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Seattle Industry is published by the Manufacturing Industrial Council of Seattle



SI eBulletin



Harvard and MIT Agree

Posted: May 6, 2011

Bill Symonds

Bill Symonds

You are not alone if you think people have gone overboard on promoting the value of academic college degrees. Reseachers from Harvard and MIT agree with you and they’ll be in Seattle to share their views at a forum in Georgetown on May 19.

Bill Symonds, with the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and Dan Sturtevant from the MIT Engineering Systems Division, will speak from 8:30 to 10 am. Their presentations will be made in the auditorium of the Gene Colin Building at the Puget Sound Industrial Excellence Center at 6737 Corson Avenue S. just west of East Marginal Way.

Details about the event are available at Other guest speakers at the event include Jill Wakefield, chancellor of the Seattle Community College District, Susan Enfield, interim superintendent of the Seattle Public Schools, and Dean Allen, CEO of the McKinstry Co.

Business people are encouraged to attend. If interested, contact Dave Gering of the Manufacturing Industrial Council at 206-762-2470 or at The MIC, the Seattle Community College District and other partners are cosponsoring the May 19th event as part of an ongoing strategic effort to reinvigorate technical education.

On-the-ground MIC education initiatives include business support for the SODO Inc. industrial intern training program, implementation of a new technology program at Cleveland High School on Beacon Hill, and creation of a new aerospace skill development program for the Seattle Public Schools and the Puget Sound Skill Center in Burien.

Symonds and Sturtevant are being brought to town to help increase educator awareness of the growing national recognition of the value of educational alternatives to the academic college path.

Symonds is the lead author of the recent Harvard report, Pathways to Prosperity: Meeting the Challenge of Preparing Young Americans for the 21st Century which documents the unintended consequences of the national drive to increase the number of Americans attaining baccalaureate degrees. The effort began 50 years ago, based in large part on the success of World War II veterans who gained college degrees through the GI Bill. The college-for-all push increased the percentage of US high school graduates earning college degrees from 20% to more than 30%.

But, Symonds says the push was accompanied by a decline in career-related learning with onerous results for the majority of high school students who are not college bound. Increasingly, these kids graduate or dropout with no idea about future career or education options.

Sturtevant conducted a study two years ago of educational barriers in Washington state to meeting the workforce needs of the aerospace sector. He found employer demand exceeds the supply of graduates from technical and community colleges in large measure because not enough high school graduates enter the technical programs.

While Symonds and Sturtevant were unaware of each other’s efforts, they arrived at remarkably similar conclusions.

More work-based learning needs to be plugged back into the K-12 system. Career-related learning programs in K-12 and post-secondary systems need to become better connected. Greater awareness is needed of the full range of post-secondary programs in addition to four-year academic programs. And the business community needs to become more engaged with vocational programs.

SODO Business Association Annual Meeting

The Board Members of the SBA invite you to attend the 2011 Annual Meeting

WHEN: Thursday, May 12th, 2011 11:30-1:30
WHERE: URBAN enoteca, 4130 1st Ave S, Seattle, 98134
WHO: Featured speaker Amy Mumma - An educator in the wine industry for more than a decade. Amy is the Director and Founder of the Central Washington University World Wine Program.
COST: $20 per member, $30 per non-member
WHAT: Buffet lunch.
SPONSORED BY: Port of Seattle, Nitze-Stagen, Urbanadd, Charlie's Produce and URBAN enoteca.

To register please call email or visit, to see the flyer .

Effective Project Management

Streamline Your Business Operations through Effective Project Management

Do your project teams take on a life of their own, get off track, or get bogged down in minutiae? This course will help to solve these common management problems. The training is designed to help your company:
• Improve project identification, team building, and overcoming obstacles
• Adopt effective tools to measure progress and outcomes
• Improve productivity and the bottom line

Included in the course is an onsite consultation at your firm that tailors the training to your specific goals, priorities and challenges.

Course Fee $749 / $599 for companies who send two or more staff and members of the Manufacturing Industrial Council (MIC) and Center for Advanced Manufacturing Puget Sound (CAMPS).

Schedule: June 23rd & 24th, 8:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. both days

Registration available at South Seattle Community College Continuing Education.

See the course flyer for complete information.

Questions??: Email or call (206) 934-6661.

Class Item No.: 1850

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