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Skills Training: Here, There, Everywhere

The Demographic Imperative and the Leaky Gas Tank

In the coming decade, 70% of jobs in Minnesota will require education beyond high school. Yet today only 40% of working-age adults in the state possess a postsecondary degree -- a group that is disproportionately white. The racial gap in educational attainment will have serious consequences for the economy. Read More

A Better Approach: Career Pathways

Our education and training systems need to adapt to meet the needs of a student body that looks very little like “traditional” college students: young, predominantly white and comparatively well-off students pursuing four-year degrees, without child rearing or full-time work obligations of their own. Instead, our systems must accommodate adult students who are often also working, raising children, struggling with finances, lacking reliable transportation to and from school, or stretched thin by other demands. Read More

Credit for Prior Learning

Offering credit for non-college or experience-based skills and competencies acquired from work and life is another important strategy for helping adults progress towards credentials along a career pathway. Read More

Occupational Training at Multiple Venues

While colleges and universities are the epicenter of our workforce delivery system, there are other important venues for delivering relevant skills training to nontraditional students. The Twin Cities are home to a number of Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) that provide excellent short-term, industry-recognized certificate training at no cost to the student. Read More

Advancing and Strengthening Specific Policy Solutions

From an equity perspective, the career pathways model is central to education and training offerings because it is purposefully designed to be accessible to historically disadvantaged students and it reflects the realities of a contemporary labor force. Going forward, Minnesota policy makers, business leaders, educators, and service providers should continue to foster “stackable” credential skills training that is aligned with market needs and offered in multiple venues. Read More   


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