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Mr. CONKLING. High technology's ability to fulfill its promises as a creater of new markets and jobs, and as a partner with traditional industries, is predicated on the availability of highly skilled human resources; in our industry, specifically electrical and electronic engineers, computer engineers and the technicians that work with those engineers. An American Electronics Association report on technical employment projections for 1983 through 1987 indicates a need for 63.1 percent more electronic technicians, 65.5 percent more electrical and electronic engineers, 115 percent more computer, particularly software, engineers, 102.5 percent more computer analysts and programers, and 107 percent additional electronic engineering technologists. Despite what one reads about mechanization, there continues to be a healthy projected need of almost 64 percent for assemblers in our plants.
I think it says a lot, Senator, that today I am appearing here on behalf of both my own company, which is Oregon's largest private employer, as well as the Oregon Community College Association, which represents our extensive community college system in the State of Oregon. I think it tells you that the partnership between private industry and between community colleges exist today, and that both of us are committed to making it a better partnership in the future.
My company testified earlier this year before this same subcommittee in support of S. 1194 and S. 1195, which, as you know, would expand the use of the R&D tax credit for a number of purposes, and including the purposes included in your bill, S. 108.
We feel that the problems of the 4-year institutions, which are more broadly addressed in S. 1194 and S. 1195, apply to community colleges. There are too few qualified instructors and too much outdated laboratory equipment, but an abundance of interested students. There is also an abundance of possible jobs.
We feel that your bill, which we support wholeheartedly, goes a long ways toward meeting those needs. Specifically, it would extend to postsecondary occupational programs the same eligibility for equipment gifts from industry that the 1981 Federal tax reforms alowed on equipment gifts to university research programs. It also would allow companies that make their staff available to teach technical and occupational courses a $100 tax credit for each course a company professional teaches, limited to five courses per year for individual professionals. And, it will provide a $100 tax credit for each off-term or part-time job the companies provide for faculty members from an occupational program. In the interest of time I will stop here, but we hope you are successful in convincing your colleagues that S. 108 is a good bill.
Senator GRASSLEY. Wayne, I will go to you now and say that you follow in the tradition of the Kirkwood Community College trustees as being a strong and principled public servant. Since it was an institution founded back in 1966 or 1967, it always has been a magnet for people who are outstanding leaders in the community and are pacesetters. You continue in that tradition and your comments will be helpful to the subcommittee today. Would you proceed, please?
STATEMENT OF WAYNE NEWTON, TRUSTEE, KIRKWOOD
Mr. NEWTON. Thank you, Senator Grassley. I bring you greetings from our mutual friend, B. A. Jenson and Dr. Bill Stewart, from Kirkwood.
Once again, as we discussed in February, we very much appreciate your efforts in this legislation, Senate bill 108, and we also offer congratulations to your wife on the accomplishment of her degree recently.
Senator GRASSLEY. You watch television. And I thank you. I will tell her you said so.
Mr. NEWTON. We are extremely grateful for this opportunity to present these matters. And if my full written statement can be placed in the hearing record, I will try to paraphrase this as best I
I deeply appreciate the contributions that the two previous speakers gave us. I think it is interesting that we should have a Congressman and a member of the private sector support a somewhat public education bill, and I think that demonstrates exactly where we are at with the relationship and the cooperation that exists between the private sector and the public sector as it relates to education.
The largest phenomenon in postsecondary education in our country in the era since World War II, in terms of the numbers of learners being served, is the development and growth of community colleges. And you are well aware of that. It is not strange to the State of Iowa; it is growing by leaps and bounds. And I think without a doubt we will have a very large increase at Kirkwood as well as the other schools in Iowa. Just how vital the role and the potential of community colleges is to the national interest can perhaps be illustrated by three facts: First, well over half the citizens who now enroll in college for the first time are making their start in 2year colleges. Many of these students are enrolled to earn advancement in the jobs they hold or because they need skills that will get them jobs to pay their bills so they can continue their education and improve the quality of their lives, something all of us had ought to work toward. Second, of the more than 5 million learners who enroll in credit courses and degree programs in the community colleges in the 1982-83 academic year, almost two-thirds have been taking occupational-technical courses. And, as you know, that is a very strong debate in the State of Iowa, that we remain occupational and technically oriented, which brings us to the third point: the community and technical colleges, in cooperation with local business and industry, have generated a tremendous number of what they commonly refer to as employer specific courses, programs that are tailored to meet a particular skill need or a set of related skill needs for a specific employer. The cooperative programing ranges all the way from basic communications skills to CAD-CAM programs and other high technological specialties. This brings us to the point of this hearing. The community colleges are very grateful to you, Senator Grassley, for authorship of S. 108, and the bill you originally introduced in the last Congress, which aptly reflects the national interest in what community colleges are
striving to do to address the specific skill needs of industry, to help build the work force the country must have to stay ahead of global competition and to curb unemployment. The need for state-of-theart equipment has become a serious hardship to community colleges in their ability to respond most effectively to the skill gaps that are plaguing American productivity. Wherever you turn among the States, the community colleges universally list state-ofthe-art equipment for one or more technician courses at the top of the critical-needs list.
Very often, the courses most acutely handicapped by this need are those in the rapidly developing technologies, such as electronic and computer sciences, and robotics, where the American economy is hard pressed to meet global competition.
Senator, the speed of change is dizzying. Change is no quirk of this point in history; it will be a fact of our lives into the foreseeable future. To keep up with this change, to provide the opportunities to our work force to learn new skills or to upgrade their present ones, and to do it in state-of-the-art equipment, we must have the help of business and industry and the Congress needs to provide incentives to the private sector to give us the help.
Let me be more specific about our own State. In Iowa, our community college equipment shortages are plaguing such vital programs as data processing, computer repair, health technologies, electronics, industrial technologies, just to name a few, all of which are part of the growing curriculum response to the high technology demand.
These revolutionary changes are taking place in the office and in the factory as well. Laser beam technology in tool and die machinery, for example, is no longer the future, but clearly represents the present. And, of course, we are all well aware of the impact of robotics on the marketplace.
Our corporations expect us to train their future employees in a way that will easily adapt them to this technology. Instead, we, for the most part, are still using the standard equipment of the past several decades, equipment which is far removed from the state of
At Kirkwood, for example-and I am sure you visited this program on your tour to the campus, Senator-in our machinist program, we still have some machinery which predates World War II. To replace this with just one or two laser beam machines would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, something clearly beyond our grasp and that of our State's as well. Without proper equipment to train the work force, Iowa's unique and responsive system will surely begin to lag seriously behind. With States such as our struggling to avoid massive insolvency, and with the Federal Treasury empty, the only direction left to turn is to the private sector. Yet with the current state of the economy, they need some incentive to be able to respond as they desire. S. 108 establishes such an incentive.
Given the pressing state of productivity and employment in our country, and the urgency of the challenge to the American economy and American technology, the reasons for allowing tax incentives to firms that make state-of-the-art gifts to technical training programs in the community colleges, and other associate-degree
granting institutions, are easily and strong and clearly as much in the national interest as providing such incentives for equipment given to university research. Both serve the ultimate need.
Regardless of the volume of talent the country might pour into science and engineering, our eminence in these fields and our leadership in emerging technology will never be secure unless it has the solid foundation of an adequate supply of advanced highly trained technicians.
Senator Grassley, thank you for the opportunity to share our ideas with you in this community today. I would be pleased to provide further information if you ask. The two organizations I am speaking for here-the Association of Community College Trustees, and the American Association of Community and Junior Collegesstrongly endorse S. 108 and urges its adoption. I would be happy to answer any questions that you might have.
Senator GRASSLEY. Let me give credit to the two organizations you mentioned for their efforts in assisting me in working out some of the details of the legislation, and also for helping us advertise its introduction around the country so we could gain the considerable support that we have.
Mr. NEWTON. Thank you.
Senator GRASSLEY. Dr. Greenfield, would you proceed, please? [The prepared statement of Wayne Newton follows:]
Joint Commission on Federal Relations
and American Association of Community and Junior Colleges
on behalf of the
Association of Community College Trustees
and the American Association of Community and Junior Colleges
Subcommittee on Taxation and Debt Management