Friday, January 18, 2013

Gov. Inslee sworn in, CTCs highlighted in committee hearings

It’s official! Gov. Inslee was sworn into office by Lt. Gov. Brad Owen during a joint session of the House and Senate on Wednesday, Jan. 16. Gov. Inslee’s inaugural address outlined his priorities and vision for the future of Washington state.

SBCTC staff have been busy testifying and monitoring hearings of importance to the CTC system as detailed below. Week two of the legislative session is shaping up to be just as busy as the first: CTCs will testify at five committee hearings to discuss the system budget, student achievement, online education, aerospace, and the needs of the energy industry.

Now let’s get to work: Inslee takes the reins

Jay Inslee was sworn in as Washington's 23rd governor Wednesday and reinforced his commitment to creating jobs as the state's "top priority today, tomorrow, and every day for the next four years."

In his inaugural address to a joint session of the Legislature, Inslee said Washington must move swiftly and boldly to put the recession behind us.

Gov. Inslee described his intent to bring "disruptive change" to Olympia and make government more efficient by applying the principles of Lean management.

He said that more than just a measurement tool, Lean is a “culture shift,” with all state agencies rooted in the same three principles:

Ÿ Measure success by the results produced, not the money put in.
Ÿ Know our customers and what they value.
Ÿ Every agency will adopt a unique process for continual improvement that engages state employees.

He called on state employees to be active partners in the Lean process.

“I know how much you have sacrificed. You are on the front lines, figuring out how to do more with less just like every family in Washington right now,” Inslee said. “You will be empowered as change agents, and we will need your ingenuity and dedication more than ever.”

Inslee emphasized the need for more STEM education and ensuring students graduate from high school ready to pursue a career or continue on to an apprenticeship or degree program.

Inslee’s economic plan focuses on job growth in seven industry clusters: aerospace, life sciences, military, agriculture, information technology, clean energy, technology and the maritime trades.

“Science, technology, engineering and math are just as important to the next generation as the three Rs were to my generation. They are the essential tools for success in this new economy,” he said. “We need to invest more where we get the biggest return, in high-quality early learning programs. We need a system that aligns from early learning to kindergarten to 12th grade to our universities. Accountability must be present at every level.”

In closing, Inslee said he looks forward to “having a real dialog with the Legislature in the coming weeks on how we best put our ingenuity to work to meet the challenges before us — on creating jobs, educating our children, changing how we do business in state government and creating a culture of leading the world in energy independence.”

“Now let’s get to work.”


Ÿ Gov. Inslee’s Inaugural Address: read PDF or watch on TVW at 55:15
Ÿ Governor’s key issues: Economy, Education, Government Reform, Health Care
Ÿ Lean in Washington state government

Elevate aerospace training, says Pipeline Advisory Committee

Washington must ramp up aerospace training to meet critical labor shortages and stay ahead in the global aerospace race, according to testimony before the House Labor and Workforce Development Committee on Wednesday, Jan. 16. The hearing focused on the first annual report of the Washington Aerospace Advanced Materials Manufacturing Workforce Pipeline Advisory Committee. The Legislature created the committee in 2012 to monitor the aerospace industry’s employment needs and work with industry partners and the community and technical college system to meet the demand.

Alex Pietsch, director of the Governor’s Office of Aerospace, and Bryan Wilson, deputy director of the Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board, summarized the report. Among the findings:

Ÿ 1,248 aerospace-related companies in Washington support about 128,000 jobs statewide.
Ÿ Aerospace occupations are expected to grow by 6.2 percent per year, based on survey responses from employers – a higher rate than national economic models currently suggest.
Ÿ Toolmaker and metal worker are the occupations with the highest growth rate, but engineers and machinists are the most difficult positions to fill.
Ÿ Community and technical college graduates who go to work in the aerospace-related firms earn just under $47,000 per year.

Jackie Davis of AMI Metals, chairwoman of the Pipeline Advisory Committee, warned that Washington must continue to stand apart in the aerospace industry. “Every time we’re high-fiving about some award we’ve won, such as the 737 MAX, (other states) are sitting back and basically putting a big old target on us,” she said. “They’re learning by what we’re doing; both the good things and the bad things.”

Jim Crabbe, SBCTC workforce education director, outlined the community and technical college system’s pivotal role in the aerospace industry. From 2006 to 2011, two-year colleges produced 37 percent more trained aerospace workers. Twenty-four colleges now offer aerospace training across the state, including two regional training centers – one in Everett and the other in Spokane. The Center of Excellence for Aerospace and Advanced Materials Manufacturing at Everett Community College works with the aerospace industry to develop curriculum, attract grant funding, and represent Washington aerospace interests nationally and internationally.

Ben Hempstead of Electroimpact, the Pipeline Advisory Committee’s legislative subcommittee chair, identified five report recommendations:

Ÿ Aerospace student slots – 500 new FTEs in high-demand fields (machine maintenance and testing; quality assurance; and composite materials manufacturing and repair).
Ÿ Credentials and certifications – a pilot project to test and “credential” students for specific industry skills that match employer hiring standards -- much like an industry-based stamp of approval.
Ÿ Professional faculty development – Improving faculty knowledge of aerospace needs and discoveries.
Ÿ Marketing to industry/Center for Excellence – Mapping out academic pathways from high school to a career.
Ÿ Central Sound aerospace training facility – Establishing a training center in Renton to fill aerospace jobs along the central Puget Sound corridor.

Many of these recommendations were included in former Gov. Gregoire’s 2013-2015 proposed operating budget.

SBCTC executive director, college presidents discuss priorities

The Jan. 16 hearing of the House Higher Education Committee focused on higher education priorities for 2013. Marty Brown, SBCTC executive director, gave an overview of the community and technical college system, highlighting a steep increase in degrees and certificates despite budget cuts. “We are working feverishly to improve our completions and job placements…from 2007 to 2012, in those years of budget cuts…the number of degrees and certificates completed in the CTC system increased by 46 percent,” he said.

Brown summarized the system’s legislative priorities, which includes tuition affordability, investments in high-demand degree programs, financial aid, online course materials, funding capital projects, and streamlined job training programs. He identified investments in faculty and staff as another priority. “We have not been able to give salary increases,” Brown said. “We know that is a pressing need throughout the system.”

Dr. Christine Johnson, Community Colleges of Spokane chancellor, shared how community and technical colleges strengthen their communities through local partnerships and creative solutions. She said instituting Lean governing principles allowed the colleges to cut costs and redirect funding to students and classrooms. “We are known for being effective, efficient and entrepreneurial,” Johnson said.

Community Colleges of Spokane partners with local school districts, the Spokane Workforce Development Council, and local businesses to better serve job-seekers and the community. They also support the local health care industry by producing certificates and degrees that meet employer needs. “CCS has the largest array of health programs second [only] to Miami-Dade,” said Johnson.

Dr. David Mitchell, Olympic College president, testified that community and technical colleges fuel economic growth. “I want to emphasize the important role community and technical colleges play in providing the workforce that’s needed to move our economy,” Mitchell said. He underscored the system’s legislative priority of restoring and increasing high-demand programs to get students into good jobs available now. “We need to be strategic about ramping up access in areas where you can train folks for real jobs that do exist,” he said.

The Council of Presidents and four-year universities presented legislative priorities that included financial aid and tuition rates.

Link to testimony.

Preview of next week’s Leg News

The January 23 edition of Leg News will include summaries of the following committee hearings:

Monday, January 21
House Capital Budget (1:30 pm)
Work session: capital budget
Senate Ways and Means (3:30 pm)
Work session: higher education budget

Tuesday, January 22
Senate Higher Education (1:30 pm)
Work session: student achievement initiative

Thursday, January 24
House Education (8:00 am)
Work session: Core to College project
Senate Higher Education (1:30 pm)
Work session: online education