Workforce Catalyst MCC’s ECONOMIC AND WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT NEWSLETTER
to meet the needs of students, a class that is focused on adult learners may feature classes held during the mornings and early afternoon only, so that parents are done in time to pick up their children from school. Another hallmark of SAST programs are stackable credentials, which allow a student to seamlessly “stack” a non-credit program, such as a certificate in their field of study, with an associate’s degree in the same field, without loss of credit or momentum. SAST’s programs are developed on a foundation of robust labor-related data. Economic Development and Innovative Workforce Services staff analyze information on documented labor shortages to determine how MCC can best use its resources to alleviate these shortages. Programs are developed with input from regional business and industry leaders to benefit both workers and the local economy.
Fall 2017 marked the start of something new at MCC—the School of Applied Sciences and Technologies (SAST), the College’s seventh school. SAST offers a broad range of
career-focused credit and non-credit post-secondary programs in advanced manufacturing, engineering and applied technologies, information technology and computer science, emergency services and culinary arts and hospitality. Matt O’Connor, assistant vice president, provides oversight to career technical education programs, Mike Karnes, dean, provides oversight to public safety training programs, the SAST faculty liaison is Paul Brennan, and the SAST school specialist, as of January 1, 2018, is Kristy Mooney Graves. A special thank you to Lomax Campbell for his willingness to serve in a temporary appointment as School Specialist for SAST as the school ramped up for launch this Fall. The programs in the new school make use of guided pathways, which serve as a road map for students. That “pathway” leads the student clearly through their academic program, targeting them for graduation and entry (or re-entry) into the workforce. Just as you wouldn’t travel to a new destination without a map, so a guided pathway points the student to the right courses and identifiable milestones, aligning their educational program with their career goals. Student progress is carefully monitored, and support is available all along the way. The introduction of a guided pathways model at MCC represents a significant investment in student retention and completion. In its first semester, almost 2,000 students—1,885, to be exact—enrolled in SAST programs. Almost half of them are adult learners over the age of 24. Since programs are designed
“The division purpose is to serve business and industry through the graduation of a greater number of workers with post-secondary credentials and degrees aligned to documented needs in the local economy. The creation of a seventh School within the
current guided pathways model allows for continued integration of EDIWS’ labor linking efforts creating a student advising model that actively incorporates credit and non-credit program options for students.”
Dr. Todd Oldham vice president, Economic & Workforce Development
LadderzUP is an innovative new job training and placement initiative run in partnership between Monroe County’s Imagine Monroe and MCC’s Economic and Workforce Development Center (EWDC). The program provides “ladders” of training opportunities to give Monroe County residents the tools they need to rise in high-demand industries in the region. Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo announced the creation of LadderzUP in her May 2017 State of the County address. “As County Executive, one of my top
Medical Office Assistant: Cohort-Based Program Ensures Success The demand for medical office assistants is expected to grow by 11 percent in the next decade. MCC is meeting this anticipated need with a new cohort-based certificate program. All classes for the 30-week program will be held at the Downtown Campus. In cohort-based programs, students attend the same classes together throughout the program. This model has proven effective in raising graduation rates and enhancing the quality of the student experience. Cohort-based models are influential in increasing student engagement through peer support systems when compared to non-cohort based programs. Students study health care record-keeping procedures and use high-tech computer systems like those found in medical offices. They learn to effectively communicate with patients and health care professionals, and take introductory courses in biology, medical terminology, drugs, and emergency care. Students are eligible to apply for assistance through NY Inspire, which offers support services based on the individual needs of each student, and may include scholarships. Classes are held during the day and are done by 3 p.m., making this program ideal for stay-at-home parents who need to be available to their children after their school day ends.
LadderzUP priorities is ensuring that Monroe County has a trained and skilled workforce ready to get the job done,” said Dinolfo. “When businesses are looking to locate or expand in Monroe County, they need and expect a fully-trained workforce and LadderzUP helps make that possible. LadderzUP builds on the idea that education and training enable individuals to move up the economic ladder and connects people with tailor-made job training programs that directly lead to job placements”
During the first year of the program, a minimum of 100 students will receive funding and support to allow them to complete accelerated coursework and training in advanced manufacturing, health care, and information technology. The vision is to expand in future years to provide training for credit and non-credit programs in high-demand job fields. LadderzUP will help employers gain access to skilled, entry-level workers who are trained for chronically hard-to-fill jobs. MCC will work with employers to create customized training curriculum designed for specific positions that are pivotal to workforce success. The program makes use of MCC’s extensive labor market intelligence analyses, created by the EWDC and available at www.mcclmi.com . Data from this web platform is aligned with existing workforce training to address current and future skill gaps in high-demand industries. With this information, potential job seekers can explore career paths and choose to pursue the most promising ones based on predictions for growth and estimated annual demand in the coming years. “LadderzUP offers individuals precise, tailored training and education to help them find fulfilling jobs in their field earning a competitive salary, said MCC’s vice president for economic and workforce development, Dr. Todd Oldham. “It provides employers with employees who have the appropriate skills training to excel in the workforce and help them to grow their businesses.”
MCC Innovation: Washington Monthly Names College One of Twelve Best
A recent article in Washington Monthly magazine named MCC one of the twelve most innovative colleges in the U.S. for adult learners. The article notes that roughly 40 percent of students nationally are 25 or older, and their needs may be far different from those of an 18-year-old undergraduate. In MCC’s School of Applied Sciences and Technologies, 731 of the 1,885 students enrolled in the fall 2017 semester are 24 and above. They are career-oriented individuals who often have other commitments, such as a family with small children or a demanding job. The article notes that MCC is “at the cutting edge of making college more responsive to changes in the labor market.” The Economic Development and Innovative Workforce Services division, formed in response to the economic upheaval of the Great Recession in 2007-09, gathered information from the regional economy to help develop programs that would appeal to older students looking to advance their careers. The division created a web platform based on their data, which included information from approximately 2,400 businesses along with statistics from state and regional organizations and job posting sites. It helps to answer a question of vital interest to adult learners: What are the best jobs to help my family and I thrive, and where can I find them? The website provides open access to information on the regional labor market for four middle skills workforce clusters: advanced manufacturing, applied technologies, health care, and information and computer technology. MCC uses this information—what the article calls “hyper-detailed labor data”—to revise course offerings, many of them geared for older adults. The article spotlights, as one example, the tooling and machining trade. In 2012, data unearthed by MCC showed that there were about 231 tooling and machining job openings in the Rochester area. But local colleges were only producing 72 qualified graduates. The result? MCC created a 22-week accelerated machining certificate program. On graduating, 90 percent of the students found jobs—a number that has remained consistent. Estimates now show that the skills gap for the precision tooling and machining workforce has been reduced by 15 percent since 2012 because of the actions of MCC and other education providers.
As a result of the Washington Monthly article, vice president Oldham was invited to participate in a panel discussion in Washington, D.C. sponsored by Washington Monthly and think tank New America. In covering the event, the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) said “[MCC] meets the needs of adult students by having more intensive, accelerated programs that enable students to complete college faster,” and thus find higher-level employment more quickly. The College continues to work to provide additional support for adult students. The AACC notes, for example, MCC’s medical assistant program, which holds classes during primary school hours so students who are parents can pick up their children after school. These seemingly small details make a big difference in the sometimes-complicated lives of adult students. The strategic successes that were highlighted by the Washington Monthly article and Washington panel discussion are ongoing. Innovative new programs like LadderzUP (see page 2), a part- nership between MCC’s Economic and Workforce Development Center and Monroe County, uses MCC data and resources to provide additional educational and training support for residents in high-demand industries. You can read the article at: www.workforceforward.com/WashingtonMonthly .
A recent blog posting on the EMSI website highlights Monroe Community College’s innovative approach to adult education. The article discussed MCC’s use of labor market analysis to shape programs that address critical job needs in Monroe County and the surrounding area. Titled “Monroe Community College is One of the Top Colleges for Adult Learners. Here’s Why,” the article focused on the web-based platform created by the Economic and Workforce Development Center which allows individuals, businesses, and educational institutions to explore the workforce dynamics of career fields in the region. For example, by reviewing data provided by EMSI and employer surveys as well as traditional labor data, MCC discovered that the demand for skilled machinists far outstripped the available labor pool. Dr. Todd Oldham, vice president of the Division of Economic Development and Innovative Workforce Services, and his team responded by creating a 22-week cohort-based machinist program that allowed students to earn 31 credits and enter the workforce in less than a year. This model can easily be extended to other areas where there is a demand for workers. By working with data from the New York State Department of Labor, it was also possible to track student success after their graduation. MCC’s career and technical education graduates, for example, were earning a 16 percent growth rate over four years in the workforce. Oldham stresses the importance of data in making programmatic decisions. With it, he says in the article, “I can see not just the perspective of an advisory board, but the actual labor market outcomes for our entire career-focused student body.” You can read the article at: www.workforceforward.com/EMSI .
Links to know.
Project highlights from 2015-17 workforceforward.com/ImpactReport Workforce Development: Partnering with Monroe County mccediws.com/LadderzUP Available Funding mccediws.com/NYinspire More about the Economic &Workforce Development Center mccediws.com
Labor Market Analyses mcclmi.com Corporate College Fall Schedule workforceforward.com/FallKnowledge MCC Career Coach careercoach.monroecc.edu
Economic and Workforce Development Center MCC Downtown Campus, 321 State Street, 7th Floor Rochester, NY 14608 │ firstname.lastname@example.org