Job Training@100% means all our county’s residents have a path to a livelihood and self-sufficiency.
Job Training@100% means all our county’s residents have a path to a livelihood and self-sufficiency.
Inside The Center
Here’s a quick overview of what you will find below.
What Families Face
Short stories from families facing challenges, illustrating the need to address barriers to vital services.
10 Innovations Await
The sidebar menu takes you to ten innovations areas, each one providing projects action team members are implementing to remove barriers to services.
The Root Causes
We provide an overview of why families struggle to access vital services in what we might call “normal times” and in times of public health or economic crisis.
A Pandemic’s Impact on services
A brief review of how the pandemic impacts each county across the state.
Where on Earth
How solutions exist today.
The Center’s Mission
Job Training for 100%
Welcome to the Center for Job Training@100%, the nation’s first center to provide county and city stakeholders with research, data-driven strategies, insights and support to end job training disparities on a countywide scale, ensuring that all residents can access job training in its many forms. Job training disparities, lack of timely access to quality training for jobs that align with the job market, has been with us for as long as we have been offering education on the planet. In the last few decades societies of all sizes have found ways to provide avenues to job training to all residents.
In modern societies the cause of job training disparities can often be tracked down to lack of investment in the human capital and resources to secure a healthy educational institutions that align their training with the job markets. In the USA, a country with vast amounts of wealth and resources, we have all the technology and know how to make job training disparities history.
One quick online search will overwhelm you with solutions to the job training problem. The enormous number of results shows that there are many people searching for answers, interested in understanding the root causes of health disparities and how to solve it.
When we begin to “Google it” for results:
Most effective job training programs for low income students: 997,000,000
Aligning education with the job market: 34,500,000
What are the jobs of the future: 2,680,000,000
How can rural communities address lack of jobs: 722,000,000
Artificial intelligence focused on job training: 127,000,000
“Job training disparities is a man-made problem, not an act of nature, requiring human ingenuity to solve.”
— From the book From the book Job Training@100%: How we ensure all county residents can access to job training
Within an internet full of valuable research, inspiring insights and distracting clutter, solutions await you here in the Center for Job Training@100%. Your introduction to the issues here in the “Center’s Main Hall” will guide you to what we call our ten “Innovation Areas” where action team projects await your review and engagement.
What the Center for Job Training@100% provides you with are the strategies to ensure, county by county, that systems of education and job readiness are working effectively to serve all residents. We live in a time of vast knowledge regarding innovations in workforce development and training, where the only reason for residents without easy access to education leading to a job in your locality is manmade. The human ingenuity you discover here can ensure that 100% survive and thrive.
In the Center for Job Training@100% we take on a very complicated system with numerous challenges and provide an overview of the state and local job training and education systems as well as a framework for solving problems. Get ready to be overwhelmed and also inspired. We will guide you through all the steps to put ideas into action.
What Families Face
*These are fictionalized profiles based on real New Mexican residents.
Jen and Marie's Story
It’s Time For Heroic Acts
You are about to review approximately twenty projects within 10 innovation areas that can, if done successfully, improve the quality and accessibility of current services. The long-term goal of these innovations and projects is to ensure that 100% of county residents have access to this vital service. Your task is to review all projects, individually and as part of an action team, to identify which one you wish to implement. In the time it takes to enjoy a grande latte, you can give our menu of innovations a quick read, starting with Innovation #1: Tracking Supply and Demand and ending with Innovation #10: Developing the City Dept. of Job Training. These include projects initiated by action teams focused on a county and all the communities within its borders.
Education disparities, impacting job readiness, have a long history
Education disparities are impacting our most vulnerable students with consequences for education, job readiness, self-sufficiency and public trust of government.
JOB TRAINING DISPARITIES FACE US ALL
Work means survival, as it represents a way to earn a living, buy food, pay rent, pay off a mortgage, see a doctor or counselor, and afford transport to access what we call the “services for surviving and thriving.” Suddenly, all of us are living in what we can call a “brave new world.” Life feels very different in this time of change and varying degrees of chaos. While we do believe that with crisis comes opportunity, we must acknowledge the magnitude of change occurring in the workforce and economy.
In the Center for Job Training@100%, we take on a very complicated system of vocation training and higher education designed to prepare for the jobs of the present and the future. This means numerous challenges for those of us working in the areas of workforce and economic development. As you will discover with one online search, there are millions of articles and books on the topic of job training, higher education and economic development. These were all written before we saw the impact that one global pandemic can have. We now must accept that each region of the nation and planet will have its own new set of rules regarding how we increase training that leads to real jobs.
Employment is an issue for all governments around the nation and globe. We provide an overview of some job training systems, including in higher ed, with all its solvable problems. Get ready to be overwhelmed and also inspired. We will guide you through all the steps to put ideas into action.
We believe that all people should have access to the resources needed to improve their lives, including the capacity to make money and find meaningful work. While the internet is overloaded with ideas for a nation or state to create jobs, we are often at the mercy of what are called “market forces,” as our economies lurch forward and backward. This is the nature of economics, but that does not mean we can’t build local systems of training to ensure that people can move from one work sector to another, as the jobs of today are replaced by the opportunities of tomorrow.
State and local departments of workforce development and economic development can start with acknowledging the following:
- There may not always be enough jobs for all people seeking one, so all counties need a plan of action to address parents’ and others experiencing work scarcity.
- People without jobs, but who need one, tend not to do very well in society. And problems with substance misuse, emotional health challenges, housing and food insecurity can be the consequences of unemployment (or underemployment) for them and their children.
- Children and youth living in unstable households where money is scarce, stress is high and bills go unpaid, may be at risk for neglect.
- We (as in government on every level) can create an effective system of accessible training that helps people move from one employment sector to another, where jobs exist.
Get ready to dig deep into our options. Some projects might seem about right in the world of “order anything online” and “work from home if you can.” Together, collaborating with visionary leadership on the state and local lessons, with partnerships between the public and private sectors, your county can be guided to promising solutions. Will this be easy and quick? Far from it. But we are huge fans of the Tipping Point and a quote by author Malcolm Gladwell. “Look at the world around you. It may seem like an immovable, implacable place. It is not, With the slightest push in just the right place it can be tipped.”
In the Center for Job Training@100% (and corresponding chapter in the book 100% Community) we provide an overview of a very complicated system and its numerous challenges, as well as programs that reduce job training disparities. Get ready to be inspired. We will guide you through all the steps needed to put ideas for addressing job training disparities into action.
With literally millions of people reading articles on ending joblessness and thousands of foundations, governmental and non-governmental organizations focusing for decades on ending job training disparities in the United States, why is access to job training aligned with the job market still so prevalent across fifty states? Why are students graduating from high school without the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic? Why do parents working full time not have enough money forto send their young adult kids to vocational ed or higher ed? Why can it be near impossible in this current economic environment for high school graduates to find or hold down a job and pay for job training?
We don’t mean to question our good-hearted leaders in political, academic and philanthropic circles, but there appears to be a complete disconnect between those who claim to have answers and the actual implementation of solutions to ensure 100% of our residents are able to access affordable job training. What are our morals, ethics and values that allow job training disparities to exist amid so much abundance?
What kind of society would allow a policy of benign neglect to doom entire zip codes to near inaccessible job training and higher education? Why should our most vulnerable residents ever endure financial insecurity because the capacity to enroll in job training is out of reach? If we ever needed a public and private sector solution to job training disparities, this is the moment.
Truly, why are we all not asking loudly in public forums, “What is the root cause of job training disparities in the US and around the world?”
What are the root causes of the lack of access to job training in the US?
Why would finding job training ever be a challenge? Some root causes may include:
- We expect young adults (and older ones) to figure out how to attain job skills on their own.
- We expect youth and adults to fix themselves if they face challenges (like mental health problems or substance misuse) to be ready for jobs.
- We think that if people need training in vocational or higher education, they should just pay for it. If one can’t pay, one doesn’t get trained.
- Some think that it’s not the job of government to help people in a changing economy get the skills for a radically changing job market.
- Leaders may fail to see how new technologies, including artificial intelligence, will be taking thousands of jobs in the near future. This will create more turbulent changes for workers and their capacity to thrive.
“Can’t people just get their own darn education and a job?”
You might be asking, “why don’t people just figure out what job they want and if training or a degree is needed for it, just get it?” There are many reasons:
- Life catastrophe: People lose their jobs for a variety of reasons all the time. Maybe an illness or injury knocks out their current job, and they need a new way to earn money. Maybe a mental health crisis means they need to change jobs.
- Relationship catastrophe: Breakups and divorce can throw people into an unstable situation, especially if one partner was dependent on the other’s income.
- Job scarcity: There are not enough good paying jobs for everyone who wants one, at least not within a few hours drive.
- Teens in insecure situations: Teens having to leave unsafe home environments may find themselves without the resources to pay for job training or higher education.
They may not have any understanding of how the system of vocational or higher ed works. Teens may also lack financial literacy and a basic understanding of how money works, how to monitor daily expenses, how to keep debt-free and away from credit card disasters.
As for why job training is needed, the answers are easy to identify. With a college education and/or the right vocational education, people can acquire the skills to find a well-paying job. For those without resources, college may seem like a distant dream. And higher education can appear so intimidating, especially if one’s parents did not go to college.
What We Know
Our county survey will tell you why people struggle to access quality education and job training programs. Reasons include lack of programs, cost, no transport to programs, unaware of programs and unfriendly hours.
Who Lacks Job Readiness?
JOB READINESS DEFICIENCIES HAVE MANY CAUSES
With higher education a fixture across most states and advances in online learning, along with software that can identify where job exists, it seems inconceivable that our adults in our country should suffer from lack of accessible job training that aligns with local and national job markets.
In fact, the reality on the ground has been, up to now, difficult to gauge when it comes to specifically measuring job training disparities in communities. Are lots of people facing hunger, homelessness and untreated health challenges due to job training disparities across the USA? This is an important question, but the real question is, “What do job training disparities look like?” Four high school students sitting on a bench in front of the school may not conjure up images of stress insecurities due to lack of a path to job training and readiness. However, we don’t know if career counselors have spoken with each student about their ideas for the future and jobs they might want. We don’t know which students have parents who have set them on a clear path to job readiness and which parents have offered little in the way of designing a future. We have no idea what the students finances are and what type of vocation ed or higher ed program they can afford. We also don’t know to what degree these students suffer from untreated trauma due to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and how they may struggle to study.
What percentage of people lacking access to job training is acceptable to you and your elected leaders? How does a pandemic impact the question of how difficult access to job training may be in both rural and urban communities? Would you be okay being told job training requires waiting months to access or is unaffordable? Should any adult, anywhere in your county, face barriers to needed job training?
WE ASK: WHAT IS THE ROOT CAUSE OF JOB TRAINING DISPARITIES?
Our list covers a range of problems that can be solved.
- Inability to pay: The people who need it most are often not in a situation to pay for it, or not in a situation where they have the wherewithal to fill out the application and follow through with admissions (at least without some support).
- Living in crisis: Teens running away from or getting thrown out of abusive homes, women or men fleeing abusive relationships, and those descending into addictions, are examples of people who are not likely to struggle with accessing job training.
- Lack of stable internet: Many programs are now online but with the digital divide, some residents may struggle to access wifi and tech to make an online program possible.
- Lack of quality instructors: In some areas, there are chronic shortages of educators and admissions staff. If you have to make ten calls just to find a staff person accepting new students, only to be told it may take many months to get a spot in a training program, access is effectively restricted. Ditto if the program is on the other side of a large city or in the next county over, and you don’t have a car.
- Lack of career counseling: Ideally, such counseling starts early in high school so students can take charge of their education, guiding them to jobs they find interesting, good-paying and in abundance. For young people who, for a variety of reasons, are essentially parenting themselves, career counseling early on is vital. Concepts such as college loans, or having good grades in the right courses in order to pursue certain jobs may be a foreign concept.
Data Guide Us
With data from the 100% New Mexico survey and other sources, you will have a good idea about where in your county the need for job training exists and why it may be difficult to access. You may be surprised by your survey results and learn that a challenge is far bigger or smaller or more localized than originally thought.
Ensuring Services: A Local Challenge
People face different levels of hardship and risk during a pandemic directly related to their level of access to the 10 vital services for surviving and thriving. Inaccessible medical care, a lack of housing and food programs, and greatly increased joblessness during the associated economic downturn take a tremendous toll on families. It doesn’t have to be this way.
A Pandemic’s Impact on Services
Vital Questions Require Answers
In so-called “normal” times before the COVID-19 pandemic, health disparities were a fixture of our society. The pandemic has only increased the stresses on the health care systems as well as created more urgency for people to have timely access to prevention and treatment. The most pressing questions for your city, county and state elected leaders and stakeholders include:
- How do we collect, analyze and publish the most timely data to guide prevention strategies?
- How do we ensure enough COVID-19 tests and testing sites?
- How do we ensure providers have the protective equipment required to be safe?
- How do we ensure enough contact tracing?
- How do we prevent homelessness and hunger if people in lock down or quarantine lose their job?
- How do we strengthen mask-wearing and social distancing?
- How do we ensure treatment, both hospital beds and providers?
- How do we distribute the vaccine with buy-in from the public?
- How do we address depression and trauma by ensuring access to behavioral health care?
- How are vital family services for surviving and thriving made accessible to 100% of residents?
As you can see, question #10 places access to ten vital services into a comprehensive state and local strategy to prevent the pandemic. The 100% New Mexico initiative’s framework for ending barriers to services is vital and our work is urgently needed in each county. New Mexico State Senator Bill Soules, PhD, wrote in his Op-ed in the Las Cruces Sun News, “100% New Mexico: A model for COVID-19 Prevention and Treatment”:
“…an effective response to the pandemic goes beyond the medical sector. The countywide response required ten accessible services, allowing families to keep stabilized, supported, fed and housed, in order to comply with the state’s public health guidelines and to endure quarantining, isolating, social distancing and mask-wearing.”
We can happily report that many localities across the nation and globe have successfully prevented job training disparities by ensuring access to care which may include a public sector solution or a combination of public and private sector solutions.
Where on earth?
Where has this challenge been fixed?
The Center for Job Training@100% is looking at tested job training solutions, focused on innovations, projects, policies and programs implemented in large and small cities around the world.
If you have come this far, you know that ending job training disparities in your community starts with knowing the magnitude of the problem, where challenges such as substance misuse, ACEs, trauma, social adversity and lack of jobs are experienced.
We present a challenge to you, your local business people and government leaders: Create a seamless countywide system of accessible job training care to make education disparities history so every student gets the job training and placement support they need to thrive.
As you will see below, we have offered only a sliver of what’s out there in terms of innovations that have been shown to reduce job training disparities and to empower individuals of all ages to find a path to robust health. Some models have been with us for decades and are tried, true and evaluated strategies. Some are quite new and merit experimentation and their own evaluation. We do not lack solutions, just the political will to implement them.
Three important frameworks
As we say in all ten sector chapters, we want to reference the data-driven framework called Continuous Quality Improvement and its four phases: assessment, planning, action and evaluation (100% Community, Chapter 29). This four-step process will guide your development of innovations in the arena of job training. And, as a reminder, you will want to use Collective Impact (100% Community, Chapter 31) to organize your project and Adaptive Leadership (100% Community, Chapter 30) to determine if the particular challenge you seek to solve is technical, with established protocols for moving forward, or adaptive, where you are entering new uncharted territory without a clear path.
Designing a Countywide System
The past: How did we get to this point of needing a user-friendly job training system? Who exactly needs services to be “user-friendly” anyway? What are the problems the system is supposed to solve? Why don’t people just figure out the systems on their own? Can’t everyone access job training in a timely manner?
The present (action agenda): Within this subject, we’ve identified ten strategies — called innovation areas — that can be used to tackle the job training access problem. Within those we suggest about twenty 100% New Mexico initiative projects that you (yes, you) can take on, thus propelling your community towards job training in its many forms.
The future (goals): With enough work on these innovations/projects, we’ll get to the point where Innovation #10 — the creation of a City/County Department of Job Training becomes a reality. With a state-of-the-art system of care in place, 100% of our county’s families could report excellent support and service.
Since we are currently in the present creating the future, your commitment to innovation is most eagerly sought and needed.
Partnerships and teamwork
At the heart of innovation are change agents implementing data-driven projects shown to fix barriers to services.
10 INNOVATIONS TO EXPLORE
CHANGE AGENTS NEEDED NOW
The following innovations represent strategies that have the capacity to increase access to job training programs to ensure our young people are empowered and all our families are healthy, safe and successful.
As you will see as you explore Innovations #1–#10, a countywide system of job training engages all stakeholders within the county’s borders that include data specialists, the private sector, technology experts, public awareness specialists, educators, vocational ed specialists, higher ed specialist, city mayors, council members and county commissioners. Your work will be groundbreaking as it unites leaders in all sectors to achieve one goal: Job Training for 100%.