Research on education and skills levels of employees and jobs available in the future is clear. Recent projections by The Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce indicate, by 2018, the economy will experience 47 million job openings, two-thirds of which will require some postsecondary education or training. Predictions indicate that there will not be enough people qualified to fill three million of these jobs, jobs which require at least a two-year associate’s degree. Without strategic change this gap will only continue to grow – hurting individuals, their families, our communities and our nation’s economy.
A distinct connection exists between college completion and workforce preparedness. Relevant job experience is critical for individuals who want their education to prepare them for the workforce. The correlation between education and work, combined with economic forecasts make partnerships between businesses and community colleges a smart solution that can mutually benefit employers, educators and individuals.
Corporate Voices encourages the scaling of best practice Learn and Earn model partnerships, which are collaborations that integrate important aspects of employment and education for working learners. Business and Community College Partnerships: A Blueprint helps practitioners create and sustain these partnerships to increase the skills of employees and college completion rates.