TECHNOLOGY AND EDUCATION:
WORKING TOGETHER FOR THE FUTURE
SUBCOMMITTEE ON EARLY CHILDHOOD,
YOUTH AND FAMILIES
COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION AND
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED FIFTH CONGRESS
HEARING HELD IN SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA, MARCH 16, 1998
Serial No. 105-85
Printed for the use of the Committee on Education
and the Workforce
TABLE OF CONTENTS
STATEMENT OF REGINA STANBACK-STROUD, DEAN OF WORKFORCE AND MATRICULATION SERVICES, MISSION COLLEGE, SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA *
STATEMENT OF GREGORY SLAYTON, PRESIDENT AND CEO, MySOFTWARE COMPANY, PALO ALTO, CALIFORNIA *
STATEMENT OF SELMA SAX, CHAIRPERSON, EDUCATION COUNCIL FOR TECHNOLOGY IN LEARNING, STATE OF CALIFORNIA *
STATEMENT OF TOM WULF, DIRECTOR OF STAFFING, NATIONAL SEMICONDUCTOR CORPORATION, SUNNYVALE, CALIFORNIA *
APPENDIX A - WRITTEN OPENING STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE FRANK RIGGS, CHAIRMAN, SUBCOMMITTEE ON EARLY CHILDHOOD, YOUTH AND FAMILIES, COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION AND THE WORKFORCE, U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES *
APPENDIX B - WRITTEN TESTIMONY OF DR. MICHAEL RAO, PRESIDENT, MISSION COLLEGE, SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA *
APPENDIX C - WRITTEN TESTIMONY OF REGINA STANBACK-STROUD, DEAN OF WORKFORCE AND MATRICULATION SERVICES, MISSION COLLEGE, SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA *
APPENDIX D - WRITTEN TESTIMONY OF GREGORY SLAYTON, PRESIDENT AND CEO, MySOFTWARE COMPANY, PALO ALTO, CALIFORNIA *
APPENDIX E - WRITTEN TESTIMONY OF SELMA SAX, CHAIRPERSON, EDUCATION COUNCIL FOR TECHNOLOGY IN LEARNING, STATE OF CALIFORNIA *
APPENDIX F - WRITTEN TESTIMONY OF TOM WULF, DIRECTOR OF STAFFING, NATIONAL SEMICONDUCTOR CORPORATION, SUNNYVALE, CALIFORNIA *
APPENDIX G – ARTICLE FROM MARCH 16, 1998 ISSUE OF U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT, TITLED "TOO OLD TO WRITE CODE?" *
TABLE OF INDEXES *
HEARING ON TECHNOLOGY AND EDUCATION:
WORKING TOGETHER FOR THE FUTURE
Monday, March 16, 1998
House of Representatives,
Subcommittee on Early Childhood,
Youth and Families,
Committee on Education
and the Workforce,
The subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 9:50 a.m., in the Dining Room, Hospital Management Building, Mission Community College, 3000 Mission College Boulevard, Santa Clara, California, Hon. Frank Riggs [chairman of the subcommittee] presiding.
Present: Representatives Riggs, Campbell, Martinez, and Mink.
Staff Present: Becky Voslow, Professional Staff Member, and Alex Nock, Minority Legislative Associate/Education.
OPENING STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE FRANK RIGGS OF CALIFORNIA, CHAIRMAN SUBCOMMITTEE ON EARLY CHILDHOOD, YOUTH AND FAMILIES, COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION AND THE WORKFORCE, U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Chairman Riggs. Ladies and gentlemen. I am going to call to order this subcommittee hearing, the field hearing on the subject of "Early Childhood, Youth and Families."
My name is Frank Riggs. I am the representative of the First Congressional District of California and chairman of the subcommittee.
We are delighted to be here today at Mission College to continue our ongoing series of hearings focusing on "Technology and Education: Working Together for the Future."
I first want to take the opportunity to welcome you all who are present here today for our hearing. I thank the wonderful staff of Mission College for their hospitality in hosting our hearing.
For a moment, coming in this moment, it brought back the terror of my own community college days, when I first worried about getting a parking ticket, and then worried about finding the building. So we are all happy that we finally made it to the right place.
I want to thank President Rao of Mission College for allowing us to be here in force, and Rhoda Curry and Kathleen Harris for their help in putting everything together for the hearing.
I especially want to thank my colleagues, Congressman Matthew Martinez, the ranking member of the subcommittee, and Congresswoman Patsy Mink, who is the ranking member of our Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, for participating in the hearing today.
This school, as some of you may know, is in the district of my very good friend, Congressman Tom Campbell, who hopes to join us later for the hearing today. I want to thank him for his assistance and his participation.
I mentioned that this is a part of a series of hearings. The real focus of the hearings, to cut to the chase, ladies and gentlemen, is why so many of our young people are being left behind in our high technology, knowledge-based economy.
As I jogged around the business parks in proximity of my hotel this morning, I saw those bustling workplaces. I was amazed how many cars were already in the parking lot, how many people were already busily at work at 7:30 in the morning.
It occurred to me that the young people who are 15 miles away in East Palo Alto, or, for that matter, 25 miles away in Hunter's Point, or, for that matter, 30, 35 miles away in East Oakland need to have the education and job skills to be able to find gainful employment at those businesses, and to be able to participate in this economy so that they can lead productive and successful adult lives.
My focus and my concern, as chairman of an Education Subcommittee in the House of Representatives, is that we are leaving too many of those young people behind. They are, if you will, the have-nots of tomorrow. For our country, that's a major challenge, because we rely on a skilled workforce to maintain our national competitiveness and global economy, and, in fact, an economy that becomes more global with every passing day.
I am fond of using the analogy that the economy today is the size of a golf ball. The economy of tomorrow, the Brave New World of the 21st century--or the other way around: The economy today is the size of a beach ball. The economy tomorrow is the size of a golf ball. I can make that analogy since I am an avid golfer.
My concern is not only that we need that skilled workforce to maintain our natural competitiveness, but for those future have-nots. It is a personal tragedy. I believe that we cannot, as a country, afford to leave behind another generation or lose another generation of urban school children.
So that is one reason why we are gathered here today. As Gandhi said, we must become the change we want to see in the world, and I believe we must become the change that we want to see in education. I know that that is a bipartisan concern with our committee and the Congress as a whole.
Too many of our young people lack the education and job skills that are necessary to participate in this knowledge-based economy, the new economy, if you will, of the 21st century. And as I mentioned, businesses and private sector employers regularly complain to me that U.S. schools are not producing enough skilled workers.
So we want to know specifically today from employers and those that work with employers, including the community colleges, what we can do to improve the academic preparedness of our young people so that they do have the skills, and so that they are technologically capable and computer literate when they leave school.
We also want to know if, in fact, as some people have suggested, we are rapidly evolving into a country and a society where at least 14 years of education are necessary for a young person to be technologically capable and have, again, the knowledge and skills that employers are seeking. So a lot of our focus is on academic preparedness.
This is the second hearing. Our first hearing was in Los Angeles, in Congressman Martinez's district. There, we heard from a student and teacher as well as the executive director of the Technology for Learning Program for Los Angeles County. Businesses who testified included Cisco Systems, AT&T and Qualcom.
We wanted to come to Silicon Valley, which ranks first in the nation for high tech firms, specifically to get the perspective of Silicon Valley and hear from employers. We want to hear from our witnesses today on the most effective and innovative ways to educate our students for new, good paying jobs in information technology, which are jobs that, obviously, are high wage, by most standards high skilled, and pay a living wage. We are very, very concerned that too many of our students are not being taught the skills, and not gaining the knowledge that they need to take advantage of the tremendous job opportunities that are already present in our economy and which our economy creates with every passing day. By some accounts, 350- to 400,000 such positions exist nationwide, many of them located right here in Northern California in the Silicon Valley high tech industry.
So with that, I would like to recognize my friend and colleague, Congressman Martinez, for his opening statement.
WRITTEN OPENING STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE FRANK RIGGS, CHAIRMAN, SUBCOMMITTEE ON EARLY CHILDHOOD, YOUTH AND FAMILIES, COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION AND THE WORKFORCE, U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES - SEE APPENDIX A
OPENING STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE MATTHEW MARTINEZ OF CALIFORNIA, RANKING MEMBER, SUBCOMMITTEE ON EARLY CHILDHOOD, YOUTH AND FAMILIES, COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION AND THE WORKFORCE, U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Mr. Martinez. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Good afternoon, or morning rather. I am very pleased to be here at Mission Community College. I thought that after the hearing I would take a tour around the community college, so then I could say I have been through Mission Community College.
It is always nice to visit the college. Four of my five children went to community colleges, and then went on through the university, so I am very appreciative of what community colleges do for our young people.
We are very interested in hearing from the witnesses today. As Congressman Riggs has mentioned, we had the last hearing in my district, and we heard from witnesses who really enlightened us a lot about the current situation in the industry today.
Let me begin by saying that technology continues to drive the economy. I just read a couple of days ago where actually one-third of the national product is in the computer industry and growing, and it is envisioned in just a few short years that it will be almost the major proportion of the gross national product. If that is true, and you understand the complexity of the technological skill and knowledge needed by many of the American workers, and it continues to grow, we need to do more in that area.
Non-technology related fields continue to incorporate and demand workers with high tech skills. In my office, for instance, all of our people have to be computer literate. Every station, every worker, six in the district and eight in the Washington office, has a computer and is required to do research through the computers, and to provide us with information from the computers, and to be able to travel the Internet and everywhere else to gain information.
So if a job like mine, where, when I came into office some short 17 years ago, there were no computers in the office, and now there are computers at every station, you can see that transformation in just a very short time. That is happening to a lot of industries. Clearly, those Americans who don't have some technological background will be disadvantaged in finding employment.
During our last hearing, the International Technology Association of America outlined for us that nearly 350,000 high tech jobs, in mid- to large-sized U.S. companies, and possibly many more, are presently unfilled. There are employers out there who are desperate for qualified individuals, willing to pay some $40,000 a year to start, yet the shortage remains.
Fortunately, the hearing of our subcommittee has shown that education leaders realize how important it is to ensure that we have a competitive workforce in this area, and we are responding to that challenge.
I look forward to exploring the issues both here and in future hearings on our economic growth as a nation and as individuals, so we don't ignore the high paying and advantageous careers in the technological fields.
I applaud the Chairman for holding these hearings, and for hoping that we can work through the area as well. The Federal Government can take a very important role in this.
Chairman Riggs. Thank you, Congressman Martinez.
Congresswoman Mink, we recognize anything you might have to say.
OPENING STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE PATSY MINK OF HAWAII, SUBCOMMITTEE ON EARLY CHILDHOOD, YOUTH AND FAMILIES, COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION AND THE WORKFORCE, U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Mrs. Mink. I just have a very brief comment.
Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the fact that you are holding these hearings. I think they are terribly important.
The other subcommittee that I am a member of, Oversight and Investigations, is also embarked on field hearings having to do with the expansion of technology and the relevance of Federal legislation in accommodating to the expansions of this technology, to what extent our institutions are adequately prepared to deal with it, and to help the students acquire the knowledge necessary to enter into the business world.
The inquiry that we are making today, I think, is very, very relevant to the entire scope of the Federal Government's interests, in making sure that the assistance that we provide in education, particularly in higher education, has met the challenges of the new technology. To that extent, we really need to rely on the people out there in the field, in the business, to determine whether, in fact, the institutions of higher learning are meeting this challenge, and to what extent the Federal Government can accommodate these programs to better achieve this result.
All of us who are in one way or another dependent upon technology are constantly burdened with the changes, the rapid changes, that are occurring, the demands that are made upon our budgets to constantly upgrade our equipment, upgrade our programs, and accommodate to the new innovations that are there in the field, or, if not, be left behind, and be woefully under-served in terms of our constituencies.
So we understand the challenge, and we want to find out from you today, and perhaps learn to what extent the Federal Government's activities can be improved, the better to accommodate the changes that are occurring, and where you see changes as being necessary in order to service our economy. That is really what the Congress needs to hear from you.
I appreciate very much your coming to provide us with this information.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman Riggs. Thank you, Congresswoman Mink.
One of the things I should mention in my opening remarks, is that back in Washington we are also focusing a lot on teacher preparation and teacher training. It is quite possible that there will be new--and I am hesitant about saying this because I am generally leery--new Federal initiatives and new Federal programs, because we already have some new programs on the book.
So it is very likely that just this week, this Wednesday, when the full committee debates or considers the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, we will be looking at a new Federal initiative addressing teacher training. I am talking about traditional teacher education in colleges and universities, as well as in-service professional development type training.
One of the things that we are interested in knowing is whether teacher training in technology is adequate in America today, or whether there is a shortfall, a gap, if you will, between the actual advances in technology, if you will, the quality of technology, today and teachers' ability to use that technology in a classroom setting.
We understand that technology is fundamentally changing the role of the classroom teacher from, really, less a provider of knowledge to more of a purveyor of knowledge through accessing technology, and I think the three of us agree that access to instruction in technology is one of the keys to educational improvement in America today. So we hope that we can touch a little bit on that.
As I mentioned, the overall scope of our hearings is really twofold: We are having these field hearings, as I mentioned, in Southern California a couple of weeks ago, Northern California today, and perhaps other locations around the country. We have a joint hearing scheduled with the Science Committee on technology back in Washington. I am sure there we will hear from employers and businesses in the high tech industry just across the Potomac River from the capital in Northern Virginia where there is something like 15- to 20,000 unfilled, high technology or information technology jobs in the local economy.
We are focusing twofold: On the challenges that schools are facing trying to educate students to meet the needs of the employers, so-called, if you will, the supply side of the equation; and then the other, the demand side of the equation, why or what the need is on the part of employers for effective and innovative ways to educate our students for these jobs in information technology, in a knowledge-based economy, and why, again, so many employers feel that our schools are doing an inadequate job of meeting that need, if you will, the demand, and providing the kind of technologically capable computer literate workers they need.
With that, I would like to go to Dr. Rao for some opening comments. We welcome his observations, and, specifically, the mission of Mission College, and the role that it is playing in meeting the needs of local employers for the kind of entry level workers that I described, all three of us described, in our opening remarks.
STATEMENT OF DR. MICHAEL RAO, PRESIDENT, MISSION COLLEGE, SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA
Mr. Rao. Thank you, Chairman Riggs.
And Chairman Riggs, Congresswoman Mink, Congressman Martinez, and all of our guests this morning, thank you all for being here.
I have been granted the honor of welcoming all of you to Mission College. I am very, very pleased that Mission College this morning serves as the site for what I think will be a very, very important discussion as we think about the future of our economic and social condition in this country.
I am now in my fourth year as president and very pleased to share with you that this has been one of my most exciting and certainly challenging times in my career. And as all of you can tell from looking at my face, it is been a very long time.
I have been very fortunate in that I did serve in the private sector as well as in the public education sector. I now am in the position to say that this job has probably given me the greatest level of personal and professional satisfaction that I have ever had, primarily because I believe that I am making the greatest contribution to my country's future that I can make.
When I began as college president, unfortunately, I faced probably one of the largest budget reductions in this college's history. This was a college and district of some wealth. It is at this point not like so many other colleges and universities throughout the country, sort of riding at the edge.
At the time that I began, we began with low morale and very few resources to make progress with what I had said would be our very greatest opportunity, and that is, of course, to become Silicon Valley's premier high tech college.
We serve a population whose needs range from those who are prepared for institutions like Stanford, to those who did not complete high school, and those who barely made it through high school.
We serve businesses that must hire graduates who are prepared to communicate in teams across a range of cultures and sometimes across a range of languages.
Our businesses need graduates who can apply their knowledge of mathematics, graduates who have developed the skills that enable them not only to learn how to use technologies that are changing, but to develop them.
With or without technology, one thing is very clear to me, and that is, thinking critically and creatively is exactly what our business needs to have in this area in order to be competitive in the arenas that they need to compete.
Our businesses struggle with nearly 20,000 open positions in the Silicon Valley area at any one given time. They struggle with an applicant pool that does not usually meet their needs, and they struggle to have to import an unusually large proportion of their intellectual capacity.
Silicon Valley, in my opinion, is only a microcosm of the way that most of our country will become in the next few years, not ten years, but in the next few years.
What we are looking at is a significant reduction in hands-based manufacturing to brains-based information intensive robotics production in a research and worldwide consumer oriented market. There will not be garden variety anyone. If you are an American and you are not the very best or the very most creative or the most knowledgeable, then you will probably not survive, in my opinion, in this country. You must be competent in using various types of technologies that will be changing all the time.
That most of us will have to have training beyond high school, there is almost no question in my mind. I did a quick estimate on my own based on what I see happening in the job market in this area, and it is my estimate that 90 percent of our high school students must attend an institution that offers some form of training beyond high school. In my mind frame, this is all a very reasonable evolution for our intellectually based human condition. Well, since I am in the business of higher education, obviously that serves me very well. I knew that the very, very best business to be in was higher education.
At Mission College, did we need to change ourselves in order to adapt to what has happened in such a short period of time? Yes. Was there a lot that we were doing right already, though? Absolutely.
Our focused strategic plan at Mission College has emphasized, of course, as I mentioned earlier, becoming Silicon Valley's premiere high tech college with some high tech training, of course, but also offering the very latest technologies on which to learn.
We also tended to focus on partnerships with business. Because we are in the middle of Silicon Valley, we have that advantage. But not just partnerships that involve having businesses give us money or give us free equipment. Everyone needs free equipment, needs money, and not just partnerships that have businesses come in and just simply tell us how to redo our curriculum and make everything so practical, but true partnerships.
Let me tell you about one of our partnerships that I think has worked very well. It is called Semiconductor Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering. Why did this work? It has worked because we invested. We invested over $350,000, and that money is not really our own. It was really Federal grants that came through our systems office and through the California community colleges.
It is also because we dedicated full-time faculty positions to this effort. We made some very distinct decisions that seemed to many people at that time to be fairly high risk.
It also worked because we had a very dedicated existing faculty, we have a couple members of that faculty in our audience today, and we have a very dedicated administration.
It also worked because Intel, one of our primary partners in this, provided full-time faculty paid summer internships. Our faculty worked during the summer in the lab at Intel, so they know the environment that their students will walk into after they finish school, or while they are in the process of finishing school.
It also involved eight high schools in the area. We needed to create clear pathways from any level of the school into college. That was very critical.
And very unusually, it involved a partnership with another community college. We often view ourselves as competitors in higher education, but we certainly don't in this area. We view ourselves as partners in regard to other community colleges because we know that our bandwidth is only so great. We know that their bandwidth is only so great, but together our bandwidth is potentially twice the size.
We're also, of course, in the process of creating other pathways into institutions like San Jose State for this program.
Intel invested a tremendous level of technical personnel in assisting us with the curriculum development. Intel, of course, at some point, once they believed that this was a true partnership, also invested a significant resource in equipment, and, to some extent, cash.
What has helped make all of this work is everybody connecting at every level. Me connecting with as many of the CEOs and human resource people as possible, and our faculty connecting during the faculty summer internships or at any other forum or arena with people who are at the technical level and can actually talk about what makes a successful worker successful.
You will be surprised that most of those discussions did not just talk about technical things. They talked about people who could communicate with each other who came from different places. People who knew how to understand the entire range of a system, not just what I work on, but how what I work on affects everybody else in the entire process. It is very, very significant.
It also involved our making an investment ourselves, saying that the few resources we have we are willing to put into this, and, of course, we expect something back from you, Intel, or you, AMD, or any other partner who is involved in this development.
I think it is also critical that the focus be on the development of a student, not just as a future employee but as a leader, who can use what she or he learns, not just content based, but, of course, the ability to apply what you learn.
Our significant issues that I would like to share with you are, number one, some cynicism about what we do in higher education: That we cost too much, and that we teach things that are not relevant.
What I would like to say is, at Mission College, we have built what I think we have by motivating our faculty, by not demoralizing them, by not removing resources, or creating artificial measures that really mean nothing in the grand scheme of things.
A lot of time we talk about the only measure of success being the number of degrees that we put out compared to the number of students that we have walk in. Frankly, in my experience, I have to say that that is not a good solid measure of success. What we do in the classroom is give students the ability to go out and apply what they learn. That is really what is significant. Five years ago, in all honesty, before I became president, I might have gone along with that degree of belief that success equals degrees. It does not, and I am absolutely a witness to that.
I think, also, one of our issues is a significantly greater proportion of our students, or a significantly greater proportion of our population is now going to college. What does that mean? We have a broader range of students with broader ranges of preparedness. It means we deal with all kinds of people now in higher education that 10 years ago, 5 years ago, we wouldn't have seen. They wouldn't have gone to school beyond high school.
We also deal with significant language and communication barriers, particularly along the coasts of our country, and I think we need to be cognizant of that. We need to be sensitive to these barriers and help equip our instructors with the kinds of technologies and other tools that will help them deal with making all of our people in this country successful.
We also need to focus on our faculty. We have, in this system alone, 50,000 full-time faculty in the community college system, and, of course, throughout the country we have huge, huge numbers of faculty who are there, who were hired 10, 20, 30 years ago. We have to help our critical partners in this process. We have to help them keep pace with change, particularly as it relates to technology.
I think we need faculty trained partnerships, particularly with corporations that are responsible for putting out the kinds of hardware and software that we are expected to, or could, use.
I think the corporate faculty internships are important, so their faculty has some variety in their lives, that they have a sense of where their students are going. That is an important investment our corporations can make.
I think it is also important to provide access to expensive software and equipment that regular budgets do not provide.
I also think we need resources to afford our faculty the time to develop themselves and develop ways of reaching broader ranges of students who are prepared at various levels, particularly using technology.
I urge your support of all our colleges and universities through public investment to expand access to the entire range of students who need us in order to survive. We need them all to go to college, and we need our colleges and universities to be an important part of our social and economic development in this country.
I urge your encouragement of true investments on the part of businesses in our intellectual organizations. What I mean by that is true investments of the kinds of investments where they spend not just their money but their time. I think their time is far more valuable to curriculum development, far more valuable to the relationships that we need for our faculty members.
I also urge your support for our most valuable resource, our faculty, through positive reinforcement, morale development, and, again, the investment of public resources.
I thank you very much for allowing me to share some thoughts with you. I hope that they are useful to you, and, again, I am so pleased that all of you could be here for this important discussion.
WRITTEN TESTIMONY OF DR. MICHAEL RAO, PRESIDENT, MISSION COLLEGE, SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA - SEE APPENDIX B
Chairman Riggs. Thank you, Dr. Rao, for your comments.
Will you be able to stay?
Mr. Rao. Yes.
Chairman Riggs. Because I think that all three of us look forward to the opportunity for some give and take after the other witnesses have completed their testimony.
Mr. Rao. I would enjoy that.
Chairman Riggs. Although I do hope that Mr. Slayton and Mr. Wulf will address in their remarks the role and responsibility of business in partnership with educational institutions, including, obviously, Mission College here in the heart of Silicon Valley.
Thank you again for the use of your facilities in today's hearing, and I would actually like to ask you to introduce our next witness, since you spoke glowingly of your administration and faculty.
Mr. Rao. That is very much my pleasure, Chairman Riggs.
Our next witness is Regina Stanback-Stroud, who is our Dean of Workforce and Matriculation Services. She came to Mission College a little over a year ago and has been a hurricane of energy, who has just helped us make all kinds of important things happen.
Chairman Riggs. I don't know about that hurricane analogy, though.
Ms. Stanback-Stroud. Well, I am from North Carolina.
Chairman Riggs. Good thing you didn't say El Nino.
Mr. Rao. That is right. I wouldn't do that.
Ms. Stanback-Stroud. Actually, I am from North Carolina, and it is very nice for me to hear frequent references to D.C. I lived in Washington, D.C., and went to Howard University.
My first experience at the Capitol was the opportunity to hear a Congressional hearing that was being held by Senator Ted Kennedy. I think my life and work was forever changed for the better as a result of that experience.
STATEMENT OF REGINA STANBACK-STROUD, DEAN OF WORKFORCE AND MATRICULATION SERVICES, MISSION COLLEGE, SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA
Ms. Stanback-Stroud. Chairman Riggs, Congressman Martinez and Congresswoman Mink, other members of the committee and staff, and, yes, thank you for the opportunity to contribute to your deliberations today.
As the Dean of Workforce Development and Matriculation Services, I am responsible for providing administrative leadership and support in the identification, and the implementation of programs that prepare people to participate in today's and, quite frankly, tomorrow's workforce.
The information revolution has changed forever the way people live, work, learn, and interact with each other. The implications of this revolution are particularly profound for education and educators. For the first time in history, faculty and students could have access to vast stores of information, resources, experts, collaborators, and peers, if the commitment to education is strong enough to equip the schools, colleges, and universities.
The information revolution also gives us the opportunity to make sound educational and public policy, based on the value of ensuring the nation's people have the opportunity to participate in our society and enjoy the benefits of democracy.
I believe these two components, access and opportunity, will impact and be impacted by virtually every decision made in the technological revolution by legislators, industry and education.
The revolutionizing of information technology does not have to push us into hasty public policy development. Instead, it should cause us to understand the profound impact our decisions will have on the Nation and the world, and the significance of such. This calls for sound public policy and decision making, not the anecdotal, sloganeering, sound-byte, orchestrated deliberations that commonly accompany emerging issues, trends, and things that go on that seem to be pervasive in political discourse that leads to public policy.
The discussion of technology and education is often based on the technological ends instead of the technological means. Such an erroneous substitution supports the frequent decisions by schools to invest in the infrastructure--the wiring, the networking, and the hardware--commonly, with one-time funding streams.
Therefore, several untoward conditions are created: The hardware is almost immediately obsolete, the support necessary for the use and maintenance of the systems never exists, and the faculty development is not available. Such conditions create the expenditure of funds on hardware that is not supported or used despite the fact that it is needed.
Funding of infrastructure and hardware with one-time funding streams creates the highest probability that hardware will become obsolete almost instantaneously. Yet, this is the predominant method to which education must resort in order to have a chance of receiving the technology. Educators and administrators feverishly write for grants or appeal to nearby philanthropic companies to bring in the fundamental resources to develop the nation's workforce.
The availability of systems maintenance is even more unlikely. Therefore, if a piece of hardware, software, or a structural component goes down, schools and colleges can experience significant downtime. Realizing such a situation, faculty are and should be hesitant to build their curriculum and pedagogical approach such that it relies on a system and structure that may or may not be available at the time of need. They are not willing to risk such a loss in productivity in relationship to the teaching and learning they are trying to produce.
Most disheartening is the constant chorus of the need to change from all aspects outside of the educational institution without the concurrent support for such change. Under the barrage of attacks on their professional expertise and integrity, faculty try to access professional development in order to integrate the use of the technology in their instruction. They recognize that almost any graduate in any field must be able to use the technology as it relates to their field immediately upon entering the workforce.
Yet, faculty watch millions of dollars committed to the development of software systems and almost nil committed to the learning of such systems. Because the technology has become so advanced, physics, English, nursing, and math teachers_ to name a few_ can and do focus their expertise on the actual subject matter content; however, faculty development enables them to competently and confidently use the technology without having to develop a separate expertise in another field.
Colleges and businesses have recognized the needs and developed some creative approaches to answering some of the unaddressed questions. To that end, the formation of partnerships can have an exponential effect on one's ability to develop and implement programs that educate or train the workforce.
I submit, however, that over-reliance on chance partnerships is an inconsistent and non-systematic way of developing the workforce. In essence, the results are demonstrated right now with staggering workforce needs that cause companies to recruit from places where schools are sufficiently supported, and the students do demonstrate such a benefit.
All too often, insufficiently supported schools and colleges sit next to palatial business buildings and starkly represent the effect of public policy that has not placed a sufficient priority on education. If the business has a sense of "corporate citizenship," it may pass new computers over to the school so that the kids who are actually learning keyboarding on a piece of construction paper, can actually see, touch, and feel a real one. But you have to rely on that chance partnership, or even that partnership that you develop.
Mission College has developed such partnerships and is fortunate to enjoy the benefits of geographical proximity, corporate interest, support, and ambitious faculty and staff.
However, even in the heart of the Silicon Valley, even sitting across the street from Intel and Cisco, even two miles away from Sun Microsystems, and even with the partnerships, with them all, Mission College could not and would not have been able to develop its new workforce preparation programs that President Rao referenced without the availability of Carl Perkins Funds. It is plain and simple, the Perkins Funds have provided the necessary support to create and to modify the programs.
Some of the programs that were created and supported with Perkins Funds were the semiconducting manufacturing technician program; the systems administration program that we are developing; the Unix certificate that we are developing; the hospitality management certificate and the integration of technology in that program; the health sciences core curriculum; the integration of academics and vocational education in graphic arts, and these are particularly relevant programs in the Silicon Valley; and the workplace learning resource center program, which is a program that is designed to increase the economic development initiative. It is designed to increase the basic skills literacy in the workplace, so that we can actually go into the company, look at different jobs in the company, and say: To do this job, you need math skills at this level, language skills at this level, and team building skills at a certain level.
Then we can assess their employees and say: Here's where your employees are, here's your gap, and here's the education or training that you need in order to close that gap. That is the program that we were expressly able to do because of the Carl Perkins Funds.
In addition are the customer service certificate program we are developing; the computer application certificates; the computer electronics technician program; multimedia program--music and graphic design-web graphics; the work experience, work-based learning center program; the fire science and technology program; networking and related computer applications collaborative; and career services, the job fair, job search, job retention program that we have.
That is to name a few that we would not be able to do were it not for the support of the Carl Perkins Funds, just in case you ask if the Federal Government had a role to play here.
The most difficult aspect of accessing Perkins Funds is that the constant or yearly move to abolish or re-configure a block grant, or whatever the trendy approach may be for the year, causes a significant problem with planning and implementation of the programs. Because we don't know whether the funding source will be abolished or not, we don't know whether to hire or keep staff, and we don't know whether to recruit the public to take the courses or not. We miss publication, marketing, outreach, and information deadlines and opportunities because we don't know whether the Perkins are going to be there because of what might be going on on a national level.
Then in the middle of the year, we may learn that we actually do have the funds, but it must all be used by June 30 of that year. No company would or should have to forego sound planning and implementation practices, nor should the public's institutions of learning have to do so.
The public has a right to expect programs that are developed and implemented with academic integrity. Given such an opportunity, education would not flinch at requests to be more accountable, flexible and responsive to the current workforce needs.
Thank you for the opportunity to contribute to your discussion.
I would be happy to answer any questions that you might have.
WRITTEN TESTIMONY OF REGINA STANBACK-STROUD, DEAN OF WORKFORCE AND MATRICULATION SERVICES, MISSION COLLEGE, SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA - SEE APPENDIX C
Chairman Riggs. Thank you very much, Dean, and, certainly, we are glad you mentioned the Perkins Act. You got our attention in so doing, because we worked very hard on a bipartisan authorization of the Carl Perkins Vocational, Educational and Technical Training Act earlier this year. That bill is now pending in the Senate. Some of us are very worried, with about 60, 65 legislative days remaining in this session of Congress, whether the Senate is going to act on that legislation in time to allow us to work out or reconcile any differences between the two versions of the bill. The conference committee may give a bill that we can send to the President for his consideration.
Suffice it to say, we are very concerned about authorizing and approving that statute and those programs which expand educational opportunity for our young people who are not college bound. We recognize that expanded vocational, educational, and technical training is critically important in this era.
We will look forward to reviewing your testimony and your suggestions in the context of that authorization, and I promise you that we will do that.
Secondly, when we get to the questions and the answers, I am going to ask you to tell me the difference between your very distinguished educational career and the education that your 14-year-old son, Michael, is receiving, and what differences you see in his education, if you will, pathway, versus the path that you have followed that has led you here to Mission College.
As I said at the outset, ladies and gentlemen, these hearings are focusing on the challenges the schools are facing trying to educate the students, and we have obviously now heard from Mission College and the challenges that educators face.
In a few moments, we will hear from Mrs. Selma Sax about what she is heading in the State that is designed also to meet these challenges, such as the new digital high school program. It is very exciting.
But now we will turn our attention to business, because business is, as the president and dean have suggested, a critical part in leading this challenge.
We are going to hear from leaders in the high tech field, National Semiconductor Corporation, and a president and CEO, Gregory Slayton, what he envisions the future to hold for our next generation.
Gregory Slayton is someone whom I have gotten to know previously. He is a very dynamic entrepreneur. He is president and CEO of MySoftware Company, and it is not my software company. It is his software company. He is wearing a hat that attests to that.
He is a former Fulbright Scholar to East Asia, and holds an MBA with Distinction from Harvard Business School. Prior to MySoftware Company, or his software company, Mr. Slayton was president and chief operating officer and a member of the board of ParaGraph International, an Internet software leader. He is fluent, I understand, in three languages in addition to English--French, Spanish and Filipino--and Mr. Slayton, we are glad you could be here this morning. We look forward to your testimony. Please proceed.
STATEMENT OF GREGORY SLAYTON, PRESIDENT AND CEO, MySOFTWARE COMPANY, PALO ALTO, CALIFORNIA
Mr. Slayton. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, and honorable members of Congress. It is an honor, actually, to be here today.
As the president and CEO of a small company, the company is publicly traded on the Nasdaq like many companies in the Valley, and like many companies in the high tech sector, MySoftware employs about 100 people. It has grown very rapidly, and like most high tech companies, it is less than 10 years old.
The other companies on which I served as a member of the board of directors are very similar to that, anywhere from 6 months old to 2 or 3 years old, from 50 to 500 people, all of them growing rapidly. That is what is exciting for us and our current and future employees. So, again, let me state that I am really delighted to be here, and I thank you for your time.
I believe that you may have access to my prepared remarks, so let me just cut to the quick, cut to the chase, so to speak, and summarize what I think might be really of some importance, at least from the industry side.
There is no question that what I call, what many people are starting to call, the Digital Century is upon us. Twenty-five percent of California's gross economic product this year will be from the high tech sector. It is expected, by the year 2000, over 60 percent of American jobs will require advanced technical skills, not just the ability to use the computer, but the ability to really understand what is going on behind the network and the system. Sixty percent, that is a very big number.
Our schools are really challenged to ensure that our children--my children, your children, our children in general--are ready for that challenge. The current reality is not very reassuring. When experts tell us that there are over 25 million American adults who are functionally illiterate, and there are large numbers, as I understand it--I am certainly no expert--but large numbers of children who graduate from our Nation's high schools, who are essentially functionally illiterate, that is certainly cause for concern.
I believe that high tech dealers by and large recognize the extent that we as an industry are completely dependent on the United States educational system for our most important economic asset. Remember, in my business, in our business, it is not about capital equipment. It is not about real estate. It is only about one thing: It is about intellectual property. That is really it, and that is everything in our business.
Professionals, competent professionals who can add to intellectual property, really, are the only productive asset that we need, obviously beyond a legal framework, et cetera, in terms of running the business. That is what we need.
So I think that we, as industry leaders, and I am speaking broadly, and I hope and do believe that I am more or less correct here, recognize the importance and the need to contribute as a partner, as you were saying, Dean, and President Rao, with the educational sector. I think Net Day 2000 was a good example of this. Working together with high schools and colleges a number of high tech businesses, helped schools across the State get wired to the Internet for about 40 percent less than if the money were coming from taxpayer dollars. I am proud to have been a part of that. I think we can use that as an example to go forward.
But what I would like to speak to you today about is not that kind of infrastructure building blocks and stuff. There is no question that there is absolutely a role for the private sector and the Federal Government. It is awfully expensive, standards are changing all the time, and it is difficult for us to keep up.
I can certainly understand what you were saying, Dean Stanback-Stroud, about the need for Federal and private sector support. I agree with you 100 percent on that, but there is a problem fundamentally. Not only do we have graduates from our Nation's high schools who are functionally illiterate, but also many of those, in my experience and the experience of other CEOs that I have spoken to, are not what I will call business literate or high tech literate. Yes, they can do mathematics. But they don't have even a basic understanding of what it is to run a business. What is a P&L, getting up and coming to work each day in a regular, consistent way, interacting with colleagues in a professional manner. I think these are things that are equally important in the education of our children, at least those who are interested in going into the private sector.
I was very interested in what President Rao said earlier as he was outlining the success of the program of Intel. I am certainly interested to hear a little more about that, because that is very similar to what I would like to propose today.
Today, though, there are over 350,000 unfilled high tech job openings in the United States, 350,000. These are not minimum wage jobs. These are jobs that are paying, in the Valley at least, between 60- to $80,000 with all kinds of outside potential, if you happen to pick a company that is doing well. We have very exciting opportunities.
We have tens of thousands of young people with solid educational and a basic business understanding that are desperately needed today, just here in the Valley. I am not talking about other people's districts. I am talking about just right here in the Valley, tens of thousands. So it is also interesting that America's youth clearly want to participate in building the companies that are shaping the so-called Digital Century.
So today--and I was just chatting with some colleagues about it--I would like to actually propose for your consideration the establishment of a technology intern program.
Mr. Campbell. Excuse me. If it was somebody else's district, I would be here right on time.
Mr. Slayton. So, again, given the incredible explosion need of our industries, and also the real interest that is seen again and again, as I speak to young people in high schools and even junior high schools across the land, what I would like to propose today is the establishment of the technology intern program.
What I would like to see is the technology intern program working to facilitate high tech industry's creation of 10,000 summer internships every summer, beginning, if possible, this year. At least we can get the thing off the ground. My goal would be to have 10,000 summer internships created by the year 2000.
There is just no question that there is a need within the industry for trained, capable young professionals; an internship program where somebody else has worried about things like liability and capability. Really, the intern program would greatly facilitate my company, upon which I am a member of the board, and other companies taking someone for a 2- or 3-month period, helping them learn, helping them understand how business works, how our industry, the high tech industry, works, and then getting them back to high school, community college, or whatever it is, much better equipped to go forward in any profession, whether they choose to be doctors or lawyers or teachers. Understanding the high tech industry, I believe, is going to be critical to all of us.
Per your comments earlier, Dean Stanback-Stroud, the idea of perhaps even including teachers in, obviously, not the same level of job, but perhaps higher jobs, would also be, potentially, very interesting.
These were remarks that you were speaking of earlier, Mr. Chairman.
So in any event, the technology intern program would be a nonprofit, nonpartisan, industry-wide effort to bring thousands of young men and women from high schools, community colleges, and colleges into the high tech workplace on a short summer-long basis to help them develop skills that they can apply to professional careers in virtually any field.
I believe that such a program would allow students to experience working in a high tech business environment and might lead to very productive, very profitable careers in that environment, and might simply lead to better citizens and better participants in the Digital Century that, again, is upon us.
So I would like to propose that for further consideration, and I thank you very much for your time.
Thank you, and I would be happy to answer any questions at the appropriate time.
WRITTEN TESTIMONY OF GREGORY SLAYTON, PRESIDENT AND CEO, MySOFTWARE COMPANY, PALO ALTO, CALIFORNIA - SEE APPENDIX D
Chairman Riggs. Thank you very much, Mr. Slayton.
We are pleased to be joined now by our colleague, Tom Campbell, whose district we are in.
We mentioned earlier how grateful we are to you and your office to arrange the hearing. We are happy you could join us, and we look forward to your comments.
We now turn to Ms. Selma Sax, who actually attended our first field hearing in Los Angeles.
Ms. Sax. I am sort of a groupie.
Chairman Riggs. Well, I certainly was not inferring that, but we were glad she was there at the hearing that we had at Mark Keppel High School in Alhambra.
We met there and I learned that she is an appointee of Governor Wilson. She is the chair of the Education Council for Technology in Learning. Ms. Sax is spearheading the initiative, as I said earlier, to promote technology and education, and she will talk today about the digital high school program that is currently being initiated in California under her leadership and the auspices of the Council for Technology.
So we are very glad you could be here this morning, and we look forward to your testimony.
STATEMENT OF SELMA SAX, CHAIRPERSON, EDUCATION COUNCIL FOR TECHNOLOGY IN LEARNING, STATE OF CALIFORNIA
Ms. Sax. Good morning. I am Selma Sax, and I am the chairperson of the Education Council for Technology in Learning for the State of California. The ECTL is a legislatively authorized body whose members come from public education and the private sector, and who serve as an advisory body to the State Board of Education in the area of educational technology. We serve without compensation.
I would like to tell you about our exciting educational technology initiative called "the Digital High School." Late in 1996, the Governor and key education and legislative people met to talk about what might be the most effective way to bring the power of educational technology to California students and their teachers. The discussion centered upon how to meet the needs of students and teachers at a high enough funding level to inform and enable the greatest educational impact.
California's goal of providing access to educational technology, hardware infrastructure, and content delivery seemed to be fragmented and unfocused. Some schools and districts were able to provide the resources to get on the "Information Superhighway" from a combination of State funding, Federal funding, and local funding, but the majority were not and even for those who had funding resources, the effort was not specifically targeted to one educational segment.
The statewide study, "Connect, Compete and Compute," woefully reported that California ranked near the bottom of all states in terms of number of computers to students, and that neither our teachers nor our students were becoming technology literate at nearly the rate we desired and knew was appropriate.
Governor Wilson was determined to find a way to intervene and enable California students to have access to this rapidly expanding "Information Superhighway," and what better place than at the high school level so that we could make a difference for a body of learners who were soon to leave our K-12 public education system to compete in a job market or attend a college or university program. And so the "Digital High School" initiative took shape.
You all received a copy of AB 64 which established the "Digital High School Education Technology Grant Act of 1997." I will highlight just a few of its provisions.
First, what is a "Digital High School"? The program is a three-phased grant designed to fund technology infrastructure, staff development for teachers, and an ongoing technology support at school sites, all of the areas that my fellow panelists addressed today.
Phase 1: 18 to 22 months. Allocates $300 per ADA, per enrolled student, from the State budget to be matched by the school district for technology infrastructure, program implementations using technology as tools to deliver meaningful content, student skill development for technology literacy and teacher staff training and development.
Phase 2: Begins after completion of Phase 1. It allocates an ongoing $45 per ADA from the State budget to be equally matched by the school district for ongoing staff development and technology support personnel, including programs for training and support for infrastructure.
Phase 3: The third phase is a continuation of the second. The legislature clearly outlines the specific criteria which must be met by the "Digital High Schools," including measurable student achievement outcomes and statewide evaluation on the effectiveness of the program by the State Department of Education. The Education Council for Technology in Learning, was charged with the responsibility for developing the specifics of the project application, the process for funding recommendations to the State Board of Education, and a hell of a lot of other stuff I would be happy to tell you about.
The first year allocation was $100 million, certainly not enough money to fund all of California's 1,700 high schools, 840 of which are comprehensive or traditional high schools, and the balance of which are county office of education operated schools and programs and continuation and alternative high schools. It was, therefore, determined that a random lottery system would be implemented as the fairest way to proceed each year until all of the schools were in line for funding.
Let me pause here to say this is not a competitive grant process, nor a true entitlement type process, but rather a hybrid. Each "Digital High School" applicant must write to the project application, addressing all the component parts and meet the requirements of the legislation as explained in the project application itself. How each individual high school determines what equipment they will purchase, and what programs they will develop to teach their students and train their teachers is a local decision. The key is that the project plan shows that it has been developed with clear objectives which will result in a successful implementation.
In this first year, fiscal year 1997-98, the random drawing resulted in 216 high schools selected, based on the funding allocated. A profile of the 216 is attached.
The Governor has proposed $136 million in his budget for fiscal year 1999 for "Digital High Schools," which will result in approximately 275 to 300 high schools being selected. Money has also been set aside in the budget for Phase 2 funding for the current year applicants.
Where are we now? The project application process referenced earlier has been approved by the State Board of Education, and the 216 "first rounders" are in the process of developing their proposals. The ECTL has only seen six completed applications at this point. Many more are in the reading phase at the local level, and we expect the bulk of the applications to come before us, ECTL, between May and December.
The reaction to this initiative has been overwhelmingly positive. Stakeholders in school districts, from teachers to parents and school board members, to members of the business community, are excited about having an opportunity to jump start the high school cars on the "Information Superhighway," and enable this current generation of high-schoolers to get onto the next phase of their lives with the information literacy skills and tools they need to be successful.
Finally, a new mandate in California in regard to teacher training and technology. Assemblywoman Kerry Mazzoni, chair of the Assembly Education Committee, sponsored legislation which was chaptered that requires teacher credential candidates to demonstrate proficiency in the application of technology in the curriculum in order to receive their teaching certificate. In addition, the legislation applies to credential renewal for existing teachers. We believe the "Digital High School" staff development component will be an important part of helping current teachers meet this renewal requirement.
In addition, the Federal Technology Challenge Grant Program on teacher staff development just noticed in the Federal Register--applications due May 25th--will also provide funding to help our pre-service teachers meet technology literacy standards, and California has every intention to write a strong grant proposal. We also understand that there are additional grant proposals being discussed for fiscal year 1999, which would provide a substantial amount of funding to states to award grants for professional staff development programs, and we, of course, would look forward to developing solid applications for those funds as well.
We believe a key component to the successful use of the technology infrastructure, on which we have spent considerable resources, is technology staff training and ongoing staff development programs. This process is expensive, both in money and time, but without this type of ongoing commitment to teacher training and implementing technology into teaching strategies and student learning, we will have expended a great deal of the public's funds without seeing student improvement_ an unacceptable outcome.
Lastly, as one who has served as a locally elected school board member for 8 years, I can tell you that accountability and sustainability are key issues which require attention as well.
To close, State legislation is being proposed this session to bring the "Digital High School" program and process to our elementary and middle schools. It is far too early to tell if that legislation will pass, but clearly California's direction is to allocate sufficient resources to an educational segment to enable meaningful impact, and, thus, greater chance for successful outcomes.
I thank you for your invitation to speak to you today and welcome your comments and questions.
WRITTEN TESTIMONY OF SELMA SAX, CHAIRPERSON, EDUCATION COUNCIL FOR TECHNOLOGY IN LEARNING, STATE OF CALIFORNIA - SEE APPENDIX E
Chairman Riggs. Thank you very much, Ms. Sax, for your concise testimony. We look forward to the opportunity to have some give-and-take with you.
How many secondary schools are currently participating?
Ms. Sax. The first year, 216.
Chairman Riggs. And what was the average grant per school?
Ms. Sax. The average grant, is about $438,000. It is based on ADA, and then there is an equal match. That is where our friends in business and industry have come forward to help enable that match.
Chairman Riggs. The funding for that is all State taxpayer funding?
Ms. Sax. Correct.
Chairman Riggs. Did I understand you correctly to say that the law has been changed in California to require demonstrated--how did you put it--technological proficiency or literacy?
Ms. Sax. Proficiency in the application of technology in the curriculum.
It is not just teachers that have to know how to turn it on, or how to do word processing, or use e-mail.
They will have to do demonstrations of their use of the technology to further student learning. It is not just throwing up a Powerpoint demonstration and saying, "See, I can do this."
Chairman Riggs. That is a condition or requirement.
Ms. Sax. For credential.
Chairman Riggs. For credential.
Does State Senator Campbell have anything to do with that?
Ms. Sax. No.
Mr. Campbell. The question is whether I would pass the test.
Chairman Riggs. Yes. Hopefully that test won't apply to Members of Congress.
Ms. Sax. Or former school board members or teachers.
Chairman Riggs. Yes.
We now turn to our last witness of this panel, and he is Mr. Tom Wulf. Mr. Wulf is director of Worldwide Staffing for National Semiconductor Corporation, as I mentioned earlier, one of the recognized leaders in the high technology industry. Mr. Wulf is part of the Silicon Valley Workforce Initiative and a member of the Northern California Technical Resources Committee.
He has authored a paper, "Maintaining a Competitive Workforce," which would appear to be very timely and topical.
He has two children, so I should ask him the question, how his children’s education differed from his own. One attends CalPoly and the other is at UCLA.
Also, I understand your wife is also very involved in education with a gifted and talented education program here in Silicon Valley.
Thank you for being here this morning. Please proceed with your testimony.
STATEMENT OF TOM WULF, DIRECTOR OF STAFFING, NATIONAL SEMICONDUCTOR CORPORATION, SUNNYVALE, CALIFORNIA
Mr. Wulf. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, members of the subcommittee.
Similar to Mr. Slayton, I will summarize the remarks to keep this within the 5 minutes allotted.
National Semiconductor is a Fortune 500 company, based here in Santa Clara, where we employ about 4,000 of our 13,000 worldwide employees.
I would like to thank you for giving me this opportunity to speak this morning and share our thoughts on workforce issues that face the company and the high tech industry in general.
Our products can be found in over half the PCs produced in the world today. Our products are also found in a lot of the everyday devices that we now use, such as cell phones, monitors, fax machines, scanners, automobiles, CD players, and VCRs.
Because of increased demand for high tech products, research estimates worldwide sales of semiconductors will double between 1996 and 2000, to nearly $300 billion in sales.
Further, the electronics industry is the largest industrial employer in the U.S., reporting 2.6 million jobs in 1995. Since 1992, jobs in the electronics industry have increased by more than 20 percent. In 1996, 65 of every 1,000 private sector workers in California were employed in high tech firms. Projections indicate that the industry will need approximately 40,000 more technicians and skilled operators through 2002.
Despite the success in the high tech industry, the number of Americans trained in engineering and computer science dropped significantly from 50,000 in 1986, to 36,000 in 1994. Fewer than 20,000 electrical engineering degrees have been awarded annually in recent years.
The graduation level is approximately 10,000 a year or less than what it was in 1980, and yet the Commerce Department projections are that U.S. industry alone will need 95,000 new computer scientists, engineers, systems analysts and computer programmers through 2005.
The shortage and supply of these highly technical people at the university level will clearly short-circuit the overall productivity of America. We need to find ways for government, industry, and academia to work together to increase the math and science capabilities for the developing future engineers.
While this next point shouldn't be confused with the need that was mentioned earlier by the chairman, in East Palo Alto, in addition, we need to lift the immigration cap to allow a lot more highly qualified engineers into the U.S.
In lieu of serious and immediate attention to these two issues, design and product development will move offshore at a more rapid rate. Moving one job offshore creates many support jobs at the entry level, and so we are very concerned with any of these jobs that move offshore for us not having available senior level technical talents to keep our industry robust.
Manufacturing depends on product design and development to meet the customer's needs for new and advanced products. About 47 percent of National's manufacturing job applicants in the past 12 months were unable to pass the basic standard skills test, as Mr. Slayton pointed out, with literacy.
As we approach the millennium, our schools face serious challenges in educating the workforce of tomorrow. Although funding to purchase the tools of the information economy is improving, schools must also address the lack of time, resources and expertise to teach these concepts to their students--your point, Ms. Sax.
In its surrounding communities, National has used its technical expertise and commitment to supporting the local community and school systems facing those serious challenges.
This past year, National Semiconductor launched an innovative three year, $2.5 million program to support teachers access to free Internet training and to encourage Internet use in the classroom.
This is the buildup to the Global Connections, which is a three-part program. Global Connections is a leader-led training course designed to provide teachers with the knowledge, skills, and support necessary to integrate the Internet into the curricula.
Secondly, the Global Connections Online, making the most of the Internet in the classroom, is an interactive Web-based version of Global Connections providing free Internet training to educators throughout the world who have access to the Internet.
As an incentive, the Internet Innovator Awards is a program developed by National to encourage Internet use by providing cash awards to K through 12 teachers who demonstrate the highest level of innovation in integrating the Internet in the classrooms.
Last year alone, over $5 million was invested on classroom technology in the U.S. When the investment is coupled with teacher training and support, National believes its program will have a significant impact on teaching and learning and be a model for industry.
In closing, potential applicants are not meeting the minimum standards required to work at National, as well as other high tech companies. There are significant concerns that the number of engineering graduates will be insufficient to meet the high tech needs, and, again, government and industry must find the solution as partners to this problem.
I would like to encourage you to visit our National Semiconductor Global Connections Web site, which is nsglobalconnections.com. It is noted at the last part of our written presentation.
I would like to thank you for the opportunity to present these thoughts.
WRITTEN TESTIMONY OF TOM WULF, DIRECTOR OF STAFFING, NATIONAL SEMICONDUCTOR CORPORATION, SUNNYVALE, CALIFORNIA - SEE APPENDIX F
Mr. Campbell. [Presiding.] Thank you, Mr. Wulf.
In our chairman's absence, he has asked me to proceed with our questions.
I would like to defer to the ranking Democratic member of our committee to commence our questioning, our good friend and colleague, Congressman Martinez.
Mr. Martinez. Thank you, Mr. Campbell.
It is funny, we have had a hearing on this subject in my district, and we have heard certain testimony that has been communicated about people for these jobs.
Also, there was lack of a concerted effort on the part of education at this point to do something about it. It is just starting to evolve now, which means that our shortage will last for a good bit longer.
I have a copy of U.S. News and World Report. Of course, I don't believe everything I read in there anyway, but I wondered where they get their information.
I am going to submit this for our record, because I think, the other side of the debate, and it seems there is now beginning to be one, should be part of the record at this hearing.
It says, "Too Old to Write Code." At the beginning of the article, it talks about several people, a Paul Petersen, 46, who used to earn $65,000 a year writing software. He is now managing a Radio Shack at one-third of what he made before.
It talks about another gentleman who had a 30-year career in Controlled Data with General Electric, and he has been unable to find a job.
Alan Neezer, 45, got just one job interview despite 10 years of experience in Java programming language. He was unable to get a job.
And then I will just read this one paragraph here: One wonders how employers can be so hungry for talent, at the same time so crazy about finding somebody who can do whatever they need, has been doing it for the last three years, and is doing it right next door this minute, says Stephen Lane, a Los Altos, California, systems management consultant. This is an all-or-nothing approach.
This all-or-nothing approach leads some hiring managers to let vacancies go unfilled for months, says Andrew Gaynor, a head-hunter based in Redwood City, California. Rather than considering an applicant who was a little trained, who could easily come up to speed in a few weeks, another bay area head-hunter, Susan Miller notes, "Much of the money is spent stealing people from other companies. Everybody wants the same person."
Miller said: This is one of the problems in the Silicon Valley. It is making me rich,--the head-hunter is saying that-- as a matter of fact.
Then Norman Matlock says: What shortage? A computer scientist on the faculty at the University of California at Davis has made himself the scourge of Silicon Valley by depicting the programmer shortage as a piece of flim-flam that diverts attention from two potentially unattractive software industry practices: ageism and growing reliance on foreign workers.
Now, we had from one of the people who testified before at the Mark Keppel hearing ask us to change the immigration laws so we could make it easier for them to recruit foreign help. We are not about that. We are about training our young people for those jobs rather than employing foreign help.
The other thing is, I don't know how that would fly in Congress, on either side of our aisle, since both sides of the aisle have been reticent to expand immigration laws to approve more people coming into this country and trying to do something about illegal immigration.
The last thing, and then I would like particularly Mr. Wulf and Mr. Slayton to respond to this, since they are both from the industry, it says, "What the industry mainly wants is the ability to fill its personnel needs with recent college graduates and noncitizens, two categories of workers predisposed to work the longest hours for the least money."
I don't believe everything I read in the paper, but since I am going to submit this for our record, since both sides should be in the record, I would like to have your response.
Mr. Campbell. Unanimous consent to make it part of the record, the article referred to in the U.S. News and World Report, without objection. And we are operating on a 5-minute rule with 15 seconds left.
[The information follows:]
ARTICLE FROM THE MARCH 16, 1998 ISSUE OF U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT, TITLED "TOO OLD TO WRITE CODE?" – SEE APPENDIX G
Mr. Campbell. I alerted my colleague from Hawaii, in showing a little bit of our courtesy, you can go next. Perhaps you would like to follow up on Congressman Martinez's questions.
Mr. Wulf. Well, two points come to mind. First of all, there is considerable confusion when we talk about lifting the immigration cap. We are not talking about lifting it for the same people that are unemployed.
Secondly, I am very new to the Silicon Valley. I spent my life with an engineering company outside of this area. I am struck by our half-life of new technology.
We find that, there are certainly incredibly talented people around the country that could, in fact, be trained and possibly, for whatever reason, find themselves not quite up to speed on technology, because the half-life of this technology is very short, and it does cause companies to be attracted to people, new college graduates coming out, but not for the reasons stated. If you look at the salary levels of people coming out of school, there is certainly not a margin at all. They are rising very, very rapidly.
So I believe that you read that, but I agree with you, I wouldn't believe what you read in that article.
Mr. Slayton. Congressman Martinez, there is no question that the industry must help train folks from our country, younger people. In fact, the technology intern program is very much designed to, help community college graduates and high school graduates and students, to better understand what is required for them to be productive professionals.
That said, I am fully supportive of our proposal that Mr. Wulf put forward to rethink the way that we do immigration in this country. The reality is, we will be the leaders in the Digital Century or we won't.
If we are not, let me suggest that hundreds and thousands of the best paying jobs are at stake. If we want to let another country steal the march on us in being digital leaders, that would be a great shame.
Working together with Congress, I would certainly like to see something done so that we don't have to export jobs. Whether or not this is true, it probably is, I have no idea, but the reality is, jobs that won't get filled in the Silicon Valley, my company has to fill by going to Russia, Israel, Germany, or somewhere. We need that technology. We need to get it done.
If we can't find the right person in the Valley, we will and we do export jobs, and that is unfortunate. I would rather not do it, but my shareholders say, "Get it done."
Mr. Campbell. Your time has expired.
The gentlelady from Hawaii.
Mrs. Mink. Following on my colleague's question, could either of you in the private sector comment. Based on your own experience in your company or knowledge of your industry, how many jobs are exported because of the lack of trained personnel that you can't find in the vicinity?
Mr. Wulf. I can't speak to exactly how many. They are increasing.
We are looking for design center opportunities around the world, and what I mean in terms of opportunities is places where there are talented people, where there is a labor pool of talented, degreed, highly technical engineering people. Mr. Slayton mentioned Israel and Germany. There are several places around the world. We have 23 design centers around the world. They range from 12 to 50 people. Having the opportunity in technology to move information, it is very easy to have people work in different parts of the world and, of course, their support staff as well.
Mrs. Mink. Is there any data anywhere that could be made available to this subcommittee to give us an idea as to how many jobs are currently being exported already? You told us how many jobs go into the field. There are a huge amount of jobs that are not being filled, 350,000 nationwide.
And the next conclusion is, the jobs are not being filled, they are essential, so you export them elsewhere in order to get the job done. So where can we get this information to fill in the information gap as to how many jobs?
The follow-up to that is, how many jobs are being filled in this country in your field of endeavor from foreign immigrants being brought in specifically for these high tech jobs? That is the second part of our question.
Mr. Slayton. The first question, I, of course, don't have specific data for you, but I am sure that your competent counsel could, by going through the annual reports of 10Ks of leading public companies, where we are all forced to report, and rightfully so, exactly what we earn on a quarterly basis. You can certainly estimate how many centers of production or development are being established offshore, and the approximate number of employees in those.
That would be a good estimate at least of the public companies, and of course, those are, by and large, the larger and most successful of the companies. So I think that type of analysis could be done and would probably be very interesting.
Mrs. Mink. The other question is, given the situation of so many jobs going wanting because you don't have the qualified staff, the qualified applicant to fill a particular slot, now, industry wide, in terms of your knowledge of the industry and not just your company, what is being done by the high tech companies to hire someone and to develop a training program which would encompass 6 months or a year to bring that individual up to full capacity so that you would really be in the business also of training and upgrading?
That is a twofold question: Rather than lose someone because you say high tech is constantly moving and you have to upgrade and pretty soon, if you don't, you are so far behind you are bound to the company, what is being done to keep that person up to snuff, so to speak; and, secondly, what is being done in the industry to incorporate on-the-job training to help these people fill these jobs, if anything?
Ms. Stanback-Stroud. Precisely what you are suggesting, many companies have many creative ways, programs, initiatives, and endeavors wherein they try to address their particular workforce needs.
That is precisely the example that I gave, that companies invested in an educational structure. Companies do what they do, and education is what we do. So companies are in a good position to partner with education. We could do that with them and for them.
The difference is, if you rely on the individual company to do that, then you end up with spots of success or spots of efforts and inconsistencies in those efforts, and so you may or may not have those jobs filled.
Whereas if you look at an overall comprehensive approach to supporting education, building or creating the opportunities for those partnerships on a more comprehensive level, then you have the increased propensity for that type of approach to be successful.
Otherwise, it will be the individual companies, and other than talking about their specific companies, I imagine there are many representatives of industry that you could bring in, and you would have that many different types of programs that they have either exclusively, in partnership with education, or in partnership with other institutions to be able to support their workforce.
Mr. Campbell. Thank you. We will have a second round of questions.
I wanted to address the question to the three academics on our panel.
First of all, my apologies for not being here at the start.
I wanted to move to the methods of teaching in high technology, not so much now preparing the students to be in high technology, but using high technology to teach them.
Chairperson Sax, Dean Stanback-Stroud, and President Rao, you each might have a point to share on this. Here's what I am interested in: I used to be a full-time professor teaching international trade. Teaching the law of dumping and duties is relatively straightforward in a computer way. One can have a student calculate dumping margins and see if the student made a mistake or not. Then you can automatically provide examples and do it again until you get it right.
I noticed when I was teaching it, some students got the issue right away, and I was boring them with other examples. Other students didn't even get it, after all the examples I had. Had I not gone into politics, I would have gone into this on-line. One would have been able to learn the law of trade of the United States on-line. I would have been in my office, but I would have, I think, moved into this technological way.
Now, it probably would have worked for other subjects as well, yet it won't work at all for others. What is going on?
May I begin, perhaps, with the Dean, and then whoever; what is going on now?
Ms. Stanback-Stroud. Well, I think that what is going on now, pedagogically it varies with different teaching institutions and different teaching styles, different pieces of subject matters, and different levels of expertise. I think that there is a range of practice in education that there may be faculty, let's say, in a particular discipline that do not integrate technology at all, and don't necessarily agree that it has a role in their discipline.
There may be faculty in that very same discipline that operate almost exclusively with the support of technology.
So when you ask, what is going on, if you look at what is happening across the community college system in the State of California, you will see those ranges no longer continue. Depending on their level of expertise, and on the area of support that the faculty has, then you will see different things put in practice.
I had the pleasure of witnessing a presentation to a joint board of trustees, board of governors for the California State University and the California Community Colleges at the system level. They were talking about the benefits of technology and what could happen between our two systems, and what could happen in the classroom. While the board members saw a presentation, the person who was giving the presentation had projector equipment, software, laptop, all kinds of stuff going on in the middle. There was a person over on this side that was reading the text as they talked about it. There were some systems people making sure it didn't break down, because if it did, you had two boards here to present.
One of the faculty members leaned over and said, if I had that kind of support and those kinds of things, I could do this, too.
So I think that you will see different levels of practice.
Mr. Campbell. I turn to President Rao and ask, do you have any effort at Mission College to make professors try this?
Mr. Rao. I think the thrust of what I was saying this morning is that we specifically tried in dealing with a very, an almost horrible financial situation when I started, needing to cut $2 million out of a less than $20 million budget, claiming that we wanted to become Silicon Valley's premier high tech institution.
It didn't position us very well, given that one of the downsides of technology is that it is very expensive. Usually it means that something else will not happen in order to let technology happen just because it takes money to get it there. But our location really did help us because we got a lot of support in terms of donated equipment. Not everybody has that, obviously.
Through a lot of positive reinforcement, acquiring federally based grants, we were able to put people in positions so that they could release themselves from part of their teaching load to make some time to create software modules, and multimedia modules, that would enable them to get excited about doing things in different ways.
To go back, if I may, to the first part of your question, we do a lot at Mission College. In fact, we are at about $8.5 million worth of grants at this point at Mission, because, in part, the motivation that we had, because we didn't have other resources, and those sources include the Packard Foundation and many others outside the Federal sources.
But the thing I think that has been significant for us at Mission is the flexibility that technology offers us. It just opens access in ways we could not have had open access before. I speak in terms of motivational access. You are talking about a large number of graduates who are coming out of high school, who are clearly not as interested in getting involved in opening a book or sitting in class for 50 minutes a day for five days a week, times however many units they take. We are talking about major language barriers, and varying levels of preparedness.
If you have a student who is really not ready to be in a class, one of the options that we provide is self-paced study in computer laboratories. That is a tremendous, tremendous advantage for us.
The other form of access is financial access. We offer these open labs, self-paced labs when we are not able to open more sections of regular course work, because we just don't have the money from the State in high demand areas, and, of course, despite the fact that I am from Mission College, I have to, on behalf of my colleagues throughout the rest of the country, make a pitch for technology in terms of what it does for geographic access. There is a large, large proportion of our country that is sparsely populated, and many of those people still need access to higher education in order to be able to hope to survive in the economy that we live in and will live in the next few years. They must have access through some means other than having to attend the campus, and for them, that is very, very critical.
In the last 4 or 5 years, I, myself, have been able to witness the incredible enhancement in quality of a lot of the software that is available, and, of course, the speed that so many of our companies in this area are able to offer the speed to which these programs execute. It is just incredible; and the interactiveness is incredible. That is critical. The interactiveness is very, very important, but again the downsides can be expenses.
The other downside is that you find me one student who spent--well, maybe you will find me one student--but there are very few students, in my opinion, who are willing to take an entire degree program, or an entire learning program through just using technology. There is an important human element to that. I am very high on technology.
Ultimately, I don't think that you can make the thousands and thousands of faculty members who we have on our campuses throughout this country do anything. I think you have to get them excited about it.
What happens is, once you get a small proportion excited, their enthusiasm is extraordinarily contagious. Right now, we have 50 percent of our faculty members who are all doing something other than just simply teaching in front of a crowd of 40 to 100 students.
Mr. Campbell. President Rao, I am shocked and disappointed that you cannot make faculty do what you want them to do.
Mr. Rao. Well, it is not as easy as it was for President Caspar to make you do what he wanted you to do.
Mr. Campbell. The chair will give Chairlady Sax a chance, because I also put the question to her.
Ms. Sax. We, of course, have a different situation at the K-12 level than at the higher education level.
But three quick points: Number one, although you can't make teachers employ technology, I think the impetus and the legislation that is chaptered in the State education code is going to have a great deal of impetus for our teachers coming out of CSUs and other teaching training institutions.
Second of all, if teachers see, and I think they are beginning to see, a value added to the excitement in their classroom, we all recognize that each child learns in a different way. If a teacher reaches a child that has never been reached before, that teacher becomes a card-carrying vanguard for the use of technology in that classroom, because teachers are in classrooms because they want to help students learn. If they see a value to using that technology to teach those children, then that teacher will learn outrageously on his or her own time to do this.
Finally, I really believe if a teacher feels that the equipment is not going to break down, and that if it does, there will be someone to help that person put it back together and utilize it, then you will see the implementation of technology ubiquitously.
It is our dream to walk into a classroom anywhere in this state and not to stop and remark about the fact that there are televisions and VCRs and laser disks and computers in that classroom, any more than we would stop and say, "It's a chalkboard and the teacher is using chalk." It should be so ubiquitous and seamless, that it simply is a bunch of people learning, teachers and kids together.
Mr. Campbell. Thank you.
Chairman Riggs. [Presiding.] Thank you, Tom, and Mr. Wulf, I apologize for stepping out of the room during the middle of your testimony. I do look forward to having an opportunity here to pose questions to you.
I understand you completed the first round, and that Tom, in my absence, enforced the 5-minute rule. So I know that I am going to exceed the 5-minute rule that we normally apply in Congressional committee hearings.
So with the indulgence of my colleagues and witnesses, I will pose my questions and then we will have a second round before the conclusion of our hearing.
Let me, at the outset, make sure that I can find consensus here, being that, we are at risk of becoming a two-tiered society with a semi-permanent underclass that is a function of one's knowledge and skills. We too often, I think, define it in terms of one's financial status or material wealth, but it really is more of a function of education and training, beginning, obviously, in our earliest grades.
I hearken back to a field hearing. I don't know if Patsy was there, but I believe she may have been because she is the ranking member of the subcommittee. We had a field hearing in Southern California on the campus of California State University at Northridge. I was stunned by the testimony of, if I recall right, the president of the California State University system, the senior vice president and academic dean of the University of California system, and Dr. Ralph York Boss, the chancellor of the California Community College system, when they said that somewhere in the neighborhood of 60 percent of all young people entering those august institutions of higher learning need a remedial education. They pleaded with us as their number one funding priority not to reduce funding for remedial education.
So, again, my question is: What does that say for the future of education , particularly in technology? I would have to believe, obviously, that it does not augur well for the future, and it certainly doesn't speak to the needs articulated by Mr. Slayton and Mr. Wulf for those technologically competent and computer literate entry level workers that they need.
Let me ask you and the dean, how much of a problem of remedial education is here at Mission College, and how do you address that problem or concern, particularly where you have attempted to develop as part of your mission an educational curriculum that meets the needs of Silicon Valley?
Mr. Rao. I think it is important, and I did not understand this before I began, but I definitely understand it now. It is important to make sure that everyone understands that remedial is tricky, and that you may have a student who is taking a remedial course in mathematics, but who is also taking a college level history course and performing just as fine as anyone else, or an English class, and is doing just as well as anyone else in that class. A lot of times remediation is demonstrated in one area rather than having a student who is completely deficient in all areas, although that obviously happens at various places.
It is important to say that the other thing I think gets confused when we talk about remediation is a language barrier. We have a large proportion, particularly along the coastal regions of our country, of people who are foreign born. They come to our country for various reasons, and want to be active participants in society. They also know that in order to do that, they have to get some form of training beyond high school, and they certainly need to learn how to speak English. I am not completely convinced that everyone who needs to learn how to speak English is to be considered remedial, in that there are adults who oftentimes learn English very quickly.
I think that is probably why our colleagues shared with you the importance of continuing with support for what we have been calling remediation, even though that is not my favorite term at all, because I don't think it is fair.
But I think we do need to deal with the realities, and the realities are that we do have so much larger a proportion of our population going to college now, because they know they have to, but possibly they didn't think about that when they were in high school or in junior high or so on and so forth, and, in many cases, they are not ready for college. We need to deal with that so we have some hope of keeping our country in the economic shape that we need it to be in to be competitive with, what is now clearly, a worldwide economy.
One of the things we could do, and inherent in my remark is the need to deal with clear pathways, is institutionalize the need, if you will, nationwide, to go to college, and that you will not just simply be able to finish at high school, but it will be expected that 90 percent of us go to college.
We need to make that a clear pathway in the eyes of a first grade student, that they will head in that direction. I don't think we have done a good job of that, and there are lots of reasons for that, but it is obviously an agenda item that we need to deal with.
Chairman Riggs. Let me follow up and ask the dean a question about that.
You talked about your partnerships with private industry and private business, the private sector, but what kind of partnerships does Mission College have with secondary schools, and high schools, in Santa Clara County, the county in the Silicon Valley, and how does that fit into your workforce?
Ms. Stanback-Stroud. Actually, one of the programs which I am responsible for is the TechPrep program supported by TechPrep dollars, and that is a comprehensive articulation process whereby career pathways can be developed.
At Mission College, we predominantly focus on drafting and engineering as an area, and have recently written to expand that to include computer applications, hospitality management, and health sciences in developing those pathways.
So we have agreements with various high schools in the area that their students will be able to, if they take certain courses in the high schools, matriculate into our program without having to duplicate or repeat certain activities. Of course, as well, we have them continuing to be able to articulate on into the university as well.
Chairman Riggs. Are those focused on the 11th and 12th years of education?
Ms. Stanback-Stroud. That is right.
Chairman Riggs. Do you think that should be driven down to lower grades?
Ms. Stanback-Stroud. Well, it depends on the other schools' participation and school to work initiative.
I think one of the consequences of the school to work in California schools career initiative was to drive it down to a little bit lower level, such that you started having those discussions in eighth and ninth grade, and that the initial discussions on degrees and certificates, and the articulation of those degrees and certificates started for the eighth grade in the school to career movement in California. So, it easily aligned itself with TechPrep, which was more focused at that time on the 11th and 12th year.
Chairman Riggs. Mr. Slayton, in your technology intern program, do you see private businesses getting referrals from high schools and colleges? Is that how you find these interns, A, and, B, would an intern who has a successful internship work experience, and continues to do well in school, be assured employment?
Mr. Slayton. At that particular workplace, there is a Federal program, I believe, that, I believe, the National Security Agency, maybe the CIA, but it is possible for a young person today, to get, I think, although I don't know--the National Security, I know, has an internship scholarship program today for young people, where a young person can obtain a full four-year college scholarship at an institution of higher learning, some of the most prestigious colleges and universities in the country, where they can work in that agency for a stipulated period of time after graduation.
Chairman Riggs. How do you see this program actually working?
Mr. Slayton. Well, in answer to your second question, Mr. Chairman, I would definitely not recommend that anything be stipulated in terms of, if you work for three months then you will absolutely have a job, because that is not a free market.
It was very interesting, Congresswoman, when you said 6 to 12 months. I was just smiling to myself because, in 6 to 12 months, if we make a bunch of mistakes we are out of business. This is not the automobile industry or the cement industry, or industries that have long been mainstays in this country. Literally, 6 months is a product cycle for us; 12 months is two product cycles. In two product cycles, if I make too many mistakes, literally, my company is out of business. So I think in 90-day, 180-day chunks, that is how we plan, that is how we work. Companies that are successful execute better than others in that time frame.
But, Mr. Chairman, with respect to your comments or your question, rather, I do think that if a student would go to an employer and would demonstrate competence and ability to learn and get the job done, again, this is an exploding field. With all due respect, Mr. Martinez, this is a field where people are literally looking for qualified professionals, in my experience, in all age ranges. What is really required here is the ability to produce intellectual value. I think, at any age range, people can produce intellectual value.
If a student or a teacher or anyone were able to go and demonstrate that they have the capacity to do that, I think they would be highly welcome, as long as the business continued to grow, but there probably would be a job for them subsequent to their graduation.
Chairman Riggs. Ms. Sax, you were at the first hearing in Los Angeles, specifically at Mark Keppel High School in Alhambra, and you heard our witnesses there talk about--and this frankly surprised me a great deal--the stigma that is associated with information technology or high technology jobs.
Maybe stigma is too harsh a word, but they talked about the fact that young people today seem less interested than ever before in an engineering career, and the difficulty of attracting young people into a 2-year or 4-year degreed institution in pursuing math and science or an engineering major. They talked, I think, about the concept of being a techno-nerd.
Ms. Sax. Right.
Chairman Riggs. I am wondering, A, have you experienced it? Do you think that phenomenon is real, and how are you addressing it with your program?
Ms. Sax. First of all, let me back up for a moment and say, part of the difficulty with this issue of techno-nerd is the fact that we have not done a successful enough job with our young people from grammar school age.
We have put a box around mathematics and science, and we have created around that box the fear level to the extent that we have discouraged a lot of girls, and we have discouraged a lot of robust looking boys in that area.
So to one extent, I agree that we have a self-fulfilling prophecy because of the way we have approached mathematics and science at our elementary school level. I believe we have recognized that in the public education sector, and I think the advent of different applications of technologies are really improving that relationship, so that kids across--boys, girls--are really excited about what they can do with it, and they are not visioning the computer and the other technologies in the same way that they did before because we have, on our entertainment side, made it fun.
I think, as we move up through our K-12, we really are doing more of a job in integrating cross-curricula applications, so you don't always do everything in science that is in science. You must do reading, you must do writing, and you must do other research besides scientific.
We are broadening and we are integrating the disciplines, and I think that is lessening the nerd issue.
My son, for example, when he left high school, went on to a prestigious university in the East, that had a very bad basketball game the other day, and he was an engineering major. Today, he is in marketing. He doesn't ever, nor has never thought of himself as a nerd, but that is because there was an awful lot of cross discipline in his instruction, and I think that is what we're going to be able to do to lose this techno-nerd label.
Chairman Riggs. You may remember at the hearing in Los Angeles, the human relations person from Qualcom, a rapidly growing technology based company in San Diego, talked about his professional career where he got involved in engineering and now he is more on the people side, I guess, with that particular business.
Do you think, and I want to ask Mr. Wulf to respond to this as well, young people today get our message that if they want to participate in and get benefit from this knowledge-based economy, and basically get one of those high wage, high skill, information technology positions they need technology training? Do you think young people today are getting that message from their adult influences, whether it is their family, teachers, or counselors, to the extent they still have those at schools, are they getting that message?
Ms. Sax. I think they are getting the message, to tell you the truth, for the most part from their peers and from the entertainment industry.
I think that they are seeing these kinds of jobs are absolutely the kind of education and training that they need for the kind of exciting jobs that they see is really making a difference in their desire and their ability.
Chairman Riggs. Now, I bet Mr. Wulf will disagree, because I understand, when I was out of the room, he brought up the subject I was going to bring up, which I wanted to bring up today. Because Congressman Campbell, I believe, is a member of that House Judiciary Committee.
Mr. Campbell. No, I am no longer. I am on International Relations.
Chairman Riggs. Excuse me.
Obviously, he has a tremendous knowledge of the law, and we heard at our first hearing, as you will recall, from at least a couple witnesses, that we needed to revisit a discussion of our whole employment based legal immigration policy, perhaps lifting the cap on the number of visas that are granted for that purpose.
I understand, Mr. Wulf, that Congress does need to do that?
Mr. Wulf. Lift the cap.
Chairman Riggs. Lift the cap.
I am wondering, from your perspective, then, what that says about our education system, and specifically, what we can do to restore the value of a high school diploma. I think you testified that that high school diploma, based on the results you got, 47 percent of job applicants in the last 12 months could not pass the basic skills test.
There is a lot of concern about social promotion in schools to the point where that high school diploma has lost its meaning and no longer signals to you that that individual is employable, or at least they can pass a basic skills test; is that your experience?
Mr. Wulf. That is true, but Chairman Riggs, let's make it clear: When we talk about lifting the cap, we are not talking about lifting the cap for people who are high school graduates. I think that is where we often make the mistake. We read this error so many times. We are really talking about lifting the cap for people that are university-qualified engineers, highly technical people in product design, not manufacturing people.
I would like to speak to the point for just a moment, though, because I agree and disagree from the perspective of a link between K through 12, and seeing their future in the high tech industry.
President Rao has been on a team that has been working with a Silicon Valley joint venture workforce designed to deal in addressing several of these areas, and, in particular, over the last several months, we have had 35 companies, I think, represented at the table as being sort of the nucleus of a group to expand to other companies, once we work ourselves through exactly where we want to go. Basically, it is our understanding of people in K through 12, probably beginning somewhere in the early learning stages of the third and fourth grade, that they should see that there really is a future for them in the high tech industry.
There are two-pronged parts to that: One, they should be able to see that there is a future for them in the industry, even if they decide they can't go on, or don't want to go on to college in an engineering curriculum, which we are addressing in several different ways.
Secondly, we need to make sure that we really give attention to math and science for those people that have a propensity to complete math and science curricula, so that they really embrace calculus by the time they get into high school and through high school, so that they really do have a chance to go on to an engineering curriculum.
Then, the third part of our program is to address this issue of continuous learning, so that we can take a lot of the people in the workforce who maybe have found themselves out of a job, out of jobs, and can find themselves in more meaningful employment supporting the high tech industry here.
Just this last week, we adopted Samtech. It is an association that is based in Austin, Texas, that has been very successful in working with community colleges in bringing schools and industry together for a manufacturing curriculum.
We agreed that we are going to get community colleges in the greater bay area together along with industry, we will adopt that curriculum, and we will start showing people there really is this opportunity for them in the high tech industry, but they have to stick with it.
Our problem is, we apply the standardized test for people that actually go into manufacturing, not in the product design, but into the manufacturing level, that really are missing the basic reading comprehension and math skills. We need to do something about that.
Ms. Sax. A comment.
Chairman Riggs. Yes.
Ms. Sax. One of the things that I think the State level really is addressing is that the State Board of Education's redoing the standards, the academic standards in all of the content areas, and emphasizing the need to teach reading, and the need to teach mathematics, and the need to emphasize this instruction at the earliest level in the most basic way, using phonetic skills, and using the kinds of content that will produce the result, but using the technology that will create the interest in holding our children's attention.
We are faced now with kids who--I call them the Sesame Street Generation—who struggle with attention span, and that is a conundrum when you are teaching these students in the classroom. We need to address teaching them the basics, but using modern technology in order to address the reality of the length of the attention span of our students.
Chairman Riggs. Someone described it as sort of a devolution from Leave it to Beaver to Beavis and Butthead in terms of challenges that our schools face today.
You talk about developments at the State level. I wanted to mention charter schools and come back to that in just a moment, but I want to yield to my colleagues for just a second for a final round of questions.
Mr. Martinez. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I was interested in your comments about teaching younger grades. I go back to an incident that happened just a few short years ago. What I didn't say at Mark Keppel was, in high school, there was no calculus program until it was brought there. My father came from an engineering background to be a teacher. He had to, in order to conduct that class, get a certain number of students. I think the requirement was 20. He didn't quite get 20. I think he got 17 or 18 or something like that.
Everybody said: What are you teaching these kids calculus for? These kids from this school, from this neighborhood, they aren't going to be able to learn calculus. It was a college level calculus program, but he insisted. Well, the rest is history, but he was successful.
But get this, the same mental attitude: When these kids passed that test, everybody said they had to cheat. They couldn't have done it, not from that neighborhood, they had to cheat. Well, all of them retook the test except one. The principal refused: Hey, they are not going to call me a cheat. Well, all of them took the test the second time, and all of them passed higher than they passed the first time.
Part of our problem here is, we want to get kids interested in things. We need to make opportunities available to them. If we haven't done that in all schools in the State of California, you are going to have to do that, before you start thinking that you are going to get kids ready to go into these kinds of jobs later on in school.
Let me ask you a question, because Tony Vickers, at that same hearing, the International Technology Association of America, testified they did a survey that there was going to be a shortage out there, but only 25 percent of our surveys sent out were responded to; 25 percent is not a good indication because it still means 75 percent did not respond to it.
The thing is, so far, all our evidence we heard indicates there is a great shortage in this area. After reading that article, which indicates, to some extent, we are overlooking people, and as Patsy Mink questioned, could we with very little training get them up to speed, even though, as you said, Mr. Rao, there is a half-life in the technological industry. Let me give you an example:
In my office, the first computers we got was about nine years ago. We had those first computers for about three years, and when we looked around, we realized how outdated those computers were in just three years. We had like antiques, so since then, we have reconfigured our computers every year, every year, because that is the only way you can keep up with it. So I understand what you are talking about, but by the same token, the same people that were operating the first ones are operating these computers. The only thing that has happened, is they have become aware of how much more information is available to them, how many more jobs they can do with that instrument they have today, and so I still go back to maybe we are missing something here.
Let me ask you a question: Do you require a 4-year degree for your employees to be hired out?
Mr. Wulf. Not all of them.
Mr. Martinez. Not all of them?
What is the minimum requirement?
Mr. Wulf. Actually, there is no minimum requirement. It is a qualification requirement. Some require a Master's.
Mr. Martinez. Mr. Slayton?
Mr. Slayton. Absolutely the same.
Mr. Martinez. Well, we had a hearing in Virginia on TechPrep. You mentioned that.
At that hearing, most of the people who testified, testified to the fact that they were changing their way of thinking about requiring a 4-year degree for the people they hired in their company, because they found that in many cases the person had that 2 years, 3 years of academic preparation in high school with some technical training, then went on to a 2-year extension of that technical training, and that they were perfectly qualified to hire on in almost any job they had.
You have indicated that is a great tool for you, right?
Ms. Stanback-Stroud. Yes, absolutely.
I tried to make the point that, initially, TechPrep and Carl Perkins Funds give us the chance to have some initial discussions.
A lot of times when we go to the companies, we don't want to go completely empty handed, because when the company looks at partnership, they have to be able to see the benefit to them as well. So, those types of initiatives give us one resource with which we can go to companies.
If you don't mind, I would like to address other issues that have been raised, the issue about the development of these programs in the colleges and the references to tenured faculty.
I believe, and it is my experience, that it is precisely tenured faculty who will make this happen for you. That if you have a pool of tenured faculty, you have faculty that is committed to an institution, you have faculty that have a relationship with their departments, you have a faculty that have institutional history and institutional knowledge, and you have a faculty who, because the institution has made a full-time commitment to them, have made a full-time commitment to the institution.
So, if you want some of these types of activities to take place, and some of these innovative and creative things to take place, all of these things that we named that we are doing at Mission College, and the 50 percent of the faculty that President Rao referred to, they are being done by tenured faculty, okay?
The other thing is that, in this discussion, I hear a lot about what type of, for lack of a better word, innovative or, I want to say, gimmick--but I don't mean that negatively--what type of approach we can have to address some of these deficiencies, but I don't think that can be talked about in isolation or exclusive of generally the lack of an educational priority for the Nation, despite the articulation of the priority of the education. The actual action does not necessarily demonstrate that.
Then, finally, I think that particularly when you talk about the issue of technology and you address the issue of the nerd factor, you have to look at the demography of our state, and particularly of our nation, and that it is significantly changing. Students do relate to their peer groups and relate to their role models. They are able to see themselves in positions based on their experiences.
You asked me, Congressman Riggs, about the difference between my educational experience and my son's educational experience. That question and those comments raised about the demography precisely hits home for me.
My educational experience was one of segregation and the tracking system. I was heavily encouraged to go into food service because I would work well with food and serve people.
My son's education is precisely the opposite. He is in a very multicultural institution. There is not a tracking system, and he is being encouraged to go into engineering. He has parents that are helping him with that as well.
So the experiences are very different, and hopefully, my son will have a successful outcome as well.
But if we don't pay attention to access to technology for students in communities where the college prep programs don't exist but should exist, then that gap that you see now will be pervasive. That workforce you talk about, if we fail to do this it is not just the community but the nation.
Mr. Martinez. Let me ask you, of the young people that come to community college, when they finish here, they get an AA, right?
Ms. Stanback-Stroud. Some. The community has three separate missions. One of the missions is general education degree and completion, transfer.
One of the missions is a vocational educational workforce development, which means somebody might come over from your company because they just want a Spanish class, because they have some business that they have to take care of, or somebody might come over from your office because they just want to refresh in some math, or they heard about our computer applications program, or they absolutely have to take an Excel course, and that only lasts for 9 weeks.
So that is what President Rao said: A degree is not necessarily an indicator of success. If you didn't come for that degree, you came to complete a program, or you came to complete a course, then you are successful in your endeavor.
Then the other aspect of the mission, of the community colleges or Mission College, is basic skills. That discussion of remedial education, where I had the opportunity to participate on the writing of the document that actually affected CSUs' decision to eliminate the remedial education in the, first year of their institution at the freshman level, that discussion has to have a lot of information around it.
If you go in and you are not prepared for calculus 1, then you will be considered a remedial student. That will be 92 percent of the Asian-American students, for example, that might not be prepared for English 1-A, but they are prepared for calculus. Or 93 percent of the Latinos in the system would not be necessarily prepared for calculus, but they may be prepared for English 1-A; 94 percent of the African-Americans and so on.
So the discussion around remedial education is one that hits home to the whole mission of community colleges, which is basic skills. We do that through things like math, communications, language, and ESL.
Mr. Martinez. I am glad I asked the question the way I did.
Ms. Stanback-Stroud. But I didn't answer it, right?
Mr. Martinez. No, no. You did in a way, but what I was really getting at, the technical training of a TechPrep, most of those do receive an AA, right?
Ms. Stanback-Stroud. Yes.
Mr. Martinez. Now, when those receive an AA, can they go right on the job and get jobs in the Silicon Valley?
Ms. Stanback-Stroud. We hope so. We hope so.
If you are asking, do our TechPreps grasp at jobs, then I don't know that comprehensively as a college that we track each student.
What we look at is wage data and departments. The nursing department, for example, knows exactly who gets placed where and who gets jobs.
The semiconductor manufacturing department, can't get their students out of the program fast enough. They get tired before they even get out of the program. We have to work with the company to say: Remember your commitment to the student is to finish, because as much as you talk about the half-life, the very short half-life of a company, what you want to do is make sure that the student has a full range of skills that are transferable, such that, when what they are doing right now becomes obsolete, they can transfer it using those skills and have an identified set of currency that identifies it.
Right now, we have students that, if they have the ability to articulate their skills in languages, then the company may be able to recognize that. Some students rely on saying that they have a Bachelor's degree in a particular field. Some people rely on saying that they have a Master's degree in a certain area because it identifies a certain level of currency or certain level of accomplishment. Some people, because they may not have either of those, but do certainly have skills, have to be able to articulate those skills in terms that are significant and relevant to the industry.
Chairman Riggs. Mrs. Mink.
Mrs. Mink. I have one final question of Mr. Wulf and Mr. Slayton.
Go back to my earlier concern about the 20,000 jobs in Silicon Valley that have to be filled, or the 350,000 jobs nationwide that can't be filled in your industry.
If either of you were given the charge or the responsibility to solve this problem, and come up with a plan that would significantly address this problem, what would it be?
Mr. Wulf. This is a very good question, without a doubt.
I think that one of the things that would be helpful is if we recognize that this is not a sequential solution.
What Mr. Slayton presented was the urgency for what we have at the higher learning for engineers. It is product development here, new product development.
Thinking of the computer, Congressman, that you talked about that was several years old, probably the person who designed the first computer isn't designing the computer today. It is just that the technology moves so quickly, the product development drives these jobs that we have in manufacturing.
If we don't do the product development, we will all go out without jobs, so we need to address the higher level. We need to address the math and science, and anything we can do in supporting programs in math and science--early education is real important--and I think that any funding that comes along that the Federal Government can help with should really look at funding early education, math and sciences, and supporting the programs, such as Mesa and other programs, that deal with math and science.
Secondly, I think the other thing we can do is, we clearly need a partner on this internship co-op program. We have to do that early on. We have to take people who have a future in our community. We have to partner with industry, and that is exactly what we are trying to do with this workforce design team. We decided it really has to be the responsibility of business and the education organizations working together to actually go into our schools and tell people there is a future, give them hope, because there are a lot of people who need reassurance--early on, Chairman Riggs, you mentioned East Palo Alto. Again, those people don't see themselves, I don't think, having a future in this high tech industry at all.
We need to deal with that. That is our purpose, but it is not a sequential issue. We have to address it on all fronts. We have to address it simultaneously.
Mr. Slayton. Congressman, I think one of the things to recognize right off the bat, is that the 350,000 job openings, or the 20 to 25,000 job openings here in the Silicon Valley, in the high tech sector, are a result of our country’s, and our free market system's, success in really generating wealth and value in the new digital economy.
That is thanks to a lot of things, a lot of good things, that are happening now at our community colleges, at public schools, and at colleges and universities across the Nation. I think that is the first thing to recognize; a lot of great stuff is going on, including Congress' discipline to help balance the budget.
Having said that, I think stronger support for all institutions of learning--public schools, private schools, colleges, and community colleges--is needed. I, personally, am a strong supporter of charter schools initiatives, because I believe in a free market. I do believe that it is the only thing that works in the long run. I know that I am fundamentally lazy, and if it were up to me, I would be on a beach in Hawaii with my family. Frankly, I have to go to work.
I am not advocating any kind of draconian solution. I think the charter schools initiative in the K through 12 programs in the Nation is a very good step in the right direction.
That is something that the dean said earlier, that, I think, is really stunning about her education. It is just so sad how there is a group of Americans where the message that there is an opportunity, just isn't getting through. I will tell you the beautiful thing about the free market: I don't care if you are yellow, black, or polka-dotted, if you can do the job, you get the job, because at the end of the day, as a manager of a public company, I have to report to my shareholders. My shareholders do not ask about this or that, they ask if you make the numbers.
So, I would like to see a much greater emphasis in speaking to members of, and let's be frank, our country from minority communities, and letting them know, in no uncertain terms, if they do apply themselves, there are phenomenal opportunities going forward. As the dean has said, it is not only important for the community, but it is important for our company going forward.
Chairman Riggs. I want to thank Congresswoman Mink again -- she represents a Hawaiian Congressional District. We very much appreciate your being here.
Mr. Campbell. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I only have one last minor inquiry. I am going to give a hypothetical description. It may not be accurate, but I would like you to tell me if it is or not. Particularly, I will address the question to the dean and the two gentlemen from industry.
In giving this scenario, I am not saying it is right or wrong. So, with all of those disclaimers, if I can get somebody right out of school, it is better, particularly because we are talking about technology and how quickly it changes. Between somebody who has been with my company for 15 years who is doing a great job knowing her particular field, and somebody who is coming straight out of Mission College or straight out of MIT, there is just no comparison.
It is not ageism, it is not favoring immigrants over Americans, it is as simple as getting the person who is closest to our state-of-the-art teaching.
Am I right or wrong?
Ms. Stanback-Stroud. Well, if you ask if you are right or wrong, meaning do you represent some of the thinking that takes place in the companies, I would suggest that you probably do.
The question I would ask that company, however, is that if they reduce it to, if your greatest value is simply what you can get out of your workforce, and how you benefit as a company from your workforce, then I would suggest that you take the opportunity to look at the overall value system, to look at the fact that it is important to be a good corporate citizen, for example; that it is important for you to make sure that you look at the whole picture of supporting the economic development of your area.
If a Silicon Valley company only looked at themselves, then they wouldn't see the richness of the area, and they wouldn't have developed it to the extent that it has taken place.
I would encourage you as a company to take a look at your neighborhood next door and see that you have a tremendous problem, then I would suggest that you may not be able to live very long as a company if you don't pay attention to the overall development of your surrounding community, both the educational component, and the standard of living.
I would encourage you to redefine your indicators of success and your own role indicators of economic development.
Mr. Campbell. Thank you.
Mr. Slayton. I think that your thesis you are positing is generally correct, especially in a growing industry, where, quite frankly, concerning that 15-year veteran, if they are productive, then I have three other jobs they can do. So it is not a question of either-or; that is the beauty of it. We are not talking about I win, you lose. We are talking about a sector that is growing by double-digit rates over the last 20 years, and will be for the foreseeable future, the next 10 or 20.
So we are talking about anyone who really is qualified can, I believe, being able to get a job and work their way up into the corporate structure.
Mr. Campbell. Mr. Wulf, is my description generally accurate or not?
Mr. Wulf. I don't believe so, and I will say it from this perspective:
At one of the earlier sessions that we had at the design team, we went around the table to talk about our plans for recruiting staff. We found that for companies Cisco, 3Com, Intel, and others, felt that, I think, approximately 40 to 50 percent of their new hires should be from the college/university sector. In other words, Bachelor's, Master's, and Ph.D. level. The reason for that, I think what is, certainly in a booming industry where everybody is employed, I think here in the Valley we have less than 3 percent unemployment, we find that there really are jobs for so many of the people, so you do tend to go to the university campus.
However, there has to be a sufficient number of people in the organization itself to provide the mentoring, the continuous learning, and the handoff that is necessary in so many of the industries.
It is not true for all businesses and industries. It depends on the industry itself, but at least for our area, the semiconductor business, we find that probably about 10 to 12 percent of our technical workforce every year should be replaced by university graduates, or we should infuse that much in order to keep the vitality of our technical workforce.
However, if we were given the alternative, it would be very difficult for us to hire exclusively from our college campus. We need the experienced person with a few years of experience maybe working for another organization or bringing a different aspect to it in order to keep the product development vital.
Mr. Campbell. I would suggest that you are really not saying the model is wrong, but incomplete. That is what I heard from all three who answered.
To the extent that it is a component, and I happen to think it is, one, however, has to come to grips with it and its built-in bias towards the recent graduate, which is not, I would suggest, driven by the desire to drive down wages.
A high tech company that is going to save money by wages has missed the whole concept of making money. It is not driven by anti-Americanism--let's hire foreigners--and it is not driven by age discrimination in employment.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman Riggs. Thank you, Congressman Campbell.
Let me ask a couple of closing questions.
Going back to this concept of internships, under your proposal, Mr. Slayton, would those interns receive academic credit, and for the dean and the president, would you be receptive to an internship program that would recognize the internship as meeting curriculum requirements, course requirements, and, therefore, allow these young people to obtain the credits?
Mr. Slayton. Well, I would have to say that would be up to the educational professionals and various academic institutions.
I think the idea would be to have as little standing in the way of these internships as possible, so if it were possible to get credit, and that is not a big bureaucratic nightmare, I think it would be wonderful to do that.
On the other hand, we will leave it up to the educational professionals.
Mr. Rao. Our feeling generally, and I hope I have represented the faculty well on this, is if the student is able to learn something that they can use and be more productive on the job, absolutely. We are very interested. We know that the companies in this area value credit.
In fact, with National Semiconductor, we have a program that is an entire associate degree program that is on the campus here in Sunnyvale. We know they value credit. We do offer flexible forms of credit. Our minds are open.
One reason I can say that with great ease--I have to be honest—is that what works in this Valley is really our relationships. The superintendents, the principals, and people in my area, we know a lot of our CEOs. We know a lot of technical people.
The other thing I think that we do well is that we focus. We don't try to pretend that we are all things to all people. Mission College will be an institution that focuses on semiconductor engineering; it focuses on telecommunications and network engineering. It will not be known as a comprehensive community college, period. It will be known in those areas. Our people around in this area love us for it and it works.
Chairman Riggs. You reflect that, I am assuming, in your mission statement?
Mr. Rao. You can't really do that in a mission statement because we are such a large system of 106 colleges.
Chairman Riggs. Well, here at Mission College.
Mr. Rao. Well, the California community college system is 106 colleges. You wouldn't find in any one of our mission statements any one program.
We do view ourselves as developing a broader sense of civilization and society, but the most important part--and besides, I don't know how many people read the mission statement anyhow--is what people know and think of us, and that is where we have succeeded in the last four years of our transition.
Chairman Riggs. Dean, as you continue this transition, do you see your college focusing more on distance learning--how critical is distance learning to technology--and focusing more on workplace-based learning, and I will segue in this and ask Mr. Wulf, how important workplace-based learning is, and how much budget does he devote to that purpose?
Ms. Stanback-Stroud. The answer to all that is yes.
Regarding the internships, and regarding the credit for the internships, we actually have that now. We have that type of a program. It is limited to some companies. The mechanism and the structure is in place right now for that type of a program.
Regarding the integration of work-based learning programs in general, this college particularly addresses that--even by the fact that it has a dean of workforce development--and if you look throughout the system, there are not a lot of the colleges that have a dean of workforce development. There are not deans of workforce development whose responsibility is the identification, development and the implementation of programs to prepare the workforce, particularly some of the emerging programs.
So, as far as the integration of work-based programs is concerned, that is becoming more and more the focus and emphasis, and, quite frankly, we have a workforce committee of the academic senate, which is a faculty committee, where they took the leadership in actually working to integrate a lot of the concepts in the general departments. We have an interdisciplinary team that is composed of English, physics, history, math, and the semiconductor manufacturing technician program faculty that works to integrate academic education.
So, the answer to your question is yes.
Regarding the distance learning, more and more, we have programs that are being developed and being able to be accessed by distance learning. Through the workplace learning center, for example, with the faculty that are in that program. We developed on-line English 1-A, on-line English 105, on-line technical reading, and we make sure the companies know about that because they want to be able to access that.
So, depending on your community, as a community college you develop your programs in relationship to their needs. If we were in Lake Tahoe, for example, we would be developing programs that people would be able to access because they are 75 miles away.
Because we are in the Silicon Valley, we know that the companies in our community, want to be able to access, let's say, an English 1-A program on-line because they might be just across the street, but they might want to take it within their work site.
Mr. Rao. Because they can't bear the traffic.
Ms. Sax. Can I just make one comment there?
In terms of distance education, distance learning has traditionally been the way many rural high school students receive placement classes, or classes in a foreign language, but there are not enough youngsters to support a permanent faculty member.
The California Virtual University, which was another initiative of the Governor, is bringing together basically a giant on-line catalogue where the different kinds of courses and the different kinds of things that are available from the private institutions in the State, the UC institutions, and all our community colleges will be available in a point-and-click kind of modality so people can see what kinds of lifelong learning opportunities there are, and can learn synchronously or asynchronously real time or their time, which has now become a 24/7 society.
People want to learn when they have the time to do it, and they don't want to sit on the freeway, oftentimes, interfacing folks. This is what the community colleges are facing, a whole different population of learners, adult learners, people who are needing to be reeducated in other areas who didn't take advantage of college opportunities when they got out of high school, or maybe didn't get out of high school at all. So these are folks who are fertile ground for distance education, and through CVU, I think will have an opportunity to access those kinds of quality on-line instructions.
Chairman Riggs. Absolutely. I am very interested in that whole concept. We could have a whole hearing on that.
Mr. Wulf, you are the director of worldwide staffing of National Semiconductor. What is your budget for in-service training?
Mr. Wulf. Well, about 15 percent of our human resources budget is tied up in National Semiconductor University. It is difficult for me to break that down and tell you exactly how much is designated for distance learning, but I can say this:
We have programs with universities around the United States and more, a lot more often than not, quite frequently, and becoming more frequent, we are finding that the instructors in some other areas, and through our video conferencing facilities, we will have that presentation on-line via the Internet, or record it in video and have that available to the students later.
Ms. Sax. An awful lot of money has been spent in California. I know, since you are here at home, an awful lot of money has been spent in California in the community college system to create an idea which is a microwave system, and the satellite delivery system, and using the public television and the cable operators to deliver instructor to Internet, which then kind of bubbles or seeps down to the K-12, and, again, these are the ways we can stretch out to become places of learning, not just places of teaching.
Chairman Riggs. Thank you. And the charter schools we have worked very hard and passed bipartisan in the House, I think, with 350 some odd votes, that would greatly expand Federal taxpayer assistance for the start-up and creation of more charter schools, especially in those states--and this is a message to California State--that embraced the charter school movement and did not seek to artificially limit the number of charter schools that can be chartered.
We are going to follow workers in Silicon Valley, and the other people. We will follow that very, very closely.
I want to thank all our witnesses, and especially my colleagues for being here today. I want to thank, again, the wonderful folks at Mission College, the staff, and the reporter for making today's hearing history.
I just want to close by talking again or mentioning again those young people just up the road in East Palo Alto or Hunter's Point, or just across the bridge in Oakland, and express my concern again to many of them that are being left behind and are missing out on the wonderful opportunities being created every day in our knowledge-based economy. They are the have-nots of tomorrow.
Like I said earlier, for our country, that is a major challenge to address that problem. But for those future have-nots, it is nothing less than a tragedy. Here we are a few miles away, and they might as well be light years away in terms of missing out on those opportunities.
I believe, personally, in 13 years away from being able to participate in the kind of employment opportunities professionally being created every day, that is really--and when I say 13 years, I am talking about a good solid educational foundation in grades K through 12, that would make it possible for them to come to an institution like Mission College, and then on to, hopefully, National Semiconductor or to MySoftware Company.
So I appreciate everybody being here, to remain engaged in this struggle as long as one young person is at risk of missing out on those kinds of opportunities.
I thank our witnesses. I do understand that there were people present who wanted to make public comments. What I will encourage, is that we will keep the record open and solicit your comments in writing so that they will appear as part of our official transcript of today's proceeding, part of our official Congressional record.
With that, the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Youth and Families stands adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 12:30 p.m., the subcommittee was adjourned.]