3) Cross-Boundary Leaders for Education and Equity Symposium: Pathways to Success
November 13, 2019
So we’re on to the third pillar of IEL’s work,
which is pathways into the workforce, into careers, into life, into citizenship.
I want to remind you before we introduce the panel, there are resources in the back of
the room. Sue Swenson mentioned our guidepost to success, which has been developed by the
institute as part of a project we’ve been doing now for a dozen years with the did not
of labor under the auspices of national collaborative workforce development for youth. Joan may
talk more about that. We are the operator of the DC advocacy partners program in the
District of Columbia. We graduated our third class. I think we have at least one person
here who is a DC advocacy partner. I wanted to see that the institute’s leadership work
is at multiple levels. Yes, we’re concerned about the superintendents and the principals.
We’re also concerned about families. We’re also concerned about advocates as part of
a more comprehensive crossboundary approach we think is needed to grow the kind of leaders
we need. So to move to the conversation about disengaged
and disconnected youth, I’m sorry that our colleague Curtis Richards had a longstanding
commitment in Boston. Curtis is the other member of the IEL leadership team and runs
our Center for Workforce Development. He could not be here today. But you’re Senior Fellow,
Joan Wills, who created the Center for Workforce Development at IEL, now almost 20 years ago,
is with us to lead this session. Please welcome Joan Wills, who will introduce this panel.
[Applause] Thank you very much. I’m not going to tell
you much about these people. Partly because I just met two of them over the phone a week
ago. But you can read these interesting resumes. One of the things, as I look at our resumes
collectively, I think what you can think of us as is a panel focused on the� all
of us in the room, the structure of schools.
This is an unusual panel in that we cosm from workforce development come from workforce
development, community nonprofits, but all engaged in trying to improve the learning
opportunities and learning engagement mechanisms for a really very large number of our youth
in America. Folks at IEL know that I am normally always
busy editing what somebody else has written. And I realize that I had an opportunity and
didn’t focus enough, because the charge to this panel was to say folks, our young people
are increasingly disengaged from society. What can leaders do to put disengaged and
disconnected youth on the pathways to success? I would have to challenge the word “increasingly”
because I think it’s been a longterm challenge, in terms of disengagement for too many parts
of our population, so I would have to edit it to say too many young people are disengaged.
Now, why does that matter? I can recall believing that I was going to help fix the anti� the
problems with poverty in the 1960s, when I first went to work, thinking that within five
years the Economic Opportunity Act was going to, in fact, solve problems. I along with
all the other people in America learned it’s a little more difficult than that.
We’re charged today to think about the terms “equity” and we’re charged with the term�
to think about so what does it mean to create different types and competent leaders. That’s
what this panel is about, trying to think about what it is we can do that builds upon
the other parts of the development system for youth in the United States, the ones that
are not as well resourced, in some ways, and what is it we need to do to think about how
to build better community collaborative mechanisms across all of the different providers services
in the community. In the list of the 10 things leaders need
to do, for me, at least, I think what we’re going to be talking about is number 9. Leaders
listen actively, and learn from everyone, from their peers, which was talked about this
morning in the first panel, from people in their own field, and others. And in part,
we’re representing the others. I’ve been involved in lots of different activities,
even trying to come up with common language. I can remember when at risk was the term of
the day. We didn’t like that. So we then started talking about vulnerable, what does that mean?
Then we came up with the term, and I’m not putting anything negative about all this,
it’s just a part of our search. Then we came up with this conundrum. These are all true.
Then we came up with the term “opportunity youth.” To me, I still don’t particularly
like the use of the term, but I’m delighted and value the fact that people are now beginning
to say opportunity for youth that are disconnected matter, and they matter as a part of public
policy. So what we’re going to do today in this session
is to take a look at lessons and practices on the ground, at the local level, practices
that have been tapped at the state level and at the federal level, and then practices particularly
as it relates to youth that have been involved in the juvenile justice system. And they’re
going to talk very quickly about what it is they’ve done, what they think are the critical
issues. Then we’ll try to get something in perspective
about what it is we need to do to think about improving leaders across the systems, and
what do we mean by that, or what are the ingredients of that.
So why don’t we start at the local level. Thank you, Joan. My name is Michael Gritton,
Executive Director of KentuckianaWorks, which is a strang creature called a� strange creature
called a workforce investment board. I work for mayor Greg Fisher in Louisville and the
six counties around it. We chose our name because we want to try to do labor market
information and work at the regional level, because Indiana is across the river. We thought
about a name, the only real other choice was indiuckyworks.
[Laughter] Which doesn’t work. You may not have heard
of Kentuckiana, but I have. I’m honored to be here. IEL with 50 years of great work,
I’m honored to be a partner in the future of that work.
I want to describe a couple things about disconnected work. A workforce board gets Workforce Investment
Act money to target young people. We got a youth opportunity grant back at the beginning
of the last decade and learned a lot about what it was like to work with kids in the
empowerment zone. As that money went away, we tried to create programs for young people
in Louisville and regional counties that learned from that program, and it won’t surprise you
to find out that programs that work, at least in Louisville and I think around the country,
that work for young people, have to be youth friendly, they have to connected those kids
to a caring adult. You have to give them a chance to move academically as fast as they
want to move, when they’re ready to move. So my youth career center in Louisville is
run by the adult education folks at Jefferson county public schools. I happen to have that
in my neck of the woods. I am know dummy, so I figured that out right away.
I’m thrilled just this year, we received a subgrant from IEL to do work with kids involved
in the juvenile court system, who are in that 1621yearold category. Then we used the teachings
from IEL to go write our own grant and lucked into that grant from the Department of Labor
as well. So in the next three years, we’re going to be working with 500 kids involved
in the court system, mostly 16 to 19, and trying to help turn their life around. So
we call the grant right turn and right turn 2. And we’re doing the same thing exactly
with those kids, we’re trying to connect them to a caring adult in the program, writing
to give them a chance to move forward educationally as fast as we can. Mayor fisher is thrilled,
because he talks about Louisville having a compassion agenda with our economic agenda.
One of the goals is to make us the most compassionate city in the world. He’s a big leader of our
summer jobs program, another thing we do we workforce investment board of. He describes
the program as if it has a mentoring program. We acknowledge, but not really. We want employers
to mentor kids, but it’s not a mentoring program. The awesome thing about the right turn grant,
we’re recruiting 500 mentors. One person to mentor each of those 500 youth. My city can’t
be much different than anybody else’s. I’ve got churches and synagogues that are actively
looking for ways to plug in. I’ve got AfricanAmerican fraternities and soar orities at� sororities
at University of Louisville. Amazingly to us, a lot of people want to connect to these
kids and guide them one by one. Another thing to mention, a lot of times people
hear workforce investment board and think those are the people that run the workforce
act program, it’s sad that I have to say I’m often the spear catcher for WIS on that. I’m
happy to do that. We get money from four branches of the federal government. We were the first
workforce board in the country to run that program. Ms.�Nutter is here from Philly.
We’re always competing with Philly to be number one. Jenny and other great stuff going on
in Philadelphia. We were the first it workforce board to run a college access center funded
out of trio of grants from the Department of Education.
We’re in the game of helping people trying to go back to school. We’re in the game of
trying to help people get off welfare and into a real job. We have a college access
program working with kids in the Jefferson county public schools, trying to target them
to graduate and move on. We’re using the career centers to give people labor market information
to move forward. I don’t think there’s as much of a mystery
about what works for disconnected youth as there may have been 10, 20 years ago, but
I think what’s something we’re really going to have to confront is the political will
to do what we know works. One of the things that worries me, I find myself in panels or
at conferences where I feel like I’m either preaching to the choir or part of the choir,
and I want to figure out how to get the choir to be bigger. That’s the challenge that I
think we face in this work. Thank you very much. I also want to thank
IEL and say happy birthday, IEL. I hope you have 50 more. I want to recognize Marty and
thank him for his extraordinary leadership. [Applause]
Recently, I was proud to be the assistant secretary in the office of career technical
and adult education. I was responsible for career and technical education, adult education,
correctional education. It’s music to my ears to hear folks talk about the juvenile justice
system and overseeing community colleges. I had the best portfolio in all of the Department
of Education and most of the audience would agree, because we’re working with youth in
school and out of school and low scale adults. Prior to coming to the Department of Education,
I was the President of Dorcas place in Providence, Rhode�Island. We served disconnected youths
and helped prepare them for college and careers. When I an I rived at the department, that’s
what we all talked about, preparing students for college and careers. I said to my colleagues,
really, we’re really talking about college, we’re not really talking about career readiness.
If we want all of our folks to fully participate, we have to strengthen our career education
system as well. We embarked on a plan to transform career
and technical education and released a blueprint in 2012 that I’m very proud of to transform
career and technical information. It was based on four important principles, as we discuss
a system to serve disconnected youth. We need to make sure that we have education
and workforce system that is aligns and integrated and that we’re preparing our students for
the jobs that are going unfilled, the jobs of the future, and that are geared to the
regional and local economies. So that we aren’t� we’re preparing students to fill those jobs,
preparing them to fill those well. Those sectors, highdemand, highwage sectors, they’re not
to be determined by educators alone, but in partnership with the economic development
systems and the workforce system and the local communities and district communities. It will
not be dictated by the federal government. Second, we need to have good collaboration,
strong partnerships across systems. That’s what I’m really thrilled we’re talking about
today on this panel. It’s really crossboundary leadership development, really breaking down
silos. We need to make sure we have articulated career pathways from secondary education,
adult education, into postsecondary education. But also includes the employer community again,
so with are preparing our students for the jobs that are going unfilled, jobs of the
future. We need to have much stronger accountability
systems, because we talk about equity this morning, and we’re never going to close the
equity gaps if we don’t really design a system that is fair.
When I talk about career in technical education, people still think it’s the old vocational
system, the system that was for those kids who are not college material. It was a dumping
ground. There’s still, still today, despite the fact that there are hundreds of high quality
career and technical education systems, there’s still the stigma that career in technical
education system is for those students, not really a system that will prepare students
for college and careers in good jobs. We have a stronger accountability system,
we can prepare students for those jobs. That they’re getting jobs in the field they’re
prepared for, that they are receiving industry recognized credentials and postsecondary certificates
that enable students to be successful. And that we’re closing the equity gaps. Unfortunately,
when I travel all around the country, I would still see examples of those deadend tracks.
I would sty see examples of where we prepare students for jobs that no longer exist. A
system that serves disconnected youth and lowskilled adults well, also has to focus
on innovation in order to close the equity gaps, also to Michael’s point, we have to
accelerate student progress. We can’t only be talking about remediation. We have to be
talking about acceleration. I think those are the four key components
to any system that is preparing students for college and careers. And make no mistake about
it, I’m not suggesting that we’re not focusing on the postsecondary education, because you
know the research as well as I do. 2/3 of the jobs by 2018 require some form of postsecondary
education. But the system has to be rigorous, it has to be relevant, and in many cases it
has to be hands on, because that’s how we reengage those students who in fact have been
disengaged. I also want to point out to the work we do
in the department, that focused on career pathways as the organizing framework, and
that’s a system with multiple on and off stops for students as they acquire the credentials,
the knowledge, strong academic programs, the technical skills valued by employers and the
employability skills. But important and so much a part of that are support services,
because our students very much need support in every transition along the system.
I’m looking forward to a robust discussion, and really believe in the power of a high
quality career and technical education system that prepares all students for college and
careers. Thank you. Good morning. Still morning. Good
morning. I’m really excited to be invited to this event this morning, because it’s been
almost nine years since I’ve been actively and vigorously engaged in the workforce development
system. I actually left the national youth employment coalition in 2005. In the past
nine years I worked in juvenile justice system, although during that period I really tried
to, and have for many years, tried to improve bridges and collaboration between the juvenile
justice system and the workforce development system.
Joan talked about her work in the 1960s. I’ll date myself, my work in this career began
in the early 1980s, the latter years of the comprehensive employment and training act.
Since that time I’ve been promoting access to education for the most part, particularly
youth involved in the juvenile and criminal justice system and youth who have a low reading
skills. I will say in terms particularly around serving
the youth in the juvenile justice system there has been some progress in the past 15 years,
in large part due to the investments made by the Department of Labor, particularly targeted
towards this population and the emerging intention to youth development we starting to see in
the juvenile justice system. However, really since the federal workforce
development programs, which they weren’t called that back then, it was employment training,
became performance driven under the job training partnership act in the early 1980s, part of
the� part of the youth have been underserved by many local workforce systems concerned
in large parts about meeting federal performance measures. I know Philadelphia has been an
exception. I would like to hear also, I think in many places those are more exceptions than
the rule. When I was in New�York City in the early
1980s, many of you know Dorothy Stoneham who founded youthville, in New�York, she actually
advocated in the city for what she called the coalition for 10 million, to get the city
to come up with dollars to actually provide services for the kids who weren’t accessing
job training programs because of the imposition of the performance measures on the JTPA. So
kids who read below eighth grade could not get into a city funded JTPA or federally funded
JTPA program, so she advocated for the city to come up with its own dollars to serve the
population left out of the federally funded program intended to serve that population.
From that initial investment, youth build emerged. I ran one of the programs funded
under that initiative working with kids who read below fifth grade level.
Not only has serving population discouraged business performance measures, but also the
cost per participant guidelines often promulgated by the federal government also suggests longer
term invests are not cost effective and encourage you to serve kids who can be served shorter
term and get outcomes quickly. When I left national youth employment coalition,
I joined DC government to be deputy director of the department of youth rehabilitation
services here. We were in the mayor’s office trying to come up with a plan for addressing
the needs of some of the most risky kids in the community, kids already involved in some
crime or risk of being shot or victims or shooters.
In the course of the conversation with communitybased providers, folks on the streets working with
the kids, they acknowledged one of the biggest challenges was employment. In this case, looking
for jobs and had jobs. So the deputy mayor said, well, why isn’t
the department of employment service here? So they were invited to the next meeting to
talk about how do you get kids to jobs? They explained who these kids were. They said oh,
this isn’t for those kids. We aren’t for those, we’re not supposed to serve those kids.
So when I was in DC, we got our own� we were trying to build a system to serve all
kids, but that wasn’t going to happen. We built our own separate system for juvenile
justice involved kids. We got a federal grant from the Department of Labor, which allowed
us to provide a range of workforce educational services for the kids in our system. Which
in that program became the most popular services and supports we provided to the kids and became
very popular, both with case managers and with the kids, and ended up being after the
federal grant ended, ended up being much of the program was continued with local dollars,
out of DYIS. We hope that will be the results with the continued partnerships with other
agencies in the city, but those kind of partnerships did not yet emerge. There was reluctance to
work with this population. And in my current capacity at the Casey foundation,
we’re seeking to reduce the reliance on outofhome placements and expand alternatives to incarceration
for the juvenile justice system involved youth. Working with states and localities across
the country. We’re seeking to build the evidence that there are promising workforce educational
programs serving this population. Any of you work in juvenile justice know there’s a focus
around evidencebased programs, but a narrow set of programs in that space that really
focus on more family engagement and involving families in positive involvement, not necessarily
on skill development and education. We’re trying to build evidence that there are other
approaches that address the fuller range of youth needs that are also important, particularly
around education and workforce development. Is the problem is most of these systems don’t
have the resources to really effectively provide this full range of supports these kids need,
toe so interest to think� so they have to think about how to partner with the workforce
development and educational system. There goes the challenge. How do those emerge?
I think there was mention, I’m not sure, there has been changes recently at the federal level,
the enactment of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act, which replaced the
Workforce Investment Act. I was hopeful about that resulting in more services and outreach
for outofschool, disconnected and juvenile justice system involved youth. That didn’t
happen to the extent I would have hoped. I am hopeful we will see with this new act great
opportunities for this population. First, the greater focus on serving disconnected
youth, raising that percentage from 30% to 75% of the kids in the program with money
spent in the program. There’s a greater appreciation that the longer
term services, which is key element of serving the hardtoserve populations. There’s more
progressive and development appropriate performance measures that include progress measures and
recognizing relative gains made by participants to get credit for how much progress they’ve
made, not whether or not they’ve achieved a certain milestone that is acquired to get
credit for a participant. But like I said, I am hopeful opportunities
will be advanced with this act. However, I felt that way before.
[Laughter] Hopefully this will be the time.
I too have some hope. One of the reasons I reference earlier the need for the other voices
is because one of of the things that we have clearly learned, and I will mention the guideposts
for success that was put together by us in terms of trying to sort through some kind
of youth development driven system about what all youth need to first be successful in their
life, within their families, and their work. The harsh reality is that all that we’ve been
talking about on this panel now is that we’ve not been very successful in terms of helping
people prepare for the world of work. There’s a variety of reasons. That is particularly
true of very specific populations. Let me cite three of them that I think have
a lot to do with how we need to think about how to even identify equities and inequities
in the systems. For example, we do know that disability youth are well overrepresented
in the prison system and in the foster care system. Outrageously overrepresented. Just
as there are problems in terms of statistics coming into schools, it’s also true that our
other systems have disability youth in them as well as those that are poor and the opportunity
youth, etc. So we need to understand how to use data better,
then how to think about how to build better coalitions between those systems.
Now I want to ask in our short time, back to the panel, what is it you think could possibly
happen, could be done at the community and state level to begin to encourage� how do
we remove the impediments to working across boundaries? What is it that we need to do
to mitigate what we know in terms of like the performance measure issues that schools
and organizations have? And how is it that we can begin to come up
with some recommendations, some metrics, some ideas about how to promote and ensure that
the most vulnerable youth, in fact, receive the attention they need?
Because, by any count, whether we’re just talking about school statistics or service
statistics in any measurement, we do have a serious problem. So when we talk about equity,
for me I think we need to at least try to think through how do we think about it across
systems and that we have to understand deeply within those systems. Then how do we build
it back up. And how do we have this all driven by the needs of youth themselves?
Any one of you want to start first on those little simple questions?
[Laughter] Let me tick off a couple things I know. More
things I don’t know, Brenda and David can cover. Let’s talk about performance. I mentioned
KentuckianaWorks runs a youth career center in Louisville run by our adult ed folks. I’m
proud of that. Since the grant went away, we started that in 2005, we help more than
a thousand kids get GEDs in that program. We know we can help them.
What we also know is that if all we had in the program was federal money, from the minute
that young person comes to the door we have to make a decision right then am I willing
to bet on your outcome or not? Because I get measured on percentage of the kids I enroll
in the federal program who meet a certain performance goal. Right?
Luckily for me, I had a fantastic mayor at the time, Jerry Abramson, now the lieutenant
governor of Kentucky, and have a great mayor, Greg Fisher that I work with now, both of
whom committed city resources to that youth career center. Now web you come to the door�
when you come to the door, I know you’re reading and doing math below sixth grade level, typical
thing we see in Louisville, but I don’t turn you away, I turn you into a city kid, and
you’re in the mayor’s program. If and when I get you close enough that I think you may
be able to help me with federal performance, I may turn you into a federal kid, a WIA kid,
but this way I don’t have to turn you away. The system truth is if all I have is federal
money, you would face the same pressure I would, which is I’ve got to get more than
half these kids to earn a credential like the GED and I would face the same pressure
that I did and do, how am I getting half these kids reading and doing math below the sixth
grade level to a GED? One of the easiest ways is to cream, skim who you think you can succeed
with, set up hurdles and barriers before I enroll them. All the tricks people do on the
ground. If you were in my situation, I’m not sure what else you would do.
I want to talk about metrics for a minute, because I think metrics have the potential
to be a tremendous catalyst and friend for us. Sue, the woman who spoke from Department
of Education before us, was also talking about metrics and data and how they can be your
friend. We’re at a tremendous moment where if we can really demonstrate that we can make
things happen in a way that we can measure and track and show business leaders and other
people who are skeptical of government, I think that has the potential to change the
conversation. So we all are living in a world, let me tell
you, the world from Kentucky, my dad is a former factory worker at Ford. I’m a bluecollar
kid from Louisville. My dad is in the masons. My dad lives in still a working class part
of Louisville. It used to be Democratic, now mow mostly Republican. He calls me every week.
He says let me tell you the latest thing they’re telling me about Obama. Can you research this,
tell me whether it’s true? He’s got some preposterous, outlandish claim. Nowhere where if came from,
how to track it down. There is a massive organization, set of organizations
in this country dedicated to the proposition that government is the problem. They are looking
for any specific example they can find of government people doing the wrong thing. They
megaphone that, through FOX news, through talk radio, they megaphone it in any way they
can to convince you, as normal citizen, I should not be paying these taxes, I knew this
was not a good idea, no way anybody in government can accomplish anything good. I’m going back
to my little room and think I’m not going to have to do anything more.
I can’t find the troops on the other side. Who are dedicated to the proposition of demonstrating
when data shows we know what works here’s how we know it works. Here’s the data behind
it. My sense is that’s why data has the potential to be a friend, because I think if we can
create metrics across some of these systems, start to demonstrate we know what works for
disconnected youth, I’m absolutely confident, with this grant from IEL and the Department
of Labor, I’m going to take many of these 500 kids court involved and turn their life
around. We know how to do it. We know that the educational pathways they dropped out
can’t stop with the GED. I’ve got to get them into an industry recognized credential or
community college program aligned with what my jobs are. We know how to do this. It right?
Until we have the data tracking system that can demonstrate we’re doing it and they can
meet whatever the test may be, until we organize some counter army prepared to tell that story
over and over again, through mayors and through senators and through representatives who actually
believe our collective action can make a difference, I don’t know how I’m going to win. Right?
One other thing. The stimulus gave workforce board people like me money for the first time
since WIA passed. When WIA passed, summer jobs money went away. Louisville got out of
the summer jobs business. We didn’t have a summer jobs program in Louisville for 15 years.
When the stimulus in 2009 was going to give workforce boards around the country money
for summer jobs for the first time, the US conference of mayors workforce development
council, which I happened to be the President of that year, put together a training session,
pulled together folks from around the country to learn how to run good summer jobs programs.
We relied on Los�Angeles, and Boston, Baltimore and Kansas City. Four cities where they had
not gotten out of the business. At the time the Department of Labor was hoping
we would be able to use that money to help 100,000 kids go to work. Partly because of
that organization and partly because of fantastic work all around the country, we helped 330,000
kids go to work in the summer of 2009. Everybody thought we were going to fail, and
they were all waiting for the one story that they could find where somebody misused the
the money, waste, fraud, abuse, all that silliness. When we succeeded nobody knows. Nobody heard
it loud enough. Now, mayor nutter is one of the people at the conference of mayors who
was chanting from the rooftops about summer jobs. But we’ve got to get more and more people
to do that kind of stuff when it starts to work.
We all agree with the message? Yes.
[Applause] I absolutely believe in strong government.
You wouldn’t be surprised to know that. We’ve got to have the effective partnerships.
You’re right. You’ve got to work with folks you don’t agree with and break down the silos.
One of the ways is with data, but also human interest stories. When I was at Dorcas place,
I had a robust civics education program, I brought every elected official, policymaker
and employer to talk to the youth and adults we serve, and for them to be able to tell
their story. I will never forget the time we had elected a governor who was from the
corporate community. He had no idea how low the literacy and language levels were of the
folks we served. So I had a student introduce the governor.
She was a highschool graduate reading at the fourth grade level. She told the governor
that when she received her high school diploma, she knew she shouldn’t accept it, because
she couldn’t read or write. They said oh, no, you were a good student, didn’t cause
trouble, the diploma is yours. She went to look for a job, couldn’t find a job. She found
a job, then quickly got fired because she didn’t have the skill levels.
He was astounded! He didn’t know there were high school graduates, never mind folks who
didn’t have a certification or high school diploma or equivalency who could not read
or write. So he became a huge champion. So it’s also about partnership. It’s about
informing. It’s about advocating. It’s about forming really strong partnerships and really
making sure folks understand, because when you serve the hardest to serve as David mentioned,
it takes time, results are very slow in coming. And it takes resources, and you have to really
have an intensity and duration of the levels of services you offer folks, and we don’t
have the political will to do that. We want the quick fixes. We want to have the systems
that show us or design the programs that show they’re successful, but we’ve been leaving
thousands, hundreds of thousands, 36 million low skilled adults in this nation, who are
not being served, who cannot fully participate in our economy, because they don’t have the
education, they don’t have the skills and they certainly don’t have the work skills.
Though, what’s surprising around those statistics, 62% of them are currently working, but not
able to go up on a career pathway and gain the employment that would provide them sustainable
wages. I believe you have to have strong partnerships,
be strong advocates, but also provide incentive to really make sure folks are serving our
most vulnerable. I think, first, I still am hopeful that there
will be opportunities to retain the metrics and policy at the federal level that now enable
some of the resources to more effectively serve this population. I do think in many
states they’ve come up with creative ways to use state education dollars to support
these programs that reach out to reengage disconnected population. There’s encouragement
from some of the stays where that’s happened. We’ve talked about the needing to� aligning,
reporting and requirements and performance measures across federal programs to go a long
way toward simplifying some of the barriers to kind of do this cross system collaboration,
reducing the complexity, that just is so complex to do that discourage folks from pursuing
this. Allowing unified and consolidated plan will go a long way.
Incentivizing the system, incentivizing cofunding of programs or services serving the hardesttoserve
population. If you have pooled together resources, that there are additional resources to tap
into or other ways to incentivize that collaboration, but it’s not going to happen unless it’s truly
incentivized. In that way, use education dollars for academic
support, workforce dollars for job preparation and work experience and human dollars to bring
those resources to enable the full range of supports to be in place, but tapping into
those various funding streams. Simple ideas. Let’s turn now to you and questions
from the floor. Are there any? If not, we’ll talk. Yes?
I’m rob Hunstra, former intern at education, retired school superintendent, then a retired
entrepreneur. If I can ask you a hypothetical question. Assume a world where all things
are possible. Secondly, assume a status in the United States that we have serious concerns
about national security. If we were as a nation able to institute a
national service requirement for all citizens from 16 to 22, two years of some form of service
to the nation, at the community, regional, state, national level, if that were possible,
would it be a good idea? And if so, why? Or not a good idea? And if so, why, in the context
of the issues that you’ve been discussing. Anybody want to give an opinion?
I’ll keep going first, if you want. I’ll take a stab at that. There was hope that
Americorp would be that opportunity. I knew who would answer.
[Laughter] To be that national service to young people.
I’ve always been an advocate of engaging young people in service to their community. It’s
part of them being valued and to be part of community, and that they should be seen as
assets, that they have a role to play, a responsibility to give back to their communities, and that
that was an important part of their own selfworth and development, and that giving them those
kind of roles go a long way toward development. I remember when americorps was launched, a
lot of the money went to disconnected youth. Americorps shifted the resources from the
population. They said�1/3 should be college grads,�1/3 in college,�1/3 precollege.
Considering only half the kids go to college, aren’t going to college, what does that mean
about the dropouts, who weren’t going to college? They weren’t even in the equation. Those kids
almost got left out of that effort. The idea was around Americorps about giving back, but
another part was giving skills. The civilian conservation corps was about giving them employment,
but also it was about them contributing, but also getting something in return, not just
a wage or skills. It goes a long way towards doing both, giving them a chance to contribute
and value, but also to gain skills that could enable them to enter the job market and be
more productive citizens. Another way to answer that, I doubt that you
would find anybody in the room that would disagree where the value added of service.
And I personally would agree with you. The problem is Bill Clinton in this past week,
when talking about the things that he regrets have not happened, the first thing I mentioned
in fact was the lack of growth of Americorps, which I found interesting, that it’s not large
enough. Part of it goes to what David’s talking about, our laws have become so bureaucratic
in the law itself, so they do percentages in the laws that starts driving things that
we don’t even get the answers to, in terms of what’s going to be most effective. The
laws of the 1930s were four pages long. The laws of today, I can’t get through. So somehow,
we’ve got to figure out how it is we can prove that we don’t need, as Sue talked about, the
monitoring mentality, because it is dangerous, it is hurting us, it is hurting creative people
throughout all of the different systems. But how do we build, again, the trust? Then how
do we give the competencies of leaders across these systems so that we can put some meat
around the words “trust”, “building relationships “”that leads to engagement. We can tell a
lot of personal stories, but we have to go far beyond that. I’m sorry. Ive just had to
say that. Other questions?
Hi there. My question had to do with your experience with programs that incorporate
remediation or bringing students with low basic skills up to the high school standard
or the associate’s standard within the framework of career and technical education. So both
inside the K12 system and beyond it, what’s been your experience with those kind of programs?
My experience is that there’s not enough of those programs that really pay attention to
high quality and academic coursework, because you must provide more intensive academic supports.
What I’ve seen across the country are some very excellent career and technical education
programs that are very high rigorous standards. What I’m worried about is that they’re shutting
out the middle students or the lowest skilled students, unless there’s a targeted and deliberate
and intentional focus on improving their academic skills.
So we’ve got to make sure that� it’s incredible to me. I went to one of the unbelievably high
quality career and technical education STEM programs, and there was a wait list to get
into the program. I was very troubled by that, because so many of those students who really
could be served well by the system weren’t able to participate.
On the other hand, I’ve seen lottery programs for high quality academic CTE programs that
provide very intensive academic support as they enter the program and have been successful.
A Creigh strategy is� key strategy is that you’re not just doing the academic, but you
integrated the workforce programs. It’s a comprehensive approach. You’ve got to have
the academic, high quality career and technical education skills valued by an employer, and
have the employability skills and wraparound and the supportive services. There are very
effective models out there. It takes a commitment and it takes a real push to make sure that
the academics are as rigorous as they are in regular academic programs so that they’re
valued by the employer community. One thing of importance is that the academic
preparation and workforce is concurrent. That they don’t have to go through the remediation
first to get the work readiness and employment opportunities.
As evidencebased practice. You lose kids in the practice. It should be
concurrent. I work with David. I remember those days of
innovation. I am sorry you left. You’re on the plan throppic side of it. Michael, I was
on the Kentucky community college foundation board.
Two questions. Once is why isn’t business at the table more around these type of pregrams?
I’ll give an example. I visited a couple Job Corps. I went to Potomac Job Corps, I saw
one program outstanding, was that Amtrak partnered with Job Corps, the students that finished
the program automatically were eligible to work for Amtrak. There was a pipeline into
Amtrak through Job Corps. Then when I was in Kentucky, I saw that the business and industry
folks were driving the coursework at the community college, because they said these are the jobs
that we need. Most of our young people in this “high risk
environment” have no environment what the business and what the demand is for jobs,
and even take programs that actually are dead tend jobs. There are no jobs there.
I wonder if there could be a better connection, especially with higher issues around what
the jobs are. I’m surprised there’s no monster.com and career builder for this population. Because
technology is now the way that you find jobs. I’m wondering is there any innovation, either
through Casey that they can bring up or Michael is there any way from a state like Kentucky
that you can can do innovation with technology and with the employers so that young people
know that if they finish, they got a job? And a living wage job.
The workforce investment boards are designed to have a majority of business people and
business chair. If I’m doing the job right, we’re hearing from local business leaders
what they need in trying to translate that back in partnership with the community college,
President and the superintendent and K12, etc. Hopefully we’re doing that.
I’ve been in the job 12 years now, I’m starting to get a little perspective with time. Our
best friend in serving disconnected youth is a tight labor market. So those people who
are in the business, who schooled me, who were doing the job in the 1990s, said there’s
nothing better than a 5% unemployment rate, because employers start to open the door to
people that when the unemployment is 10% they’re not that interested. I’m will also realizing
again, I’m getting older the thing we went through in 2008 and 2009 was cataclysmic for
almost every business leader in the country. So I think for many years they weren’t hiring
or weren’t thinking very much about where their next people were coming from, they were
just trying to survive. Let me tell a little story about Louisville.
We’re lucky, my dad worked at a Ford plant, my uncle Danny worked at a general electric
plan. We’d been lucky in the last five years because both companies made major investments
in Louisville, $500 million each or something like that. We’ve added 11,000 manufacturing
jobs in the last three years. Jim Blankenship, head of GE, a fantastic leader said when we
went through the numbers to try to figure out whether we could start making new appliances
at GE Appliance Mart in Louisville, repatriate jobs from China and Mexico, we were expert
at all of the numbers we had to run about transportation costs and labor costs and all
of that sort of thing. When we made the decision to bring those products back to Louisville,
he, Jim Blankenship, never bothered to call the school superintendent to say that was
something they were doing or call the community college to give six months heads up. They
started to look for people and had this idea that the system over here that nobody talked
to was going to have ready for them what they needed.
To his great credit, he’s organizing a group of manufacturing employers, including Ford
and west port axle and others trying to send a more serious set of signals to the K12 system
and community colleges about what they need and expecting us to responds.
These systems are pretty decent at responding to that if employers are engaged in it, but
I think they’re often examples where employers aren’t engaged or aren’t sure how to connect,
and even at K12 level we’re only starting to organize careerthemed high schools and
embed industry recognized credentials into K12 programs. So we’re only in the early stages
of giving business as more direct connect to those systems. It’s another step beyond
that to try to figure out how to help disconnected youth connect and ultimately earn those credentials.
There’s more work to do. I’m encouraged as the unemployment rate goes
down, the businesses grow, the conversation changed from what it was before.
Also at Casey, though it’s not part of our portfolio, the foundation is exploring demand
driven strategies with youth populations to identify examples of demand driven efforts
targeting this population. We’ll hear more about that.
I’ve gotten the high sign. I have one more comment about the question about the employers.
Employers participate. What we don’t have are good network and system support, in fact,
for the employers. One of the things that I anticipate happening
as a result of the new legislation tied to career pathways, we’re talking about tying
some knots together that have never been tied together. Because now they’ve changed the
operating rules that will be sector driven and industry driven. That was the no the case
in the old workforce development programs. So therefore pieces, lots of little threads.
The question is how do we pull those needles together through the eyes of different needles
and turn it together so we’ve got a better system than we had in the past. Marty?
[Applause] Thank you, Joan, David, Michael, Brenda.
I’m really smiling today because many organizations are doing seminars in Washington. When I observe
what’s coming, and we do some of this ourselves, it’s about this thing you can do, this program,
this practice, this strategy, and this is the answer.
I hope what we’ve done today is something different, is to challenge your thinking,
to open your minds to different perspectives. We didn’t have all of them in the room. I
realize that. But this is the kind of thing that the institute has always done, is to
convene people to think about challenging questions, whether it’s in the early days
of the Washington internships in education program, or the education policy fellowship
program, which just kicked off its 51st year in Washington with 23 fellows. If any of you
want to participate in that program or have your staff participate, Helen Malone, who
put this event together, is now running that program. I want to thank Helen, by the way,
for her extraordinary work in getting this done, along with Jen Matsutani, a brandnew
staff member. [Applause]
And finally, as I was listening to all of the panelists today, I smiled for another
reason. That is that out of our networks we grew the 10 lessons, the 10 leadership lessons
in the back of your program, and that you’ll find at our website. The more I listened,
the better I felt about what we said, because I think there’s a lot of wisdom that we gathered
from our community, to use the language of Jitu Brown this morning. A community that
really represented people who see themselves as working at the grassroots level, and people
who work in the policy environment, people who are administrators. We brought together
all of that experience, and those lessons I hope people look at, I hope you will think
about, I hope you will share, so that we can all go forward together to achieve the kind
of equity and excellence that our children deserve and that is so important to our entire
society. Thank you much for coming and joining us.
All of this will be, the video will be available shortly. We’ll be doing some blogging about
this. So please help us to share these ideas and this thinking across your very many networks.
Thank you so much, and take good care. We’ll see you next year.