Summer is about to end and school will be back in session. As a parent of two rising 6th graders, I am busy buying supplies, new sneakers, backpacks and making sure my children can adjust back to the regimen of early rising to catch the bus.
Others are preparing to attend Fall semester of post-secondary institutions, whether it be to earn a degree or a credential. The crisis of joblessness that we face in America calls for a more focused development of a career pathway for young students as well as dislocated workers, whose livelihood may not exist any longer. Community colleges are a high quality, affordable choice for many in this situation. The VCCS is the administrator of the federal Workforce Investment Act (WIA) in the Commonwealth of Virginia. We forge a partnership between the local workforce investment areas, their One Stop Career Centers, employers and the training providers throughout the community to assist in preparing the supply to meet the demand of economic development.
WIA has not been reauthorized since 1998. It has come a long way since it’s predecessor programs of JTPA and CETA. These programs are very practical areas that public administrators can make a difference in and create great value. I commend students and professionals alike to become educated about your own local workforce investment board in your community and perhaps seek appointment to that Board or the Youth Council in your area. Now is the time and they system could use your help.
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Greetings from Boston, Massachusetts!
This is my first guest blog w/ ASPA and I am pleased to be chatting w/ you from my old home state. I am attending the National Governors’ Association State Workforce Liaisons Summer meeting all week. Representatives from around the country convene twice annually to discuss the important policy and resource challenges that face state and local government, as well as private industry in creating jobs and a career pathway to develop the necessary skills in people to meet the demands of businesses who are hiring or will hire in the future. It is a partnership between economic and workforce development as well as our system of education, including K thru 12 as well as postsecondary and credential attainment.
I am very pleased to share my first guest blog from the city where I attended two of the finest institutions of higher education, i.e., Emmanuel College and Suffolk University School of Management. I was born in Cambridge, MA and grew up in Waltham before attending college in Boston. I was first exposed to the existence of ASPA while attending graduate school at Suffolk to earn a Masters in Public Administration. My first professor, Dr. Fran Burke, encouraged all her students to join ASPA for the networking and professional development opportunities it offered. That was some of the best advice I have ever received in my career pathway. I have been a member ever since 1980, minus a few years where I was busy w/ the joys of child-rearing, and went on to become Chapter President in Richmond, Virginia in the 1990′s.
While in Boston this week, I have enjoyed taking walks around the Massachusetts Statehouse and my alma mater Suffolk U. Much has changed but the roots of our American democracy are still embedded in the path of the Freedom Trail. This week in the state capitol causes me to pause and reflect on the excellent education I received at Suffolk from outstanding faculty e.g., Sandy Matava, Don Levitan, Mike Lavin, Fran Burke and the late David Pfeiffer. I served as Dr. Pfeiffer’s graduate assistant and learned firsthand the critical importance of inclusion as he worked to help establish the Americans w/ Disabilities Act that many of you comply with today. I will share much more on the topic of inclusion in a future blog.
I will end my maiden blog today w/ another thank you to Dr. Fran Burke. She also encouraged me while at Suffolk U, to apply for the Presidential Management Internship Program, now referred to as Presidential Fellows. It was my good fortune to be selected as at PMI in 1982 and it kick-started my career as a public servant in Washington, DC. I highly recommend PMF to current MPA and MBA students. More on that later.
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