Education and Workforce Development Committee Update
April 10, 2013
- Workforce development and education initiatives
- Immigration reform and education coalition
- Education event recap
There are less than 30 session days left on the legislative calendar. The Business Council is soliciting input from members on education and workforce development priorities.
The Business Council has joined inSPIRE STEM USA, a coalition of organizations dedicated to addressing both the short-term need to fill STEM positions through high-skilled immigration reform, and the long-term goal of enhancing STEM education in the U.S.
According to a statement from Beneva Schulte, the executive director of inSPIRE STEM, the nation’s allotment for H-1B visas was depleted in just five days this year.
The Business Council has also signed on to a U.S. Chamber of Commerce letter urging immigration reform.
On April 4, The Business Council joined forces with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for a Competitive Workforce (ICW) and the National Chamber Foundation for an education event that highlighted successful education-business partnerships, and called attention to the skills gap. For those who missed it, the event included a college and career readiness panel, a showing of the trailer for the movie “Won’t Back Down,” and a panel on community involvement in local schools.
A special thanks to all of our panelists and guest speakers, who included: Margaret Spellings, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation; Dr. Quintin Bullock, president of Schenectady County Community College; Dr. Anthony Collins, president of Clarkson University; Timothy Kremer, executive director of the New York State School Boards Association; Cheryl Oldham; vice president of the ICW; Dennis Richardson, president and CEO of Hillside Family of Agencies; Christine Sharkey, director of community affairs at Corning Incorporated; and Paul Speranza, vice chairman, general counsel & secretary of Wegmans Food Markets, Inc.
The following are a few of the many critical points emphasized during the event:
- Middle school is the time during which children typically lose interest in science
- Shadowing opportunities and internships are critical in fostering college and career readiness
- By partnering with two- and four-year colleges, schools can help provide enhanced content to K-12 science teachers<
- Year-to-year operating budgets, coupled with collective bargaining agreements and legal restrictions, can sometimes act as a barrier to partnerships between local schools and private sector organizations
- Private sector organizations and non-profit agencies have the ability to positively impact local schools in a number of ways, including helping to increase graduation rates and improving “soft skills” (critical thinking, working in groups, etc.)
- Early learning (age 0-5) is a crucial period in the education continuum