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NCCER’s 2021 Vision From Boyd Worsham

03/24/2021 Article

With 2021 being a year of expansion and modernization of NCCER’s comprehensive workforce development system, I think it’s important to share with you what NCCER is working on.

In order to better serve and support our industry, as well as the career seekers you recruit and educate, NCCER’s Board of Trustees has made the decision to invest significantly in the future of NCCER’s people, projects and products.

These investments will focus on four areas that I believe need attention: product development, technology, rigor and strategic partnerships. The investment in people will include the addition of approximately 25 new team members, many in product development and project management, as well as an executive level chief learning officer and a director of digital learning (both of which are being onboarded now). We are confident that these additional team members will provide enhanced creativity and innovation, improved customer services and a decrease in time to market for NCCER materials and systems.

We have also re-structured our organization to focus on facilitating customer success by moving our workforce development department over to Cathy Tyler with executive oversight from Katrina Kersch. Katrina’s title has changed to senior director of workforce solutions to reflect her focus on workforce development. Dan Belcher has assumed the new role of director of strategic partnerships and will report directly to me as we focus on strengthening our current relationships and developing strong, productive and mutually beneficial new industry partnerships.

Product Development 

With an increased focus on product development, NCCER will be updating a significant number of titles over the next 24 months and increasing our portfolio of Spanish translations. The following titles are scheduled for update and release:

2021 Curriculum Update 

  • Concrete Construction* – available now
  • Electrical* NCCERConnect – available now
  • Electronic Systems Technician
  • Managing Electrical Hazards
  • Core*
  • Sprinkler Fitting
  • Roofing*
  • Carpentry

*Titles being translated into Spanish

2022 Curriculum Update 

  • Millwright
  • Boilermaking
  • Industrial Maintenance Mechanic
  • Industrial Maintenance Electrical & Instrumentation
  • Welding
  • HVAC
  • Plumbing

-Spanish Translations TBD

Technology 

As we modernize and evolve our systems and products, we will leverage technology to enhance the learning experience and increase the scalability of NCCER services and offerings. This year, we will be:

  • Launching digitally enhanced assessment technologies
  • Providing a digital badging option for credentials
  • Introducing a single sign-on for NCCER system access
  • Launching a learning management system to deliver non-Pearson materials
  • Developing a sustainable and affordable long-term solution for remote proctoring

In addition, two ambitious and personal goals of mine are to deploy a Build Your Future-connected talent pipeline technology tool to facilitate both educational and career opportunities for new entrants into our industry. We will also create and deploy a virtual community for our nation’s craft professionals. The virtual community will include a subsite for NCCER craft instructors to share connections and best practices. Though an ambitious slate of projects, all of these technology related initiatives are currently in development by NCCER team members and consultants.

Rigor 

It is imperative that rigor be a guiding principle in all we do at NCCER. To ensure the credibility of our systems and thus your programs, we are currently working with third-party testing/psychometric providers to review and remediate our test and assessment item banks and associated performance components to ensure the integrity of our credentials. This effort will solidify the demand for the NCCER credentials within our industry’s contractor and owner communities.

With the release of our online testing system in 2017, and our commitment to deliver all NCCER module tests through our online platform by August 2021, we will be capable of protecting these remediated item banks from corruption and compromise.

To assist you with the move to online testing, NCCER is providing system training for your sponsor representatives, instructors and evaluators, available at www.nccer.org/testing-webinars.

Partnerships 

NCCER greatly values its partnerships and relationships throughout the construction industry. Many of those relationships have served us well since inception and have been invaluable to our success. As mentioned above, at the beginning of this year, we created a strategic partnership department to focus on improving and expanding existing business relationships while also building new long-term   partnerships. This department will ensure our relevance and connection to industry through its focus on subject matter expert recruitment and facilitation as well as major project involvement and sponsorship.

We have a very full and ambitious work agenda for 2021, and I think it is important that I keep you apprised of the initiatives our board of trustees has tasked me and our team to accomplish. Your assistance and support are critical in our accomplishment of these goals.

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