The Official ASTD Blog
Learning Industry News and Opinion

Discovery Communications Expands 'Discover Your Skills’ Job Growth and Skills Development Initiative with New Resources and Programs for Veterans

November 9, 2011 13:44 by vstgerard

(From 3BLmedia.com) -- Discovery Communications announced the expansion of its “Discover Your Skills” public affairs job skills program with new resources and programs to support veterans in locating and accessing the training and resources to translate their military skills and experience into civilian job opportunities.

The veterans-focused initiative includes new training and resource information specifically for veterans on www.DiscoverYourSkills.com, as well as on-air public service announcements on Military Channel, featuring Lou Diamond Phillips of Military Channel’s “Officer and a Movie,” to direct viewers to the new resources.

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Categories: Learning & Development | News

N.J. invests $3.6M to bolster skills of over 8K workers

November 2, 2011 13:01 by jllorens

(From www.newjerseynewsroom.com) The state government has invested nearly $3.6 million to train employees in New Jersey industries, Gov. Chris Christie said Tuesday.

The money, provided through the state Department of Labor’s Workforce Development Partnership Program, will fund training for 8,509 workers at 81 companies in skills that will improve business operations and enhance the marketability of the employees. The companies will spend more than $5.2 million to pay the employees while they undergo the training.

“Customized training grants advance the skill level of the workforce and increase the ability of New Jersey businesses to compete in the global economy,” Christie said during a visit to the historic James Candy Co. in Atlantic City, one of the earliest makers of salt water taffy.

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Categories: Learning & Development | Government | News | T+D

Blogs: Demand, Pay for STEM Skills Skyrocket

October 24, 2011 14:46 by jllorens

(From US News and World Report) People with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) degrees or certifications are in a prime position in the economy, according to a new workforce study released this morning.

Workers with associate's degrees in STEM fields out-earn 63 percent of people who have bachelor's degrees in other fields. Almost half of workers with bachelor's degrees in STEM fields out-earn workers with Ph.D.'s in other fields, according to the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce.

That doesn't mean people with STEM degrees are necessarily working in those fields, says center Director Anthony Carnevale, the lead author of the report. He says technical skills have "become the common currency of the labor market," much the same way a liberal arts education was seen as a basic requirement for high-paying jobs in past years.

Occupations in STEM jobs will continue to grow—the center estimates that careers in the field will make up about 5 percent of all jobs by 2018, but demand for STEM skills in other fields has skyrocketed.

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Categories: Learning & Development | News

Blog: Building the Skills of an Innovator

October 12, 2011 12:58 by jllorens

(From huffingtonpost.com) The world has lost a great inventor and innovative thinker with the passing of Steve Jobs. In his short life, he managed to change the world through technological advances that no one could have ever imagined. Steve Jobs's ability to connect what people want and what he knew technology could do, and find creative solutions is what made him a great innovator. His problem solving capabilities and creativity are the same skills that drive innovation and are the skills young people need to be prepared for the jobs of the future.

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Categories: Learning & Development | News

Grants Available for Workforce Training and Small Business Development

September 14, 2011 17:15 by jllorens

(From bed-stuy.patch.com) Employer matched grants are available through the for small businesses looking to train new or existing exployees or expand their business.

The grants are NYC Business Solutions Training Funds, a program of the Department of Small Business Services.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert K. Steel and Small Business Services Commissioner Robert W. Walsh announced yesterday the latest round of these funds at a press conference at Terrafina, a wholesale food manufacturer in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, and one of four new grant recipients.

“These workforce training grants give hundreds of small businesses like Terrafina the capacity to hire and train New Yorkers and increase their wages," said Bloomberg. "It’s just one of the things we’re doing to help businesses and New York City’s economy grow, and it’s working.”

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Categories: Learning & Development | Human Capital | News | The Economy

Blogs: Hourly workers need job-search skills, too

July 29, 2011 10:55 by jllorens

(From SFGate.com) We spend a lot of time here talking about the skills needed to land a good salaried position, but finding a well-paying hourly (often called nonexempt) position takes skills as well. I do get asked if finding these jobs is just a matter of going door-to-door, filling out applications and waiting for a call from a potential employer, and that is a common conception. The fact is, your chances of finding the best-paying nonexempt positions, positions that may have growth potential, increase when you use some of the same job-search tools as those looking for salaried positions.

Door-to-door job searching means turning in applications and hoping to get a response. In the past, that often was how you found a job. Today, hourly and salaried job seekers need to have a grasp of what they can offer an employer.


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Categories: News

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New for Aspiring Doctors, the People Skills Test

July 11, 2011 11:00 by jllorens

(From The New York Times) ROANOKE, Va. — Doctors save lives, but they can sometimes be insufferable know-it-alls who bully nurses and do not listen to patients. Medical schools have traditionally done little to screen out such flawed applicants or to train them to behave better, but that is changing.

At Virginia Tech Carilion, the nation’s newest medical school, administrators decided against relying solely on grades, test scores and hourlong interviews to determine who got in. Instead, the school invited candidates to the admissions equivalent of speed-dating: nine brief interviews that forced candidates to show they had the social skills to navigate a health care system in which good communication has become critical.

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Categories: Learning & Development | News

Department of Education Ruling Favors Training Which Leads to "Gainful Employment"

June 6, 2011 18:05 by jllorens

(From DefPro.news) MONTREAL | The Canadian Tactical Training Academy (CTTA) (Pink Sheets:CTTG) is pleased to announce that discussions have started with potential training partners in the United States.

CTTA has been negotiating with potential partners in Florida for the past several months. The goal is to establish a for-profit educational institution with a curriculum which addresses the staffing needs of the security industry.

Today's decision by the Department of Education is quite clear. They want graduating students to have access to "gainful employment" once their course of study is complete. CTTA and its partners are confident that they can provide a sturdy and effective curriculum to train professionals for the security industry.

The timing of this project would encompass several steps and CTTA will advise its investors of their progress in a timely manner. The goal of the program is to train students in fields as diverse as crisis intervention and counter terrorism.


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Industry Puts Heat on Schools to Teach Skills Employers Need

June 6, 2011 17:02 by jllorens

(From The Wall Street Journal) Big U.S. employers, worried about replacing retiring baby boomers, are wading deeper into education and growing bolder about telling educators how to run their business.

Several initiatives have focused on manufacturing and engineering, fields where technical know-how and math and science skills are needed and where companies worry about recruiting new talent.

Their concerns are borne out by the math and science test scores of 15-year-old students in the U.S., which continue to lag behind China, Japan, South Korea and Germany, for example.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce released a report in May that said higher education had failed to "tap the potential of digital technology" in ways that would "transform learning, dramatically lower costs or improve overall institutional productivity."

The Chamber report praised Internet educational institutions like Khan Academy, which built its reputation on YouTube.com math lessons.

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Categories: News | T+D

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Commentary: The jobless need more federal aid, not less

June 2, 2011 12:32 by jllorens

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — The recovery of the U.S. job market from the Great Recession is finally beginning to pick up steam. For each of the past three months, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported the creation of more than 200,000 jobs in the U.S. labor market. Hopefully Friday’s numbers for the month of May will show that trend continuing.

Our nation’s job prospects are improving, as these numbers indicate. But it’s premature to celebrate, as unemployment will likely remain high for many years to come. And some recent policy developments are clearly counterproductive, and could potentially reverse some of the progress that has painstakingly started to occur. Read more about Friday’s report on job growth in May.

The nation’s unemployment rate remains stuck at 9%, and millions who have left the labor market altogether are not even included in that measure. At the rate of job creation we’ve observed in the past three months, it would take roughly eight more years to reduce unemployment rates to what existed in 2007, before the Great Recession began.

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