ERIC Identifier: ED259206
Publication Date: 1985-00-00
Author: Hassan, Salah Salem
Source: ERIC Clearinghouse on
Adult Career and Vocational Education Columbus OH.
Private Sector Involvement in Vocational Education. Overview.
ERIC Digest No. 36.
The purpose of the 1982 Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA), which replaced
the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA), is to establish programs
to help prepare economically disadvantaged youth and hard-to-hire and unskilled
adults to become productive members of the labor force. Unlike its predecessor,
JTPA calls for equal responsibility between the private and public sectors for
local program operations.
This Digest defines the features of the JTPA legislation, discusses the role
of vocational education in training programs, and cites examples of cooperative
WHAT IS THE JTPA?
JTPA works through locally based programs to provide training and employment
assistance to the unemployed (National Alliance of Business 1982). The JTPA
--recognizes the need to use private sector expertise, resources, and support
to tailor publicly financed training programs to the local economy (Galloway
--shifts responsibility for local plan approval, fiscal oversight, and
program activities from the federal government to the state level (National
Alliance of Business 1982; Galloway 1984; Riffel 1984)
--allows local public and private authorities to decide on the types of
program assistance to be provided with federal funds (Griffin 1983)
--emphasizes spending most funds for training and limits local funds for
administrative expenses, wages, and other supportive services (National Alliance
of Business 1982; Griffin 1983; Riffel 1984)
--suggests, but does not require, that state vocational education boards and
advisory councils on vocational education be represented among the
decision-making authorities (Riffel 1984)
WHAT IS THE ROLE OF VOCATIONAL EDUCATION UNDER THE JTPA?
Under the new act, vocational education plays a vital role in training and
retraining programs for the unemployed and the economically disadvantaged.
JTPA's administrative structure allows state and local authorities a say in
employment and training policies (National Alliance of Business 1982; Riffel
Although training services are delivered locally through agreements between
the public and private sectors, the administration of the Act is the
responsibility of the state's Governor (National Alliance of Business 1982;
Riffel 1984) who divides the state into service delivery areas (SDAs).
Each SDA appoints a Private Industry Council (PIC) to plan and operate
community training programs with members from the private sector, local
education agencies, institutions of higher education, and private and
proprietary organizations (Riffel 1984). Vocational education can thus be
represented potentially on several levels and can have a more active role in
determining how training funds are to be spent on any of these levels.
Through its state advisory councils, vocational education can work with other
local agencies in collaboration with private business. The National Advisory
Council on Vocational Education (1983) suggests the following ways state
advisory councils can help:
--Providing established, effective training programs with efficient and
nonduplicative use of tax dollars
--Providing support services and expertise (counseling, administration,
curriculum development, instructor development, and enrollment procedures)
--Providing high-quality instructional facilities and equipment
--Developing lines of communication with private sector employers and with
eligible program participants
--Providing information on local labor market statistics and training needs
--Assisting the development of state and local cooperative education
agreements and the development of coordinated state training plans
Because the JTPA requires that vocational education be represented on the
PICs, local vocational education agencies will be partners with other private
and public institutions in delivering training and employment services and
ensuring the success of local training programs.
Griffin (1983) and others note that this new type of partnership will build
on existing collaborative relationships with the private sector and strengthen
the vital role of vocational education in future training programs.
WHAT ARE EXAMPLES OF COOPERATIVE ARRANGEMENTS?
The new legislation was passed during a time when both vocational education
and business could benefit from cooperation. Today's technology is continually
changing the workplace. New job skills and knowledge are needed to keep the
future work force current with changing vocations.
The relationship between the Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) and the
Allen-Bradley Company, a Milwaukee-based manufacturing firm, demonstrates how
the public/private partnership can meet the demands of the changing workplace
(Rich 1983). As Allen-Bradley increases computer-assisted design and production
operations, its employees attend training programs in computer-based information
processing, engineering, and manufacturing offered by MATC.
Because of the continuous change in computer graphics technology, MATC must
update its facilities and equipment. Allen-Bradley and other contributors help
by donating hardware, providing MATC instructors with workplace experience, and
funding the development of new courses.
Another example of public and private sector cooperation is the Elliott
Training Center outside of Pittsburgh, started in 1973 by the Elliott Company
(part of the Power Sector Group of United Technologies Corporation) (Schweder
1983). Elliott needed skilled metal workers to meet the increased mand for
manufacturing compressors and turbines for energy-related industries.
To meet that need, the Company consulted with the National Alliance of
Business (NAB) to locate funding for the training center through the Federal Job
Opportunities in the Business Sector (JOBS) program. The center's trainees are
economically disadvantaged, hard-to-hire, and unskilled workers. Tuition fees
are paid by public agencies and nonprofit private enterprises (CETA, PICs, the
Veterans' Administration) and physical rehabilitation programs (Schweder 1983).
The following steps are needed for successful partnerships:
--Conducting needs assessments using self-evaluation and observation to
establish where cooperation would be beneficial
--Identifying resources for assistance and system support and identifying
services that could be offered in exchange for collaboration
--Choosing partners based on the adoptability of solutions, technologies, or
service areas to current situations
--Establishing working relations with partners and supporting subsystems to
develop awareness of and gain acceptance for new solutions.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Galloway, J. R. "Reauthorization: Defining the Federal Role." VOC ED 59
(January-February 1984): 31-32.
Griffin, D. "A New Partnership Becomes Law." VOC ED 58 (January-February
National Advisory Council on Vocational Education (NACVE). JOB TRAINING
PARTNERSHIP ACT--SUGGESTED ACTIVITIES FOR STATE ADVISORY COUNCILS ON VOCATIONAL
EDUCATION. Washington, D.C.: NACVE, 1983. ED 239 119.
National Alliance of Business (NAB). EXPLANATION AND ANALYSIS OF THE JOB
TRAINING PARTNERSHIP ACT OF 1982. Washington, D.C.: NAB, 1982. ED 239 024.
Rich, D. "Partnerships Take a New Turn." VOC ED 58 (May 1983):32-33, 49.
Riffel, R. "New Partnerships for Jobs and Training." VOC ED 59
Schweder, J. "From CETA to Skilled Jobs." VOC ED 58 (May 1983):37-38, 50.