A 2016 article in Fox & Hounds made the point: As technology changes, so do the workforce skills needed to use it.
New technologies mean new careers. Sometimes in all-new fields, including:
- Big Data Analytics
- Data Mining
- Renewable Energy
- Health Informatics
- Mobile Development
New careers mean new training is needed. Essentially, we need education & workforce training programs for industries that don’t exist yet!
This is where arguments in favor of H-1B visas rear their head. Major corporations argue that a gap between currently-available skills and their technology goals illustrates the "need" for H-1B foreign workers.
The truth is, it's always better in the long term to train Americans for the jobs of the future. We touched on this notion in our Solutions to the Offshoring Problem post back in 2014.
Today, this idea is backed by the California Community College System.
Recently, the California Community Colleges Board of Directors issued a report outlining 25 recommendations for Career Technical Education (CTE). CTE is a combination of postsecondary classroom learning and on-site workforce training, designed to
prepare individuals for future career success.
You’ll find their report here:
Report & Recommendations: Task Force on Workforce, Job Creation and a Strong Economy
You can download it in PDF at this link.
Their 25 recommendations include:
- Broaden and enhance career exploration and planning, work-based learning opportunities, and other supports for students (#1).
- Improve the quality, accessibility, and utility of student outcome and labor market data to support students, educators, colleges, regions, employers, local workforce investment boards, and the state in CTE program development and improvement efforts
- Develop and broadly publicize industry-informed career pathways that prepare students for jobs needed within the regional labor market (#12).
- Clarify and modify, as needed, state regulations to allow colleges to regionalize course articulation along career pathways utilizing regional or state curriculum models (#17).
- Develop robust connections between community colleges, business and industry representatives, labor and other regional workforce development partners to align college programs with regional and industry needs and provide support for CTE programs (#20).
- Create incentives and streamline processes to maximize public and private investment in support of CTE programs (#25).
If the California Community Colleges System moves forward with these recommendations, then our state is poised to take the lead in career training & technical education for the future.
An educational base, adaptive to future careers we have yet to conceive means no need for H-1Bs. The workforce California needs is on its own doorstep!
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