Monday, November 1, 2010

Competition for grants is the new normal

Listening to another presentation on the "New Normal".  The presenter, Dr. Linda Baer from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, started with a reference to Shift Happens, a You Tube video that talks about the rapid pace of change.

she notes that even with the high unemployment, millions of jobs are going unfilled because there are not enough trained workers. This is a big opportunity for us, but also shows that we aren't really doing our jobs. Lots of students who are coming through the door are not completing, those who are completing are not the diverse people we need in our workforce. Employers are having to do a lot of training for entry level workers.

Skills for America's Future is a program with $2 billion in grants for community colleges to compete for. Also lots of money from the Gates Foundation, Lumina Foundation, etc. Sounds like grant writing is something we need to be really good at!

Dr. Baer noted that Washington is innovative and has continued to be innovative and that we need to really hang on to innovation to be successful in the future.

So, what I'm taking away from this is that there are giant problems, we will continue to have reduced resources (that is the new normal - we're not going back to the way things used to be) and we will need to compete vigorously to survive.


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