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Millions of Americans remain unemployed, but on average three million jobs go unfilled because employers cannot find workers with the skills and experience they need. In addition, over 800,000 people aren’t counted in monthly unemployment reports because they have given up looking for jobs. Addressing the skills gap and getting people back to work through workforce development programs is – and has long been – a national priority. Yet far too frequently, current efforts fail for multiple reasons – from inconsistent funding and one-shot training programs to an over-reliance on local programs to solve a national problem.
Professional associations are on standby and ready to train, educate, and motivate workers across career fields and industries to take charge of their own careers. The A+ Solution makes the case for how and why 70,000 professional societies and trade associations are perfectly positioned to train and support our workforce with proven expertise at minimal cost. From industry-based expertise and knowledge communities to certifications and continuing education programs, associations offer unparalleled resources to provide individuals and employers with long-term training solutions. Yet, current legislation limits associations from active participation in workforce training at the state and local level. The A + Solution provides a compelling argument for what associations offer – and the changes needed to take wider advantage of their programs and services.
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About the Author
John Bell is the founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Boxwood Technology, Inc., a leading provider of online career-center technology and career-related services for the association community. He is also the founder of Bell & Associates and is an active member of the American Society of Association Executives. He lives in Hunt Valley, Maryland. Christine Smith is is the president of Boxwood Technology and has been an elected member of the board of directors of the American Society of Association Executives, the professional society of association management professionals. She lives in Reston, Virginia.
Table of Contents
Executive Summary 11
Chapter 1 The Perfect Economic Storm, A Workforce in Crisis 17
Chapter 2 The Hole in the Current Solution 25
Chapter 3 The Pain of the Employer 39
Chapter 4 The People Behind the Numbers 49
Chapter 5 Innovation, Continuing Education, and The A+ Solution 63
Chapter 6 The Association Ecosystem: Priming the Pump for American Success 71
Chapter 7 Case Study: IEEE CS and The A+ Solution 93
Chapter 8 Case Study: Success by Collaboration - The Automation Federation 101
Chapter 9 Strategic First Steps for Policy Makers 111
Chapter 10 A Call to Action for Individuals and Organizations 121
Chapter 11 What Else Can You Do? 127
Chapter 12 What Success Looks Like 133
About the Authors 137