Workforce Preparation

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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
November 2020
Sacramento City College student and entrepreneur Christian Espinoza’s personal essay was published in Makerspace Impact: Implementation Strategies & Stores of Transformation: “At the time, it was all I ever wanted—to create things that were unbelievable and out of this world,” wrote Espinoza, who exemplifies thousands of students whose lives have been transformed by the CCC Maker initiative. He continued, But as I grew up, those dreams felt more and more unachievable. I thought I could only work a standard job with a fixed pay and maybe benefits, which didn’t sound half bad. I assumed...
October 2020
Like many newcomers to Canada, Malvika Mahajan immigrated to Toronto to find a better life for her family. She was anxious about restarting her career in a new country, despite having many years of experience as a supply chain specialist in India, including work for a large multinational corporation. To create a roadmap that would land her a professional role in Canada, Malvika joined the Supply Chain Management bridging program at Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning in January 2020, eager to learn as much as possible about how her field operates in Canada and to...
August 2020
Oakton Community College’s Cannabis Dispensary and Patient Care Specialist certificate program is the direct result of a single interaction between a senior Oakton administrator and an Oakton alumnus. The alumnus worked for a medical cannabis dispensary and expressed the need for educated patient care specialists who were able to interact with chronically ill patients—in other words, those with job skills that go beyond being a “weed enthusiast.” Students and alumni can positively impact curriculum and academic programming as members of career advisory committees and by playing a role in...
August 2020
Somewhere in the United States today, six-year-old Shelby musters enough courage to report physical abuse to a school counselor. The counselor, who has good intentions but is not well trained in best practices for responding to child maltreatment, calls Shelby’s parents to talk about the allegations. The parents promptly deny the child’s assertions and explain away Shelby’s bruises as a fall down the stairs. No investigation is initiated and Shelby, disheartened after working up the nerve to ask for help, will never tell anyone else about this incident or those still to come. If an...
June 2020
Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) was quick to modify college operations in response to the COVID­­–19 pandemic to ensure both academic continuity and the safety of students, faculty, and staff. With the closure of all facilities, hundreds of credit courses were converted from face-to-face to online or alternative delivery formats—an enormous undertaking and a collaborative effort by individuals across the college that was accomplished in a relatively short period of time. Since March 25, every student has been attending classes remotely through a computer or device. Justin Starr,...
April 2020
Enhancing partnerships in career and technical education (CTE) is essential to community colleges’ efforts to serve students, businesses, and local communities. These partnerships are critical to designing curriculum; teaching up-to-date content and skills; and staying abreast of technological demands, business trends, and employment expectations. In Mississippi, CTE focuses on developing and implementing research-based instructional programs that meet growing workforce needs and promote economic development (Advance CTE, n.d.). In the 2017-2018 academic year, 20,411 degrees and certificates...

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