Friday, September 9, 2011

NEWS LINKS | Sept. 9, 2011

SBCTC NEWS LINKS | Articles about – and of interest to – Washington state community and technical colleges




Start Talking Skills, Not Just Jobs

. … At the end of June, there were over three million open jobs in the United States, including 498,000 open jobs in trade, transportation and utilities and 584,000 open jobs in education and health services. Employers report that they're unable to fill these open positions due to a lack of skills-ready applicants.  … How do we change that? With smart, innovative public-private partnerships that bring businesses to the table to make sure our workforce is getting the right skills on the front-end.

 … Skills for America's Future, the newest policy initiative at Aspen, was created specifically to connect businesses and community colleges to create or expand high-impact partnerships.   These partners recognize that unless businesses and educational institutions - including high schools, four-year colleges and community colleges - work together, it will be impossible to provide training that's accessible, affordable and meets workforce demands. Dovetailing with this step is the work of another project of the Aspen Institute, the Workforce Strategies Initiative. Their approach is simple: Pick an industry. Build relationships to find out what jobs are available and skills are needed .

An example of this change can be found at the General Service Technician Program at Shoreline Community College in Seattle -- a first step for students interested in careers in automotive services. The Puget Sound Auto Dealers Association has its offices in the same building on campus, linking students directly to industry partners. Despite the economic downturn, this program has placed nearly 90% of its graduates into jobs, most of whom had neither college nor industry experience before entering the program.

Huffington Post, September 7, 2011


Maier Hall completion to be feted at Peninsula College

The new Maier Hall at Peninsula College is almost ready to house fall classes when the quarter begins … Two special events Friday, Sept. 23, will mark the completion of the $36 million building. The day's festivities will begin with a ribbon-cutting and a program that will include speeches by Peninsula College President Tom Keegan, state Reps. Kevin Van De Wege and Steve Tharinger who represent the 24th District  and Schuyler Hoss, Gov. Chris Gregoire's Southwest Washington regional representative

Peninsula Daily News, September 7, 2011


WWCC Women's Services affected by budget cuts

The Women’s Center at Walla Walla Community College has closed, following a series of budget cuts that covered staffing. College spokesman Clint Gabbard said state budget cuts led to the center’s demise, as well as the elimination of the IMPACT! Life Transitions Program for displaced homemakers.

Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, September 7, 2011


SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers opens new plant in Washington

The plant has created approximately 80 permanent jobs for the local area, with much of the job training completed at Big Bend Community College located a few miles away. Added Pohlman, “We are ready to produce and are ready to expand.”

Composites World, September 6, 2011


The future is in Moses Lake

The future was on display in Moses Lake with the grand opening of a new state-of-the-art carbon fiber manufacturing plant. The facility, which is the joint venture of German-based companies SGL Automotive Group and BMW, will produce a carbon fiber-reinforced plastic for BMW's new line of lighter, more energy efficient electric cars. … Favorable infrastructure conditions, existing utilities, a skilled labor force and fast permitting processes were also important factors in deciding to build the plant here, according to SGL managing director Joerg Pohlman.  He also credited Big Bend Community College with helping to qualify local applicants for the Moses Lake facility.

Big Bend President Bill Bonaudi said the plant presents a great training opportunity for the school. "We're trying to learn more about the process so we know what they need," he said. "We've gotten some feedback from the company and so far they've been pleased with the people they've hired locally."

The Coeur d' Alene Press, September 7, 2011


Saylor Foundation Launches Multi-Million Dollar Open Textbook Challenge

Open education non-profit offers $20,000 to each college textbook author willing to license texts openly under creative commons licensing and allow free use for students and educators. … "This is exciting news, as we have several faculty in our colleges who will likely be eligible," said Tom Caswell, Open Education Policy Associate at the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges. "I hope this will tip the scales for others developing textbooks and considering going open."

PR NewsWire, September 7, 2011


State Asks Centralia College to Look at More Cuts

Days before students prepare to return to Centralia College, administrators and staff at Lewis County’s highest learning institution are dealing with a directive from Olympia to look where they could possibly make further cuts. … the college had been contacted by state officials to create scenarios for a possible 5 or 10 percent budget cut that could follow the college’s 2011-12 cut of $1.78 million approved in June …

The Centralia Chronicle, September 8, 2011


BBCC slashes budget amid state cuts

Due to reduced state funding, Big Bend Community College is providing fewer classes this fall despite rising demand for higher education in Grant County. Big Bend Community College trustees approved a 2011-2012 operating budget Aug. 9 that reduced state funding to the college by $1.2 million and prepared for another $800,000 budget cut next year. … "If we don't find a way to secure a guaranteed floor of funding for our higher education system, we will continue to bleed away the life and substance of our colleges," said BBCC President Bill Bonaudi. Bonaudi is asking legislators to establish a minimum level of funding to allow community colleges to adequately plan their budgets, said Sly.

Columbia Basin Herald, September 9, 2011


Work opportunities are out there in Snohomish County

“With at least 3,500 job openings in Snohomish County, the unemployment problem is not about creating new jobs, but rather employers finding skilled workers to hire,” Sen. Patty Murray said in a recent stop at Giddens Industries at Paine Field.  “We have a skills deficit. People who want to go to work don’t have the skills for the jobs in their own community.”

There are a number of ways to get training, one of which is the Washington Aerospace Training and Research Center at Paine Field, which is operated by Edmonds Community College.

The Mukilteo Beacon, September 9, 2011


Project connects low-income, homeless with much needed help
Rafael Ponce supports his wife and two children with two part-time jobs. Expenses such as dental come second to rent and food...Two of Ponce’s teeth have been throbbing with pain and infection...As part of Project Homeless Connect, an effort to connect those who need help with what they need — a dentist pulled his two teeth Thursday in a mobile dental van with volunteer dentists...At the event, held at Skagit Valley College and put on by the Skagit County Coalition to End Homelessness, those who showed up could get an identification card, a free haircut or help with housing. But dental care was the most popular service.
Skagit Valley Herald, September 9, 2011





High Teen Unemployment Molding 'Lost Generation'

Across the country, 16- to 19-year-olds are facing the end of the third summer in a row of unemployment rates above 20 percent. Economists warn that if the trend continues, a generation of young people could face a bleak future in the workforce. [Washington State has the dubious distinction of having one of the five highest teen unemployment rates in the country as of June — 33.2 percent.]

NPR, August 9, 2011


The Right Measures

I’ve been following with interest the stories about the Federal government trying to decide which measures to use to judge the performance of various community colleges against each other. … Graduation rates are notoriously unhelpful, since they assume, falsely, that every student starts as a freshman and intends to complete a degree. We get a fair number of “visiting” students from other colleges who take a few courses here en route to graduating at their “home” colleges. To count that as attrition for us would be asinine.

Inside Higher Ed, September 9, 2011


Apprenticeships May Solve Skills Gap, Spark Economy

Interview with Tim Brown, CEO, IDEO: We've got a pretty big skills gap in this country, particular around technically focused jobs, things like software engineering and medical technicians. and we just don't have enough of those people, and we need to find a way of getting them into the workforce.  And traditionally, when we wanted to get people into jobs that have high skills, for the last several hundred years we've used this idea of apprenticeship. But it seems to have disappeared out of the conversation recently.

…  internships are really about sort of proving that you've got skills. It's about going into an organization for a very short period of time, and it's sort of a relationship with the organization - whereas apprenticeship is about acquiring skills over a longer period of time, maybe over several years. And it's often with somebody who is already deeply skilled in that job.  

NPR, September 9, 2011


Looking at Education for Clues on Structural Unemployment

Perhaps unsurprisingly, cities with wider education gaps tended to have higher levels of unemployment. Madison, Wisc., had the lowest education gap in recent years, and enjoys an unemployment rate of 5.3%, far below the 8.8% unemployment rate in the average metropolitan area.

Wall Street Journal, September 9, 2011





Career and Technical Education Central to Success of American Jobs Act

President Obama's announcement of a $447 billion American Jobs Act to help revive the economy provides resources for several important career and technical education initiatives that will support education and skills training needed to get individuals back to work. …  Enrollment in career and technical education programs, community and technical colleges, area career and technical centers and other CTE-related programs is at an all-time high. All of these institutions need support as laid off employees seek to address retraining needs. The infrastructure needs of secondary schools is important too.  … Despite the president's jobs plan, the Obama Administration has proposed to reduce the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act by $264 million for Fiscal Year 2012. The Perkins Act supports both secondary and postsecondary institutions to help develop career pathway strategies, updating equipment, improving curricula and training teachers. "Most of the Administration's focus has been on immediate job openings, which is understandable," said Bray, "But, more needs to be done to help students and adults develop long-term career pathways. That's a large part of what CTE does and the Perkins Act supports these activities. We encourage the Administration to rethink its Perkins proposal and are asking Congress to fully fund the program."

MarketWatch, September 9, 2011





Shopping for the Apocalypse

Valuable information for these times.

The Morton Report, September 7, 2011


Spot The Fake Smile

More valuable skills for these times. This experiment is designed to test whether you can spot the difference between a fake smile and a real one. [I scored 16 out of 20. And you?]

BBC Science and Mind


The Mysterious ‘V’ in My Hotel Bathroom

NPR Blog, September 9, 2011



Compiled by the Washington State Board for Community & Technical Colleges

1300 Quince St SE | PO Box 42495 | Olympia, Washington 98504 | 


Distributed via email to State Board members, SBCTC staff, CTC presidents, PIOs, Trustees and NEWS LINKS subscribers.


Email subscription:  NEWS LINKS | SBCTC News Links blog: |RSS feed subscription: NEWS LINKS BLOG 


Links are time-sensitive and may expire after the date of publication. The SBCTC does not control or endorse the content of the links and websites.

All articles are copyrighted by the newspaper or website in which they appear. Please do not use these articles without following the permission process of the newspaper.

Some sites require free registration. SBCTC does not link to articles or news sites where a fee or paid subscription is required for viewing/access.