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Legislative Update - November 2018
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The National Council for Workforce Education

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

November 2018

This issue begins with some thoughts from board member Dr. Bill Pink, about workforce investment boards (WIBs). Does your college have an effective partnership with your local WIB? Consider submitting the elements of your partnership and why it works as a Promising Practice!

Working Together for Our Communities
Dr. Bill Pink, President, Grand Rapids Community College
NCWE At-Large Board Member

Our call as community and technical colleges is to be responsive and relevant to the needs of our communities. That means we have to work more closely with our stakeholders, especially our workforce investment boards (WIBs). During the National Council for Workforce Education’s Annual Conference, I was honored to moderate a panel which included three WIB leaders: Linda Nguyen from Tacoma, WA; Mitzi Woods from Greenwood, MS; and Jacob Maas from Grand Rapids, MI. The discussion focused on how we can be better partners. Because my college enjoys a great relationship with our WIB, I am convinced that this is a vital area that we all need to work on diligently. Allow me to share my major takeaways from our discussion.

First, success is directly tied to relationships, relationships, relationships! All three leaders expressed the need to work collaboratively. I was impressed by the way the panelists discussed the need for building trust and meaningful communication, which are truly hallmarks for any effective collaboration.

Second, it’s important for our WIBs to truly secure our support in partnership endeavors. The leaders were clear that they need to respond when approached by an industry or organization. If the community or technical college declines an opportunity to help, the WIBs will continue to move forward – and that means they’ll develop education and training programs without us. Developing better relationships with our WIBs starts with developing close ties to the people who work there, so that we remain the providers of education and training for our communities.

At Grand Rapids Community College, we’re blessed to have an excellent relationship with West Michigan Works! and have collaborated on programs including a $6 million America’s Promise grant and apprentice opportunities in manufacturing and heath care, focused on under-served populations. Our WIB is a connection to local employer sectors, providing us with data, support services, and training dollars for students in need.

Together, we believe our community thrives when employers looking to grow can tap a skilled workforce, creating great jobs and opportunities. That happens not with one program, but many developed as technology drives change – all built through strong relationships.

I am fully aware that sometimes the opportunity may not be a fit for what we do, but when the relationship with the WIB is strong, this issue will be better understood and handled by all involved. I appreciated the discussion and appreciate our friends who work hard with us to better our communities.


FEDERAL NEWS
  • The President signed a bill to fund the U.S. Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Defense through fiscal year 2019. The Workforce Investment Opportunities Act (WIOA) received level funding, while funding for Perkins Career and Technical Education and Adult Education state grants increased.

STATE NEWS


ELECTIONS UPDATE
  • Kudos to NCWE members Sherry Shipley and Erin Frasier, who ran strong campaigns as first-time political candidates. Sherry Shipley ran for State Senate in Indiana's 22nd district; she lost to incumbent Ron Alting by less than 4,000 votes. In the 19th district of the Washington State House of Representatives, the race between Erin Frasier and incumbent Jim Walsh is still too close to call, and a recount is expected once all the ballots have been counted. Kudos to both Sherry and Erin for deciding to run and galvanizing so many voters! It's been impressive to see so many people get engaged in democracy this year - as candidates, volunteers, and voters.

Thanks to the American Association of Community Colleges, National Skills Coalition, and the National Governors Association’s Center for Best Practices for this information.


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