ERIC Number: ED371796
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Jul
The Challenges and Opportunities of Workforce Development.
Leadership Abstracts, v7 n7 Jul 1994
Four major trends reshaping the American economy are having a tremendous effect on the number and nature of jobs in the United States: (1) corporate downsizing; (2) the outsourcing of work and services; (3) increasing use of "contingent" workers; and (4) the increasing income disparity between high school and college graduates. These trends have had astoundingly little effect on public policy. In this environment, community colleges face both economic and educational challenges. Community colleges are quick to add new programs, but too often do not understand the natural way that firms learn. Rather than working against the economic forces that affect the workforce development problem, community colleges should leverage natural patterns of business-to-business communication and information gathering and strive to better understand the supplier networks. If community colleges are to be successful in utilizing the natural ways that firms learn, their ability to deliver relevant training to currently employed workers whose skills need upgrading will be of critical importance, and will require colleges to rethink what the outcomes of training programs should be. Community colleges also need to develop two-way partnerships with secondary schools in school-to-work transition. Colleges must be willing to adapt successful models from nontraditional sources and to find new and better applications of learning technologies, learning strategies, and pedagogies. The greatest hurdle is changing the way the country thinks about employment and training programs. This will require community colleges to become even more involved and to assume a leadership role in the political process of redefining national priorities. (KP)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Collected Works - Serials
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Kellogg Foundation, Battle Creek, MI.
Authoring Institution: League for Innovation in the Community Coll.