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SBCC Career Skills Institute - Digital Badge Initiative

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Guy Smith, Executive Director
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Das Williams provides early leadership in alternative credentials to Address Growing Skills Gap in the Workplace

healthcare workforceAssemblymember Williams at Health Care RoundtableAssemblymember Das Williams (D – Carpinteria) earlier this year led a focus group in alternative credentialing with SynED.org that has resulted in a CA Community College pilot program utilizing digital badges to encourage students to achieve employment locally.

“As we look to the future in education, it is important that we strategize as a community to meet the changing needs of our workforce.”

said Assemblymember Williams.

A result of the focus group has been the implementation of the first California Community College – Santa Barbara City College – to issue digital badges through its Career Skills Institute to address the growing gap between the skills employers need and want, and the skills the students learn.

Melissa Moreno, Steve Wright, Lori GaskinMelissa V. Moreno J.D., Steve Wright, Lori Gaskin, Ph.D. According to SBCC Dean of Educational Programs Melissa Moreno, there is a growing body of research showing that employers need a workforce skilled in business soft skills, also known as 21st Century skills, transferable skills or employability skills. "Skills such as communication, team building, management, innovation, critical thinking, writing, and conflict resolution are sorely missing in today’s workforce," she said.

A focus group convened by Williams and SynED, including Moreno and Cottage Hospital, was a catalyst to the development of these life skills badges.. Since then, SynED has provided implementation and technical support to integrate Pearson applications to manage digital badges.

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SynEd is a non-profit organization focusing on the gap between what business employers need and what education can offer. on Listening closely to employers, students, educators and government, SynEd identifies priorities, values and synergies of intention and technology that increase transparency and establish trusted communication between employers, jobseekers and education providers.

SynEd understands the business environment and is able to identify and gain access to key business leaders that can contribute valuable information and appreciate the scope and purpose of educational innovations. SynED does not provide or intend to provide commercial solutions but seeks instead to assure that the complete needs of the workforce education ecosystem are recognized and addressed.

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