Community college and business leaders must make deliberate efforts to partner and develop the capacity to train individuals with skills and provide them with relevant degrees because employers are demanding â€œmore practical skills and educationâ€ in this competitive economy, according to a recent report released by Business Champions, Inc.
Business Champions, Inc. — a group of more than 30 business, education and philanthropy leaders — last week submitted an action plan, How to Create High-Impact Partnerships for Jobs & Economic Vitality in the U.S., to the White House Summit on Community Colleges. The plan outlines action steps for two key groups: employers/leaders from the business community and community college boards.
The report, focusing on moving from â€œanalyzing Americaâ€™s skilled workforce problem to implementing solutions,â€ includes principles aligned or mirrored to NASDCTEcâ€™s vision for CTE. For instance, the report notes that employers must make employee acquisition of career technical skills and credentials a priority and a possibility for individuals. Other areas of alignment include focused on the importance of encouraging the attainment of degrees beyond four-year degrees such as industry-based certifications, two-year credentials, and apprenticeship programs.
Business Champions outline the major initiatives the two groups must make to implement change.
Employers and leaders from the business community can make a difference by:
â€¢ Investing in individuals and workers
â€¢ Partnering with community colleges to strengthen program relevance and performance
â€¢ Making community colleges a focus of corporate philanthropy and corporate social responsibility efforts
â€¢ Taking the lead in advocacy for public policies to strengthen community colleges
Community college boards can make a difference by:
â€¢ Making workforce development a top priority
â€¢ Planning for success and measuring results
â€¢ Following the money: Ensuring incentives align with intended outcomes
â€¢ Using data-based decision making
â€¢ Working effectively with the college president to build the workforce development and partnership agenda