Archives for the 'Articles' Category

Technical education comes into sharper focus

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

By Robert G. Ketchum, Ph.D. North Idaho College’s Trustees recently voted to establish the new home for NIC’s career and technical program adjacent to the Kootenai Technical Education Campus (KTEC). It appears that NIC is evolving an organizational structure similar to the successful model used at the Community Colleges of Spokane (CCS). The CCS model […]

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Causing learning in business and industry

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

By ROBERT G. KETCHUM, Ph.D Workers need to quickly learn new jobs, or learn new job duties, in this era of skill shortages. In recent articles, I’ve made reference to using a systematic approach to employee training. This systematic strategy is called structured on-the-job training (SOJT.) SOJT contrasts with unstructured OJT (also known as “deep […]

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Workforce readiness: When skills trump diplomas

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

Academic curriculum is typically derived from books and tradition, rather than analysis of business and industry skill needs. The IBE study described in this issue seeks to understand the skill needs of business and industry. Will the IBE study drive change in Idaho’s education enterprise? Determining the skill needs of business and industry has always […]

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Work-based learning: practical path to independence

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

What defines education? Is it registration? Is it tuition? Is it school buildings? No, formal education is defined by three things; 1) structure, 2) sequence, and 3) assessment. Remove any one of those and it is just life, not education. Distance learning has proven that anyone can learn anything from anyone at any time. This […]

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The Real Minimum Wage is $0

Saturday, March 1st, 2014

The real minimum wage for the unskilled will always remain $0. Discussions of wages necessarily lead to discussions of the global marketplace. Skills and wages are inseparable, and the labor market pays for high value skills, not simply hard labor. However, the labor market has become worldwide. Unions historically make wage demands, but now such […]

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Economic Development and the Business of Learning

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

Knowledge, skills and abilities (KSA’s) are the DNA of every business. This DNA is managed through investments in training and development. Training is defined as learning that produces a direct return on investment. Development is defined as new learning that is not directly measurable for the company (such as paying for college classes unrelated to […]

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Career advising in a global economy

Sunday, November 10th, 2013

Published in the North Idaho Business Journal October 29, 2013 A few years ago, the Coeur d’Alene Idaho Chamber of Commerce offered its first business-oriented trips to China. This first wave of trips was so popular that three Chamber travel groups sold out back to back. This success was reflective not only of individual travel […]

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Resolving the “skills gap”

Saturday, November 9th, 2013

Media stories about America’s “skills gap” have been frequent, and have generally focused on workers. Are workers to blame? Or do we have a failure to train? Assigning blame does not provide a solution to the problem. A Bloomberg editorial (May 17, 2012) discussed technology driven employment change, and the consequent decline in middle class […]

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Trainable? “If the trainee hasn’t learned, the trainer hasn’t trained.”

Sunday, May 20th, 2012

A Bloomberg editorial (May 17) focused on technology driven employment change, and the decline of middle class wages. The writer’s recommendations to correct the problem included “college completion,” and even more importantly, the need to prepare “trainable” workers. Specifically, the quote at the end of the editorial is: “…matching people to jobs will need to […]

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Skills Needed, Skills Defined

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

The Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) recently posted guidance that employers requiring a high school diploma, used as a employee screening tool, may be violating the American’s With Disabilities Act (ADA.) This guidance explains that the job must now be defined based on necessary worker skills and detailed as to how the high school diploma […]

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