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ERIC Number: ED519801
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-May-18
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
Community Colleges and Regional Recovery: Strategies for State Action. Project on State and Metropolitan Innovation
Kazis, Richard
Brookings Institution
Employers need a pipeline of quality workers with different levels of skill and desired earnings. Almost half of U.S. jobs today can be defined as "middle skill" jobs, requiring less than a four-year degree but more than a high school diploma. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) occupational projections indicate that job categories for which the associate's degree is the most significant source of education and training will grow 19 percent through 2018, faster than any other job category. The labor market for these jobs is regional, not national. Workers seeking middle-skill positions tend to be less mobile than more highly educated jobseekers. In fact, between 60 percent and 70 percent of Americans spend most of their working life in the state where they were born and between 45 percent and 55 percent stay in their metro region of origin. These trends place renewed priority on the performance and potential of community colleges, the primary postsecondary institution serving local and regional workforce needs. These institutions are critically important to individuals seeking higher skills and to employers looking for qualified workers. States that fail to align their community college goals with economic development efforts to address their human capital challenges run the risk of losing out in the competition for good jobs and sustainable development. This brief describes the challenge that states face in aligning workforce and economic development strategies, and recommends a set of practical steps state leaders can take to bridge their community college and economic development agendas and advance economic recovery and long-term growth. (Contains 35 endnotes.) [Additional support for this paper was provided by the F.B. Heron Foundation, and the Metropolitan Leadership Council.]
Brookings Institution. 1775 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-797-6000; Fax: 202-797-6004; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Rockefeller Foundation; John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; George Gund Foundation; Howard Heinz Endowment, Pittsburgh, PA.
Authoring Institution: Brookings Institution
Identifiers - Location: United States