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 Response Page - Wagner  Interview -      
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These comments are responses to the statements listed below,
which were generated in regard to the
Todd Wagner  Interview of
11-15-2013.
 

Change the delivery of job training to produce a competitive workforce

OVERVIEW

An increasing proportion of young adults of high school graduation age and a little older are lower skilled and not qualified for the jobs the baby boomers are leaving, according to Minnesota's Director of Adult Basic Education (ABE) Todd Wagner. Current labor market projections show a shortfall around manufacturing, health care and other middle-skill occupations, those requiring one to two years of postsecondary training, along with some kind of degree or industry-recognized certification or credential.

Wagner says ABE is mostly concentrated on adults age 21 or older, because ABE tries to reconnect young people with the K-12 system, since they are K-12 eligible until they turn 21. He says ABE has been trying to encourage its clients under age 21 who are working toward a high school diploma to also enroll in Minnesota postsecondary institutions through the state's Postsecondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) program. He calls PSEO a "tremendously underutilized option" for kids who are coming back to the education system after dropping out of school.

Wagner believes the pendulum in K-12 is swinging away from the philosophy of everybody going to a four-year college. He says that is not realistic or necessary and that we should change the philosophy to postsecondary for everyone. According to Wagner, people can get living-wage jobs with one year of postsecondary training and an industry-recognized credential. He laments the dismantling of the high school technical education system and its replacement by the alternative education system. 

For the complete interview click here: Wagner interview

Response Summary: Average response ratings shown below are simply the mean of all readers’ 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, please rate these statements on today's topic on a scale of 0 (strongly disagree) to 5 (neutral) to 10 (strongly agree): 

1. Topic is of value. (8.4 average response) The interview summarized today provides valuable information or insight.

2. Further study warranted. (7.1 average response) It would be helpful to schedule additional interviews on this topic.

On a scale of 0 (strongly disagree) to 5 (neutral) to 10 (strongly agree), please rate the following points discussed during the meeting: 

3. Focus on training under-skilled. (8.9 average response) Minnesota won't have enough trained workers in coming years without special emphasis on helping under-skilled adults become job-ready.

4. College not the answer for all. (9.8 average response) It's misguided to think that four years of college is the best solution for all.

5. Train for recognized credential. (8.8 average response) What is needed in most cases is a year or two of postsecondary training resulting in an industry-recognized credential.

6. Workplace experience crucial. (9.0 average response) Postsecondary schools alone can't provide the necessary training; internships and on-the-job training are essential.

 

Response Distribution:

Strongly disagree

Moderately disagree

Neutral

Moderately agree

Strongly agree

Total Responses

1. Topic is of value.

0%

0%

8%

54%

38%

13

2. Further study warranted.

0%

8%

15%

62%

15%

13

3. Focus on training under-skilled.

0%

0%

7%

36%

57%

14

4. College not the answer for all.

0%

0%

0%

14%

86%

14

5. Train for recognized credential.

0%

0%

7%

36%

57%

14

6. Workplace experience crucial.

0%

0%

14%

14%

71%

14

Individual Responses:

Anonymous (5) (5) (7.5) (10) (10) (5)

Dave Broden (7.5) (5) (10) (7.5) (10) (10)

1. Value of topic. Somewhat of a repeat of previous information and not much new or innovative in approach.

2. Value of further study. Only if there is some real innovation and effectiveness.

3. Focus on training under-skilled. This is key to the workforce readiness, but to do this we need to build the future companies or track the evolution of companies as each changes the engineering, management, and manufacturing processes and thus needed skills.

4. College not the answer for all. The discussion must be balanced

5. Train for recognized credential. This must be done but it should not cut off opportunity to move to professional skills and capabilities

6. Workplace experience crucial. As in any job at any skill level the best training is real "on the job" interaction, hands on. This is true and needed at all skill levels.

Ray Ayotte (7.5) (7.5) (10) (10) (10) (10)

Scott Halstead (10) (7.5) (10) (10) (7.5) (10)

5. Train for recognized credential. High Schools could do a better job working with local employers for [on-the-job training] and other than college preparation courses. Especially metropolitan area schools. We have open enrollment. Certain schools could specialize.

Phil Kinnunen (7.5) (2.5) (10) (10) (10) (10)

4. College not the answer for all. No matter how educated, advanced, sophisticated and global our world gets, someone still has to clean the toilets, sweep the floors and build things. We can't all be the CEO.

Anonymous (10) (7.5) (10) (10) (10) (10)

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

Don Fraser (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10)

Bruce A. Lundeen (7.5) (7.5) (7.5) (10) (5) (5)

Carol Woehrer (8) (7) (10) (10) (6) (9)

Don Fraser (na) (na) (na) (na) (na) (na)

This was an excellent piece - stay with it. This deals with one of our most challenging problems.

Chuck Lutz (8) (7) (9) (9) (9) (10)

Tom Spitznagle (8) (8) (6) (10) (8) (7)

Public schools used to have excellent industrial arts programs that provided useful job skills for a large number of kids who would not be interested in attending college but still want to be able to make a decent living. Industrial arts programs were also helpful by providing meaningful education to kids prone to getting into trouble. It was a very big error for so many public schools to dismantle their industrial arts programs.

Roger A. Wacek (na) (na) (5) (10) (10) (10)

Wayne Jennings (10) (10) (9) (10) (10) (10)

Very important program serving adults that if not helped become an expensive societal obligation. Too much emphasis in high school centered on college ignores many students who are not college material or academically oriented. What a shame that high schools have decreased shop and vocational programs. High schools are filled with energetic, idealistic and ambitious students sitting in class after class they find boring and remote from their needs and lives. Wagner’s position on … post-secondary programs as underutilized and valuable resources makes sense and is something of a tragedy that [they are] not used more particularly in vocational fields.

    

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

   David Broden,  Janis Clay,  Bill Frenzel,  Paul Gilje,   Jan Hively,  Dan Loritz (Chair),  Marina Lyon,  Joe Mansky, 
Tim McDonald,  John Mooty,  Jim Olson,  Wayne Popham  and Bob White


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Dan Loritz, chair, 612-791-1919   ~   Paul A. Gilje, coordinator, 952-890-5220.

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