Centralina News

The Campaign for Lifelong Learning in Centralina

Oct 08, 2007

The Centralina Workforce Development Board engaged DCA,Inc. to work with the Workforce Readiness Committee to conduct research,gather data,and develop strategies for addressing literacy needs in the region.  As part of their plan,DCA was also asked to examine the potential for a campaign to increase literacy within the workforce in the Centralina region.  DCA's approach has used the broad definition of literacy - the basic skills needed to function competitively.  As a result of their extensive research and surveying of the area's needs,an emerging campaign has developed.

The Campaign for Lifelong Learning in Centralina will concentrate on four key literacy areas: promoting a certified universal skill set,communicating workforce resources,increasing two-year degree holders,and sustaining prosperity through financial literacy.  A planning group for the campaign has been identified to help initiate the process.

The Campaign for Lifelong Learning in Centralina planning group will meet on Tuesday October 23,2007 at the Cabarrus Regional Chamber of Commerce in Kannapolis from 9:00am - 11:00 am.  Community identified leaders who agreed to help with the campaign will meet with Gary Romano from DCA,Inc. and discuss the plans and goals for the campaign as well as the material that will be discussed at four other meetings that will be held for the subgroups.

The first meeting of the planning group will review what was heard during the interview process of the project,review the campaign plan,and work on the process for the future.  The planning group will also ask what is the inspirational vision for this campaign,what should we ideally work towards,and what would be some key indicators of success.  Members of the planning group (and others) will be selected to serve on the four key topic area groups:

  • Communicating the New Economy
  • Universal Skills
  • Two-Year Degrees & Trade Programs
  • Sustaining Prosperity

The meeting dates for the four key topic area groups are November 5th and 6th,and November 15th and 16th,with locations to announced later.

The second and third meetings will consist of a review of key data and potential strategies for specific key topic areas,a bold but achievable 5-year goal will be set,strategies to meet the goal and the resources it will take to reach the goal will be identified and a plan to mobilize key partners to develop tactics will be created.  Each group will have their own meeting goals for the second and third meetings.

The Communicating the New Economy group will develop a common communication message on the new economy and the path to prosperity for the community,educators and service providers,to identify ways to use existing community and regional communication vehicles and ways for economic developers to convey data on workforce quality to prospective employers.

The Universal Skills group will confirm the skills set and intersection with the Career Readiness Certification (CRC),they will identify ways to create demand among businesses using existing chamber and economic development structures as well as new strategies,they will identify ways to instill and certify soft skills,develop strategies for connecting workers with CRC testing and identify strategies for connecting CRC takers with literacy support services.  The group will also identify vehicles for connecting high school students with testing,identify possible impacts of increased demand on existing literacy and education services,identify where additional resources maybe needed and possible partnerships and sources of support to meet those needs,and identify ways to increase participants in 2-year and trade programs.

The Increasing Two-year and Trade Holders group will identify ways to increase participation in 2-year programs,certification offering,and trade programs.  Possible strategies may include early entry into high school,helping school counselors and educators advise students on career opportunities,and providing additional access points for returning students.

The Sustaining Prosperity group will identify the need for new access points in every county,ways of linking financial literacy to existing programs,and identifying ways to bring financial literacy into the K-12 educational system.

The four groups will then come back together and present their results to the larger planning group.  The full team will then decide on a champion to steward the tactical planning process,and to develop a coordination structure to link early education,K-12 education,workforce and economic developers,and employers to implement the campaign.

If you would like to participate in this project or would like to invite someone to the first planning meeting,please contact Emily Barnes at (704) 348-2732 or by e-mail at ebarnes@centralina.org.

Information and progress with the Campaign for Lifelong Learning in Centralina regularly updated on the Centralina WDB website at www.centralinaworks.com.

Tags: Workforce and Education


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