Workforce Preparation

November 2023
Career development programs provide students with valuable skills required in today's job market. Technical proficiency alone is no longer sufficient; employers now prioritize strong interpersonal skills, effective communication, collaboration, and meaningful connections. In response to these demands, Miles Community College (MCC) introduced the Opportunity Realized Program in fall 2022, targeting high school students across eastern Montana. This program equips students with critical social and emotional competencies, bridging the gap between their aspirations and employer expectations and...
October 2023
Kirkwood Community College kicked off a new Aviation Maintenance Technology (AMT) Associate of Applied Sciences (AAS) program this fall. Since its announcement, this innovative offering has garnered a lot of excitement from students as well as community and business leaders. The start of the program, which is expected to pay big dividends not only for students and the college’s seven-county service area, but also for the regional aviation industry, was a historic moment for Kirkwood. Soon after Kirkwood President Dr. Lori Sundberg began her tenure in late 2018, Eastern Iowa Airport (CID)...
September 2023
According to a study by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (Skorton & Bear, 2018), "educational programs that mutually integrate learning experiences in the humanities and arts with science, technology, engineering, math, and medicine (STEMM) lead to improved educational and career outcomes” (p. 2). With a focus on such outcomes, it's time for community colleges to thoughtfully and intentionally weave the sciences, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) into students' learning experiences. An integrated STEAM curriculum fosters key skills which...
June 2023
For the first time in its 57-year history, Dallas College is graduating a class of bachelor’s degree students this year. This occasion marks a pivotal moment for more than 100 students at one of Texas’s largest community college systems, which previously offered associate degrees as its highest degree credential. The program presents students with a life-changing opportunity via a full tuition scholarship and career pathway toward a $60k first-year job. Furthermore, this innovative program attracted the attention of the Bezos Foundation, resulting in the launch of a tuition-free, on-campus...
May 2023
As apprenticeships gain momentum in higher education across the U.S., students are finding that these opportunities are the perfect springboard into a career they love while businesses are receiving qualified employees who can make a quick transition into their workforce after graduation. And community colleges are the vehicles that bring everyone together, making apprenticeships a win-win-win for everyone involved. Moraine Valley Community College offers students in its Automotive Technology Program an apprenticeship opportunity through a unique partnership with Nissan North America, Inc. In...
January 2023
We’ve all gotten emails that attempt to gain sensitive personal information or hack into our employer’s systems. The pervasiveness of malicious hacking, including phishing campaigns, has made the need to combat such efforts a top priority for businesses across the globe. Santa Fe College (SF) is revolutionizing its security curriculum by training students in the Information Technology Education (ITE) department’s ethical hacking class to conduct phishing campaigns in collaboration with Information Technology Services (ITS). Students gain real-world experience protecting the college’s systems...
December 2022
In anticipation of the coming tax season, Paradise Valley Community College (PVCC) in Phoenix, Arizona, is partnering with Jackson Hewitt and Fresh Start Women’s Foundation to expand the pool of highly qualified tax preparers. This strategic alliance between education, business, and nonprofit partners gives students the opportunity to acquire in-demand job skills and offers guaranteed interviews at Jackson Hewitt for PVCC students and Fresh Start women who successfully complete the Enrolled Agent (EA) program.  PVCC’s EA program Certificate of Completion (CCL) prepares students for the...
December 2022
Ohio has the third largest manufacturing workforce in the United States, employing approximately 700,000 individuals (Wile, 2021). According to the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association (2022), about 17.5 percent of Ohio's gross domestic product was based on manufacturing in 2020. Intel (2022) recently announced that it will build two new microchip factories in Ohio. According to Intel (2022), As the largest single private-sector investment in Ohio history, the initial phase of the project is expected to create 3,000 Intel jobs and 7,000 construction jobs over the course of the build, and to...
November 2022
Working professionals like Mohammed Alani are seeking out new ways to expand their skillsets and fit training into their busy schedules. As a professor of cybersecurity at Seneca College and research fellow at Toronto Metropolitan University, Alani doesn’t have the luxury of taking scheduled in-person courses. He was drawn to the Microsoft certificate offerings through Surge Micro-credentials, stating that, “The timing and format were very suitable for a working person like myself.” These online courses offer self-paced lectures, interactive labs, practice exams, live instructor office hours...
November 2022
The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent shift to online learning demonstrated to us that students can not only adapt, but also thrive when provided with diversified and complimentary instructional modes (Ascione, 2021). Inspired by the resiliency of our students, the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) department welcomed students back to Austin Community College (ACC) campuses by piloting a new course modality—Hybrid Flexible, or HyFlex. The HyFlex modality combines online and face-to-face teaching and learning activities in a regularly scheduled class where students are given the choice to...
October 2022
America's workforce now has greater access to Rio Salado College classes, micro-credentials, and degree programs through a new partnership with Guild (n.d.), “a Career Opportunity Platform that enables forward-thinking employers to invest in their employees, unlocking life-changing opportunities for personal and professional growth through learning programs, career development, and one-on-one coaching” (Who We Are page). Rio Salado College is among Guild’s newest academic partners, and one of the only community colleges to join Guild’s growing Learning Marketplace. The Marketplace provides a...
September 2022
Competing with 32 teams across the U.S., Calhoun Community College’s student manufacturing team placed second at the 2022 Project MFG National Championship in Wichita, Kansas. Project MFG shines a light on the need and opportunities for skilled trades by focusing on the development of new talent to provide a path forward for individuals and our country. Project MFG competitions throughout the U.S. promote the trades across industries and help advance the next generation of highly skilled trade professionals. According to Tad Montgomery, Calhoun Machine Tool Technology instructor, the two-day...
August 2022
Indian River State College (IRSC) has received a three-year, $2,735,771 award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to establish a National Electric Vehicle Consortium (NEVC) to help alleviate an immediate shortage of skilled technical workers across almost every sector of the fast-growing electric vehicle (EV) industry. The consortium will focus on manufacturing, installation, operations, maintenance, repair, vehicle conversion, safety and standards, and emerging technological advances within the EV sector. IRSC will lead efforts that link academic, agency, and industry experts across...
June 2022
Mesa Community College (MCC) and the Family Involvement Center (FIC) are collaborating to offer the Parent Peer Support Social Work Scholarship Stipend Program, an innovative program bolstering support for families overcoming past adversity and crisis while building careers in the profession of social work. Specifically, FIC and the MCC Social Work programs are piloting an education, training, and career pathway for parents with opioid/substance use disorder (OUD/SUD) and lived experience having a child involved with the Department of Child Safety (DCS). The social work stipend program was...
May 2022
Community colleges are uniquely situated to address the nation’s need for a highly innovative, adaptable, and skilled workforce. At the federal and state levels, funding is available for design and delivery of workforce-building programs combining academic excellence, technical training, and practical experience. Santa Fe College (SF) in Gainesville, Florida, has received a state grant to create a STEM-focused charter high school. The charter school will provide students with the tools needed to be successful in the 21st century workforce. SF’s vision is to ensure that each charter school...
February 2022
Calhoun Community College and Drake State Community & Technical College officials have developed a partnership that will not only address learning obstacles for adult learners, but job training needs as well. Greater Opportunities for Adult Learners (GOAL) is a free program designed specifically for individuals who do not have a high school diploma and want to become more employable. Individuals who enroll in the program have access to educational resources focused on improving their reading, math, and language skills to obtain a GED, learn English as a second language, and/or earn a...
December 2021
Humanity has had a long relationship with cannabis, with evidence dating back 12,000 years suggesting that it may be one of the oldest plants cultivated by humans (Russo, 2007; Warf, 2014). There is also a 5,000-year history of cannabis being used as a therapeutic agent (Burnett & Reiman, 2014). Siberian burial mounds contained cannabis seeds as far back as 3,000 BCE, while cannabis pollen and cannabinoids were entombed with Ramses II and cannabis seeds in Viking ships date back to the mid-9th century (Warf, 2014). The first clinical cannabis conference in the United States, in 1860, was...
September 2021
Moraine Valley Community College introduced its new Cannabis Retail Specialist Certificate program in fall 2020 to attract students to the cannabis industry during its infancy in Illinois. In spring 2019, a retired Moraine Valley professor and department chair approached his former colleague, Dr. Margaret Lehner, Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Executive Assistant to the President, to gauge the college’s interest in developing a program in this emerging field on behalf of a vice president at Cresco Labs. Lehner discussed the issue with President Dr. Sylvia M. Jenkins and the...
August 2021
Ground broke on Dallas College’s state-of-the-art Construction Sciences Building in 2019, and the need for the new training facility could not be more urgent. Before the design for the new building began, the National Center for Construction Education and Research (2019) had already predicted a shortage of one million craft professionals in the construction industry by 2023. In Dallas, the shortage is critical. From August 2018 to August 2019 alone, the Dallas-Plano-Irving area added 12,400 construction jobs and labor shortages have become a major contributor to rapidly rising new home costs...
April 2021
A unique partnership between Johnson County Community College’s (JCCC) Continuing Education Transportation program and Johnson County Adult Education’s (JCAE) Literacy program puts newly trained truck drivers on the road to success. The initiative helps non-native English speakers in Johnson County obtain workforce skills in truck driving. Chris Specht, former Program Coordinator of Accelerating Opportunity: Kansas at JCCC, began laying the groundwork in 2017. Thanks to the combined effort of many at the college, the program officially launched in summer 2020. “The collaboration between the...

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