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ERIC Number: EJ992229
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Aug-13
Pages: N/A
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
Real-Time Jobs Data Show Community Colleges What Employers Need Now
Gonzalez, Jennifer
Chronicle of Higher Education, Aug 2012
Community colleges are under pressure these days to produce graduates who can land jobs. But identifying which occupations and skills are in demand is often easier said than done. LaGuardia, a City University of New York campus in Long Island City, is one of 10 community colleges across six states experimenting with software that collects real-time labor-market data, part of a project led by Jobs for the Future, a Boston-based nonprofit group that studies education and work-force issues. The software scours job ads from thousands of online sources, such as job boards, employers' Web sites, newspapers, and government agencies. The tool then aggregates and analyzes the information to produce a database of current job opportunities, including which companies have the most openings and what exactly job announcements say. The technology is relatively new, but an increasing number of state governments, local work-force boards, and economic-development agencies are already using it to try to improve the economy. Higher education has less experience collecting real-time labor-market data, so how far the information could go toward developing and tweaking occupational training programs is still unknown. One goal of the Jobs for the Future project, which began last year, is to evaluate how colleges are using the software, how the data gathered differ from traditional labor-market information, and how the two can complement each other. The state of the economy has made community colleges' pivotal role in training America's work force more important than ever. Nearly 13 million Americans are unemployed, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, while many companies have open positions they say they cannot find workers qualified to fill. Almost half of employers report having a hard time hiring, citing applicants' lack of talent and training, a survey in May by the ManpowerGroup showed. Real-time labor-market data might not be the solution, but the software has the potential to help fix the apparent mismatch between colleges' training and employers' needs, proponents say. The new technology may help make training programs more efficient.
Chronicle of Higher Education. 1255 23rd Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 800-728-2803; Tel: 202-466-1000; Fax: 202-452-1033; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois; Maine; New Jersey; New York