Dr. Keith W. Bird, senior policy fellow for workforce and postsecondary education at the Corporation for a Skilled Workforce and American National Standards Institute (ANSI) board member, has called for the establishment of a new postsecondary training system that would award industry-accepted, skill-focused credentials to community college students and others. In an interview with TrainingIndustry.com, Dr. Bird argued that such a system would be more closely aligned with the needs of industry and the labor market than traditional community college associate degree programs.
In April 2011, Dr. Bird collaborated with Evelyn Ganzglass, director of Workforce Development at CLASP, and then-CLASP senior policy analyst Heath Prince, currently the associate director for the Ray Marshall Center for the Study of Human Resources, and on a report examining the potential benefits of such a training system. In the report, titled "Giving Credit Where Credit is Due: Creating a Competency-Based Qualifications Framework for Postsecondary Education and Training," Dr. Bird and his co-authors found that the creation of a new postsecondary credentialing system had the potential to improve civic participation and nationwide family well-being, and trigger local and national economic growth.
In May 2012, ANSI hosted a forum on workplace development in Washington, DC, where the concept of a national credentialing information system and various approaches for instituting such a system were discussed. Such a tool would help to define and distinguish quality workforce-related certificates and certifications for job seekers and employers alike. ANSI continues to be a leader in this area, through its standards- and conformance-based work accrediting a variety of educational certificate programs and other related activities.
For more information, contact Dr. Roy Swift, ANSI senior director for personnel credentialing accreditation programs (202.331.3617; firstname.lastname@example.org).