ERIC Number: ED537833
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Dec
Reference Count: 18
Working It Out: Community Colleges and the Workforce Investment Act
Visher, Mary G.; Fowler, Donna
MPR Associates, Inc.
Not since the Depression, when the unemployed flocked to community colleges for training, have community colleges been more squarely in the workforce development spotlight than now. Long recognized for providing affordable access to students seeking associate's degrees or transfer to four-year postsecondary institutions, community colleges have received less attention as providers of occupational skills training for disadvantaged job-seekers or dislocated workers. However, the federal interest in strengthening the role of community colleges in providing high-quality training to meet changing labor market demands has led to some recent initiatives and funding programs. Community colleges are considered essential partners in these programs. As national attention has turned to community colleges as the "engines of workforce development," the colleges' participation in the nation's federal employment and training system, established by the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998, has become crucial. The purpose of this project is twofold: to stimulate the thinking of community colleges about how they can better use WIA to further their goals and how WIA can better use community colleges to improve the quality and effectiveness of its programs. The authors began this two-year project by interviewing federal policy makers and representatives of stakeholder groups over a period of six months. They asked respondents to identify key challenges that colleges face in working with WIA, their ideas about how to best tackle those challenges, and examples of colleges that exemplify innovative and effective models of participation in WIA. This report concludes with a summary of the lessons learned, followed by a list of challenges colleges still face. Because solutions to these ongoing challenges are for the most part outside the control of colleges, resolving them may require policy changes on the part of states or the federal government. Recommendations for some of these changes are provided. Stakeholder interviews are appended. (Contains 3 tables and 5 footnotes.) [This report was produced by the Institute for the Study of Family, Work, and Community, a nonprofit affiliate of MPR Associates, Inc.]
Descriptors: Stakeholders, Job Training, Community Colleges, Dislocated Workers, Interviews, Labor Market, Federal Government, Federal Legislation, Associate Degrees, Student Educational Objectives, Goal Orientation, Educational Quality, Educational Innovation, State Policy, Educational Change, Educational Policy, Career Readiness
MPR Associates, Inc. 2150 Shattuck Avenue Suite 800, Berkeley, CA 94704. Tel: 510-849-4942; Fax: 510-849-0794; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.mprinc.com
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Sponsor: Lumina Foundation for Education
Authoring Institution: MPR Associates, Inc.
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Workforce Investment Act 1998