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Workcred.org
Letter from the Workcred Executive Director
Roy A. Swift, Ph.D. COL, Retired

April 2020

Roy A. Swift, Ph.D. COL

United We Stand: Knowledge Sharing Creates Better Outcomes

Dear Colleagues:

During this challenging time, it is as important as ever to continue to support the needs of workers and employers so that everyone succeeds. Until we can meet again in person, I am pleased to keep you informed of Workcred’s progress to strengthen the workforce with valuable, effective, and quality credentials.

Data Sharing to Support Informed Credentialing Decisions

We have already made important strides toward this goal. In February, Workcred held the first meeting of its Voluntary Data Sharing Network, bringing credentialing bodies together for engaging discussions around the value of sharing their data as a way of creating more transparency around their credentials. Funded by Lumina Foundation, and carried out in partnership with the National Student Clearinghouse, the goal of this network is to learn more about opportunities and challenges to sharing credentialing data so that individuals, employers, and policymakers can make choices that are more informed.

This important work is only just beginning. Over the next 18 months, the network will meet quarterly to help shape the conversation about how credentialing bodies can collect the minimum data elements and develop possible solutions to known data-sharing restrictions or regulations. We will also collaborate to co-design the value proposition for certification bodies to voluntarily share their data, learn about and help define the National Student Clearinghouse Industry Credentials and Education Performance Data System project, and consider options to standardize internal data collection to enable elective participation in such efforts.

Providing a Clearer Picture of Certifications

In another effort to boost awareness and understanding about certifications, Workcred, in partnership with Corporation for a Skilled Workforce and the George Washington Institute of Public Policy, is working on a two-year, comprehensive study of industry and occupational certifications, funded by Lumina Foundation. The study is intended to provide policymakers, practitioners, employers, and funders with a clearer picture of the dimensions, patterns, and trends among certifications, as well as how they currently or could interrelate with other parts of the credentialing ecosystem.

Embedding Certifications into Degrees

Bringing national attention to our certification-degree pathway project, a recently published IndustryWeek article, co-authored by Workcred and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), sheds light on the importance of embedding high quality, industry-recognized certifications into college degree programs. Nearing completion, Workcred and its partners–APLU, Coalition of Urban Serving Universities (USU), and UPCEA–have conducted four very successful convenings in the areas of health care, cybersecurity, manufacturing, and liberal arts where university faculty and administrators, certification body staff, and employers came together to identify practical examples and new opportunities to integrate degrees and certifications. Ultimately, this kind of collaboration creates more opportunities for students to earn credentials with labor-market value. We will use information gathered from these convenings to develop a framework to support students as they earn both degrees and certifications as part of their undergraduate degree program. The final report will highlight the preliminary findings, themes, and possible integration models, and inform a future pilot project to test these models.

Understanding the Return on Investment of Credentials in Manufacturing

To support a sector vital to our economy, work is now underway to quantify the true return on investment of credentials in manufacturing. Funded by the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership, Workcred is conducting a two-year research study to help identify how credentials can serve as an important resource to identify skilled workers, and what credentials should be developed to meet future needs. Workcred is partnering with numerous states and regions to gather information from credential holders, hiring managers, and supervisors who work in manufacturing facilities through structured interviews. These interviews will reveal the role that credentials currently play, opportunities on how to use them more in manufacturing, and new credentials that need to be developed.

If you wish to know more about any of our activities, please send an email to info@workcred.org. We deeply appreciate your continued support and commitment to Workcred and its important mission, and I look forward to connecting with you soon.

Be well and stay safe,

Roy A. Swift

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Workcred is an affiliate of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)

Workcred, located at 1899 L St., NW, 11th Floor. Washington, DC 20036 (US).
Tel: 202.293.8020 Fax: 202.293.9287

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