In January 2014’s State of the Union Address, President Obama issued a rousing assignment to Vice President Biden, asking him to lead a review of federal training programs to identify and implement strategies to make these programs more job driven—that is, responsive to the needs of employers to “effectively connect ready-to-work Americans with jobs that are available now.” This review is part of a greater effort to grow the U.S. economy and put the American middle class back to work.
Last week Biden released the results of his review in conjunction with the President’s signing of the The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), a “bipartisan, bicameral legislation meant to improve the nation’s workforce development and help put Americans back to work.”
In his 76-page report, Ready to Work: Job-Driven Training and American Opportunity, Biden identifies key areas of opportunity within our nation’s workforce, and details a checklist of effective methods for improving federal training programs, taking cues from business and union leaders, school administrators, workforce experts, and accelerated training programs (ALPs) such as coding bootcamps and tech immersives. The checklist includes several elements that ALPs, like General Assembly’s, have been using to produce job-ready graduates. Among them:
- Engage with employers to affirm that training programs are responsive to the needs of employers. (Join the GA network)
- Emphasize work-based learning to give trainees the opportunity to earn money as they gain real-world work experience in their chosen field. (Learn more about accelerated learning at GA)
- Make effective use of data to measure program outcomes in terms of employment and earning pathways to ensure programs are performing at an optimal level. (Read GA alum stories)
- Break down barriers to ensure that all segments of the population are being represented in our growing workforce. (Check out Opportunity Fund)
Within the report, Biden places a unique focus on the tech workforce. This is particularly pertinent given the nation’s growing need for tech professionals to fill the projected 1.3 million jobs in related tech fields. Finally, the report focuses on the need to bring accelerated learning programs to new areas, including cities like Kansas City, and to provide opportunity to underrepresented groups, like veterans.
Here at GA we believe strongly in accelerated learning, or “just in time” education. We’re thrilled that the White House is taking notice and rolling out programs that will help bring these effective programs to larger and more diverse audiences. We’ll be following the conversation closely. Subscribe to our email list to stay up-to-date on the latest.