Case In Point: Several U.S. community colleges are adding a new program for natural gas field technicians. Developed by the Gas Technology Institute, the Certified Operations Technician (COT) Training Program is designed to turn new entrants to the industry into fully-functioning, skilled employees. The program consists of one core course and four or more elective courses that focus on specific competencies in gas transmission and distribution. The twoweek core course gives trainees a comprehensive understanding of the natural gas industry, making them better equipped to select a career path within the industry. Many of the elective courses also satisfy regulatory requirements for Operator Qualification (OQ) and requalification. The COT Training Program is organized according to skill sets rather than job titles allowing trainees to match task expertise development to a company specific job title. For more information visit http://www.gastechnology.org/webroot/app/xn/xd4f49.html?it=enweb&xd=3Tr
Case in point - The Georgia Department of Education uses a competency-based approach to career guidance. The competencies are organized around three career development areas: self-knowledge/self-awareness; educational and occupational exploration; and career planning and decision-making. These competencies are used to help guide personal, social, familial, educational, and occupational choices. For more information, visit http://www.gadoe.org/Curriculum-Instruction-and-Assessment/CTAE/Pages/Georg
Case In Point: The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development partnered with ISEEK.org, a career, education and job resource Web site, and the Minnesota Department of Commerce to develop 5 Green Career Paths tools. The tools, which rely on O*NET data and were informed by extensive area employer input, are in the following industries: Natural Resource Conservation, Solar Electric, Solar Heating and Cooling, Residential Energy Efficiency and Commercial Energy Efficiency. Existing pathways in the Wind and Ethanol industries have also been enhanced.
The target audiences for these career path tools are career counselors, college students, incumbent workers and dislocated workers. The Web site enables users to research pay, education and training requirements, and skills needed for careers in these industries. The tool also allows users to compare two careers to find out how one can progress from one job to another within an industry. For more information, visit http://www.iseek.org/industry/green/careers/green-pathways.html.
Case In Point: The Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC) works to bring together appropriate state and local partners to align education and workforce programs with the future talent development needs of companies. To support this effort, MERIC develops competency models for targeted industry clusters using the Employment and Training Administration's Building Blocks framework. MERIC has completed models for Energy, Information Technology, Life Sciences, Transportation, and, most recently, a collection of models for six Green sectors: Building, Energy, Farming, Manufacturing, Public Administration, and Salvage Remediation. The model reports identify target occupations and lists knowledge areas, tools and technology used in the occupation, and relevant education programs for each. For more information and to view the other Missouri Target Industry Competency Models, visit
Case in point - The STEM Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is one of several enrichment opportunities designed to increase the number of local young people informed and prepared to enter academic and professional careers in the technical professions. The STEM Program features a vertical curriculum that comprises four essential knowledge areas which form the basis for success in science and engineering. For more information, visit http://web.mit.edu/stem/STEM_Home.html.
Case In Point: Work for Water developed an informational Web site to help students and job seekers explore careers in the water sector. The site features the Water Sector Competency Model as a resource for potential workers demonstrating the skills needed to work in the field. The site also provides the model as a management, recruitment, and retention tool for current water sector professionals. Work for Water is a joint project of the American Water Works Association and the Water Environment Federation training and education divisions. For more information, visit http://www.workforwater.org/.
Case In Point: The Massachusetts Work-Based Learning Plan (WBLP) is a diagnostic, goal-setting, and assessment tool used to provide structure for young adults in job, internship, or cooperative education placement. The first section of the WBLP lists foundation skills that participants will be expected to apply on the job. At the onset of the work experience, participants review the Foundation skills. In section two, students list the specific Workplace skills they would like to develop and the tasks and performance goals that will help them develop these skills. The third section serves as the framework for periodic evaluations to review progress on both the Foundation and Workplace skills. By clearly communicating job expectations, the WBLP helps participants be more productive and successful on the job, makes it clear how work experience can be used as a learning opportunity and an opportunity to build skills, and facilitates the assessment of skills gained during the experience. For more information visit http://www.skillslibrary.com/wbl.htm.
Case In Point: The Capital Workforce Partners (CWP), a regional Workforce Investment Board in northeastern Connecticut, takes a comprehensive competency-based approach to youth career development. Founded on a set of career competencies identified by CWP and area employers, the Career Competency System comprises three personal learning and career plans. (1) The Personal Development Profile enables youth to identify personal development assets and how external and internal factors affect learning and working. (2) The Career Competency Learning Plan informs youth about competencies, assesses ability in each competency, and captures data regarding individual progress. (3) The Career Interest Inventory allows youth to conduct career research, focus career education exploration, and receive mentoring. One of the main goals of the system is for youth to demonstrate their ability to enter the workforce and/or postsecondary career education by becoming Workforce Certified (the achievement of CWP Career Competencies). For more information visit http://www.capitalworkforce.org/partners/index.shtml.