IREC Awarded New Funding to Advance Digital Credentials

New Dynamic Mark to Signal Credentialed Achievements for Employers and Consumers

CV on keyboardIREC proudly announces funding for an innovative project that helps address workforce needs in the rapidly growing clean energy industry, and creates a model other industries can replicate. The project is in partnership with the National Network of Business and Industry Associations (National Network), aimed at advancing skills, training and talent development in key economic sectors across the nation. Lumina Foundation and the Joyce Foundation have provided funding support for the initiative.

IREC is using this investment to design and advance a “digital mark” for its existing IREC credentials, to help employers efficiently identify and understand the value of each credential and what knowledge, skills and abilities it validates. Credential holders can simply embed a dynamic digital credential on their website, email signature or LinkedIn account.

“IREC Certified Master Trainers and Instructors now have a unique way to display their hard-earned credential to employers, students and consumers,” says IREC President/CEO Jane Weissman. “One click on the digital credential provides detailed information in a convenient, abbreviated format on what it takes to earn the credential, the IREC standard, and its expiration date,” Weissman explains. “It is an easy filter signaling the in-depth facts of an achievement.”

This innovation project is one of 12 being conducted as part of the National Network’s efforts to give students and workers clear pathways to meaningful careers and give employers a skilled, competitive workforce. Each project focuses on addressing the critical workforce needs of its sector, and a specific aspect of the National Network’s three-point plan. This plan includes: identifying competencies and promoting credentials that lead to work; creating more work-and-learn opportunities across the economy; and encouraging more employers to use competency-based hiring practices. For more information on the 12 projects and the organizations receiving funding, please click here.

“Business leaders need skilled workers to fill jobs at their companies and make them competitive around the world,” said John Engler, president of Business Roundtable, one of the collaborative funding partners of the National Network. “This effort will help find new ways to train more people to fill the open jobs and ensure workers have the skills and training they need to be successful.”

“ACT Foundation applauds the business-led solutions the National Network has already created, which provide the foundation for connecting learning and work, including a profile of Common Employability Skills and a replicable Competency-Based Apprenticeship model,” said Parminder Jassal, founding executive director of ACT Foundation. “These 12 new projects made possible by Lumina and Joyce foundations will continue to help align the needs and practices of business with the learning, skills development, and opportunities individuals require for success.”

National Network
The National Network of Business and Industry Associations (National Network) represents major business sectors and is funded through a collaborative partnership of Business Roundtable, ACT Foundation, the Joyce Foundation and Lumina Foundation. Members include leaders in the manufacturing, retail, healthcare, energy, construction, hospitality, transportation, professional and business, and information technology sectors. They represent the source of nearly 75 percent of projected U.S. job growth through 2020 (an estimated 30 million new jobs). More information on the National Network can be found here.

Business Roundtable
Business Roundtable is an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies working to promote sound public policy and a thriving U.S. economy. Established in 1972, Business Roundtable applies the expertise and experience of its CEO members to the major issues facing the nation. Through research and advocacy, Business Roundtable promotes policies to improve U.S. competitiveness, strengthen the economy and spur job creation.

ACT Foundation
ACT Foundation reaches across organizational boundaries, sectors, and the nation, to fund and develop strategic approaches to support working learners in their individual journey toward successful careers and lives. Based in Austin, Texas, ACT Foundation is a private, independent organization, endowed by ACT Inc., a nonprofit public trust committed to helping people achieve educational and workplace success. The Foundation connects fifty years of data and insights to catalyze and build a National Learning Economy that will nurture the success of working learners while fueling a stronger economy.

Lumina Foundation
Lumina Foundation is an independent, private foundation committed to increasing the proportion of Americans with high-quality degrees, certificates and other credentials to 60 percent by 2025. Lumina’s outcomes-based approach focuses on helping to design and build an accessible, responsive and accountable higher education system, while fostering a national sense of urgency for action to achieve Goal 2025. For more information, log on to www.luminafoundation.org

Joyce Foundation
The Chicago-based Joyce Foundation invests in solutions to pressing economic and social challenges that influence the quality of our lives, the vitality of our communities and the fairness of our society. Joyce focuses on the Great Lakes region, and also has national reach and impact. Joyce programs seek quality education for all children, greater economic opportunity for disadvantaged workers and a fully representative democracy serving the public interest. It supports strategies to reduce gun violence, clean up and restore our natural environment and enrich communities with vibrant, diverse arts and culture. For more information, please visit www.joycefdn.org or follow on Twitter, @joycefdn.

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