-driven training and the best practices that will be identified through the stakeholder consultations to be applied to the selection criteria for the final $500 million of a community college training fund. This grant competition will seek to scale job-driven training partnerships between regional employers and national industry associations that advance the best practices identified throughout the immediate stakeholder consultations.

 

Further Detail on Executive Actions the President Is Taking to Empower American Workers with the Skills That Employers Demand Today and the Jobs of Tomorrow

Presidential Memorandum Directing the Vice President to Lead an Across the Board Review of How to Best Reform Federal Training Programs. The President has asked the Vice President to lead an across the board review of the federal training system within existing legislative authority. This review will be focused on making sure that our training programs are job-driven. Under the Vice President’s leadership and the interagency coordination of the National Economic Council, the Domestic Policy Council, the Council of Economic Advisers and the Office of Management Budget, the Secretaries of Labor, Education and Commerce as well as leaders from other relevant Federal agencies will develop an action plan to make the workforce and training system more job-driven, integrated and effective, which will identify concrete steps that we can take including:

 

  • Partnerships with Businesses and Labor, Workers and National Industry Associations. Promoting more active engagement with industry and labor, regional employers, and worker representatives to identify the skills and support that workers need, and to make sure those skills are better communicated to education and training providers, workforce leaders as well as job seekers.

 

  •  Innovations for Better Information. Making available to workers, job seekers, and employers the best information regarding job demand, skills matching, supports, and education, training, and career options, as well as innovative approaches to training using learning science and advanced technology.

 

  • Building Evidence and Greater Accountability. Building on existing evidence of success, we will improve the metrics used to assess programs and providers, to disseminate effective approaches and commit to a plan to evaluate more strategies for effectiveness.

 

  • Ensuring Better Alignment and Coordination. Identifying ways to ensure better alignment across workforce training, including better coordination of Federal skills, education and apprenticeship programs.

Immediate Stakeholder Consultation Led by the Vice President on Best Practices to Make Our System of Skills Training More Job-Driven. The President is asking the Vice President, senior White House officials and his Cabinet, including the Secretaries of Labor, Commerce and Education, to start immediate consultation with business, labor and community college leaders, Governors, Mayors, worker representatives, and Republican and Democratic Congressional officials to continue to tackle some of the challenges associated with preparing and matching workers to good jobs.

 

  • Business and labor leaders, including in high-growth industries and small businesses, about how they would use community colleges and training system partnerships to help them hire skilled workers, and their role in spreading these programs across the country.

 

  • Governors and Mayors about job-driven training that has worked in their communities, and how community college-employer partnerships can get more people into good jobs.

 

  • Worker representatives, community- and faith-based organizations on successful approaches to train low-skilled or displaced workers for well-paying, career-path jobs

 

  • Community college and other education leaders on how to collaborate effectively with employers and align training programs to industry-recognized credentials and hiring.

 

  • Leading technologists, researchers and entrepreneurs on how to how to make the best information available to job seekers, as well as innovative approaches to training using learning science and advanced technology.

 

Focus Final $500 Million Community College Competition on Best Practices for Job-Driven Training. The Trade Adjustment Assistance and Community College and Career Training (TAA-CCCT) competitive grant program has, over the last three years, supported community colleges in a range of strategies, including a range of partnerships that have increasingly focused on job-driven training strategies. Secretary Perez has already undertaken serious engagement since being sworn into office to ensure that training programs at the Labor Department are focused on meeting the needs of employers that will do the hiring. Building on his progress, the President has asked the Secretary of Labor to make job-driven training strategies as well as the best practices identified through the stakeholder consultations to be taken into consideration in the selection criteria for the final $500 million of the TAA-CCCT competition. This grant competition will seek to scale job-driven training partnerships between regional employers and national industry associations that advance the best practices identified throughout the immediate stakeholder consultations. In particular, this grant competition will fund the work of winning partnerships advancing elements of the most successful models identified throughout the immediate stakeholder engagement and consultation, including at least one winner in every state. 

 

  • Community College Partnerships with Regional Employers.  Winning community college grantees will partner with regional employers to create training programs for in-demand jobs. Proposals in which applicants commit to replicating programs nationally will be encouraged.

 

  • National Competition with Winners in Every State. Every State will be awarded at least one grant for community college-regional employer partnerships, with competitive priority for partnerships that also include national industry and employer groups that commit to help replicate elements of these successful models nationwide, in other communities where they want to hire workers with these skills.

 

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