The labor market in America today faces a paradox. Although the United States is experiencing high unemployment and joblessness, employers widely report difficulty finding qualified and skilled workers. The gap between employers’ needs and workers’ skills —and the imperative to close it — has been an ongoing call to arms from the business community for many years and has not abated even in current economic conditions.
These two trends — employers in need of better prepared workers and educational systems that fail to produce an adequate supply of appropriately skilled graduates — have been on a collision course, creating a growing skills gap in the marketplace. Yet that course is not irreversible. With decisive action and a sustained commitment, it is not too late to align these trajectories — for the benefit of employers, schools, individuals, families, and the competitiveness of our national economy. When businesses collaborate with education to create opportunities for students to advance academically and in their careers, employers, colleges, and individuals can all succeed.
Corporate Voices for Working Families has published a report, titled, From an ‘Ill-Prepared’ to a Well-Prepared Workforce: The Shared Imperatives for Employers and Community Colleges to Collaborate to discuss the imperative for collaborations between industry and community colleges. The paper also highlights promising practices in employer and community college partnerships, and recommends a set of public and private policies to support the growth of these partnerships in the future.
From an ‘Ill-Prepared’ to a Well-Prepared Workforce was made possible with generous support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Postsecondary Success Strategy.
- Download the report: From an ‘Ill-Prepared’ to a Well-Prepared Workforce: The Shared Imperatives for Employers and Community Colleges to Collaborate [PDF]
- Access a one-page summary of this report [PDF]
- Read the press release: Corporate Voices Report Highlights Innovative Employer and Community College Partnerships.
- Reade the blog coverage of the White House Summit on Community Colleges, “Community Colleges: The Backbone of Our Public Workforce System,” by Jane Oates, White House Blog.
- Read more about Corporate Voices’ work on workforce readiness and other “Learn and Earn” mico-business cases.