Domenic Giandomenico, the director of education and workforce programs with the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for a Competitive Workforce, gave this telling result from the Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Giandomenico was in Seattle today for a panel discussion on an ICW report that gave mixed results to Washington’s postsecondary education system.Washington scored best in the area of student access and success where the state outperforms the national median for two-year schools. But the state didn’t do as well in areas like efficiency and cost-effectiveness, policy environment, and meeting labor market demand. He said there’s a disconnect from what employers need and what colleges are producing. He encouraged businesses to be involved in the process so that colleges are meeting labor market demand. There’s also a barrier for students entering college.
Giandomenico was impressed with the state partnering with Western Governors University, the online university. He says WGU’s competency-based online school provides flexibility for non-traditional students.
Giandomenico offered suggestions as to how the state can improve its public higher education system:
- Find solutions that match state priorities
- Embrace transparency
- Focus more on performance and not just inputs into institutions
- Promote degree completion
- Improve measurement of postsecondary quality
- Promote efficiency
- Improve transparency
- Increase openness to innovative education models
Giandomenico's presentation was part of an ongoing effort by AWB's non-profit AWB Institute to engage top policy thinkers and AWB member on workforce issues.