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 Response Page - Lindsley  Interview -      
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These comments are responses to the statements listed below,
which were generated in regard to the 
Brian Lindsley  Interview of
10-03-2014.

Attend to needs of underqualified adults in quest to fill workforce skills gap

OVERVIEW

According to Bryan Lindsley, philanthropic collaborative MSPWin focuses on changing the workforce development system, with the goal of dramatically increasing the number of adults, especially those of color, aged 18 to 64, earning family-sustaining wages. Lindsley believes Minnesota will not be able to close the approaching skills gap, forecast to start in 2020, without focusing on adults already in or capable of being in the labor force. He emphasizes that this group should also include the unemployed and those not participating in the labor force, who often are not counted when we're looking at whether we will have enough skilled workers.

Concentrating on those adults will have the greatest impact on the size and quality of the state's workforce, he notes, since 73 percent of the people in Minnesota's workforce today will still be working in 2030. Attention to this demographic is particularly important because about half of our current workforce has no postsecondary credential or industry certification, which is increasingly key to employability.

For Minnesota to solve the state's human-capital problem, Lindsley suggests that the following goals, all focused on the adult population, must be met: (1) Many more postsecondary students completing remedial classes, accumulating credits and graduating with a degree, a diploma or a certificate; (2) More adults completing skills training that leads to family-sustaining wages through programs teaching basic and occupational skills while offering support services; and (3) Developing outcome reporting and evaluation to allow evidence-based decision-making to determine which components of various workforce programs are effective.

For the complete interview summary see: Lindsley interview

Response Summary: Average response ratings shown below are simply the mean of all readersí zero-to-ten responses to the ideas proposed and should not be considered an accurate reflection of a scientifically structured poll.

To assist the Civic Caucus in planning upcoming interviews, readers rated these statements about the topic on a scale of 0 (strongly disagree) to 5 (neutral) to 10 (strongly agree): 

1. Topic is of value. (6.9 average response) The interview summarized today provides valuable information or insight.

2. Further study warranted. (7.6 average response) It would be helpful to schedule additional interviews on this topic.

Readers rated the following points discussed during the meeting on a scale of 0 (strongly disagree) to 5 (neutral) to 10 (strongly agree): 

3. Upgrade adult job skills. (9.1 average response) Minnesota cannot maintain a highly regarded, skilled workforce unless it dramatically upgrades the job skills of its adult population that is currently unemployed or underemployed.

4. Adult workers now will be vital in 2030. (8.3 average response) The state cannot afford to neglect people already of working age today because they will be the vast majority of Minnesotans still working in 2030.

5. Past repute fosters inaction. (4.9 average response) The state's historic reputation for a high-quality workforce is producing an inhibiting complacency at the very time major action is needed.

6. Clear strategies lacking. (7.5 average response) While exemplary efforts are under way, the state lacks clear strategies to produce enough workers with an essential combination of basic skills education and occupational training.

7. Low grad rates show inefficiency. (6.7 average response) Low graduation rates in two-year community and technical colleges show that those institutionsí existing efforts to produce an adequately trained work force are grossly inefficient.

8. Pay colleges for achieving outcomes. (4.8 average response) The state should start paying its colleges based on outcomes, such as studentsí successfully completing education and training within prescribed timeframes.

 

Response Distribution:

Strongly disagree

Moderately disagree

Neutral

Moderately agree

Strongly agree

Total Responses

1. Topic is of value.

14%

0%

14%

43%

29%

7

2. Further study warranted.

0%

0%

29%

43%

29%

7

3. Upgrade adult job skills.

0%

0%

0%

43%

57%

7

4. Adult workers now will be vital in 2030.

14%

0%

0%

14%

71%

7

5. Past repute fosters inaction.

29%

0%

29%

29%

14%

7

6. Clear strategies lacking.

0%

14%

0%

57%

29%

7

7. Low grad rates show inefficiency.

14%

0%

14%

57%

14%

7

8. Pay colleges for achieving outcomes.

29%

14%

14%

29%

14%

7

Individual Responses:

Scott Halstead  (10)  (10)  (10)  (10)  (10)  (10)  (10)  (0)

3. Upgrade adult job skills. All employers and employees should be participating in continuing education throughout their employment years so they are prepared for the next step and qualified for an equivalent position in the event of adverse conditions.

5. Past repute fosters inaction. Our population demographic is rapidly changing along with ever-changing employer requirements.

8. Pay colleges for achieving outcomes. Perhaps the state should provide financial relief for students successfully completing education/training that results in successful employment.

Vici Oshiro  (10)  (5)  (10)  (10)  (5)  (7.5)  (7.5)  (2.5)

Don Anderson  (5)  (5)  (7.5)  (10)  (5)  (7.5)  (7.5)  (5 

David Dillon  (0)  (10)  (10)  (0)  (0)  (10)  (0)  (10)

1. Topic is of value. The subject is obviously important.  The bureaucratic approach to all of this provides little valuable information and insight.  It starts with a projection of an "expected" qualified worker shortage by 2020. Maybe a start would be to admit (without shame) that we have little ability to see beyond the next year or two and focus on becoming nimble.

4. Adult workers now will be vital in 2030. The focus on the needs out into the long term, like 2030 shows how the thinking is bureaucratic and input-focused rather than being nimble and responsive.  I don't buy the argument that pushing more, better-trained folks out into the workforce will improve the economy, employment, Minnesota's competitiveness or even happiness on the part of Minnesotans.  I'm not sure what exactly they are arguing what will be needed way out into the future.  I'd be happy if they have a good plan for 2015 and 1016 and were ready to change as needed.

6. Clear strategies lacking. I am, of course, assuming what is really meant here is a "good" strategy.  I do hope the standard is not so low as just to be clear.  The soviets always had a "clear" five-year strategy for training in their industrial policy.

7. Low grad rates show inefficiency. I'm not buying this at all. Maybe students are getting what they need and dropping out once that is achieved or other life priorities intervene.  So much of this sounds like the education bureaucracy plowing ground for a funding argument to come.

8. Pay colleges for achieving outcomes. But let's talk about the outcomes a lot more. Getting a document from the provider?  How about getting a great (and real) rating from their customers.  How many clients are so thrilled with the help they got that they will give back?  How about the business customers that are helped?  Will they contribute and rate the success?

Ken Peterson  (7.5)  (7.5)  (7.5)  (10)  (0)  (2.5)  (5)  (0)

8. Pay colleges for achieving outcomes. First, [the] last point would encourage schools to drop standards and pass everybody.  Second, general, point: Minnesota's work force training system certainly needs improvement, especially with people of color, but overall it has worked well which is one reason why Minnesota's economy is doing as well as it is.

Chuck Lutz  (8)  (8)  (9)  (8)  (7)  (7)  (9)  (9)

Wayne Jennings  (8)  (8)  (10)  (10)  (7)  (8)  (8)  (7)

An important topic but I hope itís not another study to death without actions. Surely we know how to address these issues from research and successful practice to not need $10 million a year for study.  An outcomes approach seems a way for greater accountability.

    

The Civic Caucus   is a non-partisan, tax-exempt educational organization.   The Interview Group  includes persons of varying political persuasions,
reflecting years of leadership in politics and business. Click here  to see a short personal background of each.

  John S. Adams, David Broden, Audrey Clay, Janis Clay, Pat Davies, Bill Frenzel, Paul Gilje (executive director), Randy Johnson, Sallie Kemper, Ted Kolderie, Dan Loritz (chair),
Tim McDonald, Bruce Mooty, John Mooty, Jim Olson, Paul Ostrow, Wayne Popham, Dana Schroeder, Clarence Shallbetter, and Fred Zimmerman


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The Civic Caucus, 01-01-2008
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Dan Loritz, chair, 612-791-1919   ~   Paul A. Gilje, coordinator, 952-890-5220.

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