Workforce Preparation

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
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...
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...
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...
March 2020
Since its founding in 1961, Monroe Community College (MCC), a public institution within the State University of New York (SUNY) system, has earned a reputation as a leader in workforce education in the Upstate New York region. The college’s LadderzUP project, a public-public (PuP) partnership between MCC’s Economic and Workforce Development Center and Monroe County, offers workforce training that links county funding to college educational resources to address persistently difficult to fill positions in industry and provides access to short cycle and accelerated educational programs for...
January 2020
Students in the Radiation Therapy Technology program at the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) are training on equipment just like that used at leading teaching hospitals around the world. In fall 2018, the college acquired a Virtual Environment in Radiotherapy Training (VERT) system that enables students to practice direct hands-on skills in a radiation-free virtual setting without risk to the patient. The virtual simulator replicates the controls of a linear accelerator, which delivers targeted doses of radiation to cancer patients, bringing the level of training typically used in...
December 2019
Students at Mesa Community College receive hands-on learning experiences each semester with two days of simulated emergency medical scenarios. MCC’s Immersive Total Patient Management Experience (ITPME) is a multi-college, cross-disciplinary educational event exposing entry-level EMT, paramedic, nursing, psychology, and theatre/film arts students to potential real-life emergency scenarios and training. In addition to providing workforce experience training, the event encourages a larger dialogue among educators about the nature of innovative collaboration to create the most comprehensive...
October 2019
The Community College of Allegheny County’s South Campus held a ribbon cutting ceremony in April 2019 to celebrate the opening of its new Film Center. Local dignitaries, administrators, faculty, staff, and students were in attendance to share in the festivities and view the space, which has been transformed to house the campus’s highly successful Film Technician program. Launched at South Campus in the spring of 2017, CCAC’s Film Technician program is designed to address the shortage of qualified film crew members in the Pittsburgh region. The program focuses on the technical aspects of the...
September 2019
As the demand for public health professionals continues to increase, the League for Innovation in the Community College (League) is collaborating with the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH) to create a community college culture of health. Part of this effort involves increasing community college student awareness of career options in public health fields. In January 2019, the League awarded 23 small grants to help support this career awareness activities during National Public Health Week 2019 and World Health Day 2019. These grant-funded projects focused on...
June 2019
The Cyber Defense Program at Jackson State Community College is the only community college program in Tennessee to be certified as a National Center of Academic Excellence by the U.S. National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security. The designation puts Jackson State among an elite group of institutions across the country offering computer information technology courses that meet rigorous federal standards and setting graduating students apart from others, said Dr. Tom Pigg, Jackson State's Dean of Health Sciences and Computer Information Technology. "It is very unique that we've...
June 2019
Two years ago, faculty in the Communication department at Allen Community College were considering ways to make the introductory communication course more practical and applicable for students. After all, most students don’t see themselves standing at the front of a room full of people giving speeches in their careers; however, they do acknowledge the need for effective communication skills. At the same time, employers are pleading for job applicants with soft skills—fundamental professional behaviors. In fact, one study found that 60 percent of employers cited communication and interpersonal...
May 2019
Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management students at Norwalk Community College (NCC) often make meals for college meetings and VIP guests. Now, they’re dishing them up for paying customers, too. The college recently launched a Café Dining “restaurant” that is open to the public for lunch on Thursdays during the spring semester. The program is designed to give students work experience in all phases of running a restaurant or food-service operation—from setting pricing to preparing entrees to serving as waiters and managers. Café Dining at NCC features a la carte ordering and sit-down service....
April 2019
The need for qualified educators continues to grow locally, statewide, and across the country. Nationally, nearly 100,000 teaching positions were filled by individuals not fully qualified to teach as school districts headed into the 2017-2018 academic year, according to the Learning Policy Institute (2017). Polk County Public Schools started classes in August 2018 with nearly 100 teacher vacancies. As Polk County’s only public postsecondary institution offering state-approved teacher education preparation programs, Polk State College partnered with Polk County Public Schools to create the...
April 2019
Over the past few years, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) has prioritized the implementation of an institutional youth engagement strategy. Reliably producing skilled, work-ready graduates in demand by industry is SAIT’s core contribution to the provincial economy (SAIT, 2019). The youth engagement strategy’s overarching vision is as follows: Southern Alberta Institute of Technology is a leader in creating the future workforce by delivering life-changing experiences for youth. To achieve this mandate, the institute recognizes and embraces its unique support role in overcoming a...
February 2019
Last year, Midland College (MC) began a successful partnership with the Midland Independent School District (MISD) to prepare high school students for college and careers. As a result of this collaboration, three transformative academies—Petroleum Academy; Health Sciences Academy; and Business, Management, and Information Technology Academy—are now offered to high school students. The College & Career Academies provide high school students with opportunities to learn valuable technological and academic skills. These academies are specifically designed to meet the current and future needs...

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