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NET Gain No. 26:
21st Century Skills Summit
(April 1999)

Vice President Al Gore convened a national summit in January on "21st Century Skills for 21st Century Jobs," where he announced a $60 million plan to train workers for high-skill jobs and a national award for communities that effectively raise the work skills of adults. Officials from the U.S. departments of Labor and Commerce, the Small Business Administration and state and local governments as well as business and education leaders attended the summit. In addition, tens of thousands of people from more than 800 communities nationwide participated by satellite downlink. This "NET Gain" highlights some Web sites related to the summit.

Background

   Background materials, including the summit's agenda, descriptions of the nine breakout sessions (on topics such as "Providing Workplace-Based Training" and "Using Technology to Advance Literacy and Workplace Skills") and the text of Vice President Gore's remarks are on the summit's Web site at http://vpskillsummit.org.

Workforce Education and Training

   "21st Century Skills for 21st Century Jobs," a joint report from the Commerce, Education and Labor departments, the National Institute for Literacy and the Small Business Administration, was released at the summit.
  The 47-page report covers skill requirements in existing and new jobs, the benefits of investing in education and training for employers and employees, information on workforce education and training and brief descriptions of 23 promising partnerships and programs nationwide. The report is available in Adobe Acrobat and Microsoft Word formats at http://vpskillsummit.org/bestprct.asp.

Links to Other Resources

  The summit site also has a page of links to related skills resources at http://vpskillsummit.org/website.asp. That page details "America's Career Kit," a group of four Web sites. Developed by the Labor Department, the sites include America's Job Bank (job openings), America's Leaning eXchange (training and education providers), America's Career Infonet (occupational and economic information that incorporates the former Dictionary of Occupational Titles) and America's Talent Bank (an electronic resumé system).
  The page also links to several other federal workforce-related sites from the departments of Defense, Commerce, Education and others, including a link to the text of the 1998 Workforce Development Act. Those interested in the act's implementation also should visit http://usworkforce.org/ for more details.

State-of-the-Art Communication

   Consistent with the 21st century theme, the summit was available though satellite downlinks and was broadcast live on the Web. Archives of the event are available on NASA's Learning Technologies Channel archive at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/ltc/stm/skills.html, in RealMedia and RealAudio versions. That page also has information on how to download, install and test the necessary software to open the archive files.


  This "NET Gain" was compiled by David Carlson and Peter Seidman (NCRVE, University of California at Berkeley). An online version of this column is available on the NCRVE World Wide Web server (http://ncrve.berkeley.edu/NetGain/). Readers are encouraged to let the authors know about any changes in the resources listed, as well as about other resources they find useful.
  David Carlson: 800-(old phone deleted);
  Peter Seidman: 800-(old phone deleted);


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