Bridging the gap between education and employment: Community college and beyond

The pandemic underscored an pressing need: The best-instructd workers are prospering but too many others are being left behind. To address this challenge aggregation colleges can be rich resources for educating the higher-skilled workers that activity is now claiming. However schools working with employers and planmakers must do more to bridge the gap between education and employment.

This July in a statewide effort to build new education standards for advanced skills MIT Open Learning and MassBridge hosted ’Bridging the Education/Workforce Gap: Community College and Beyond’ a two-day discussion with reflection leaders from all parts of the education-workforce equation to explore how to swell and form new training opportunities that fit students for condition jobs. Building on new standards discussed in a late MIT study (MassBridge Advanced Manufacturing Education Benchmark Report) speakers shared further ideas on how to bridge that gap between education and employment athwart many different sectors.

Throughout the discussion some ordinary themes emerged:

  • The workforce needs nimble learners who can upskill easily.
  • Industry needs change rapidly so training programs need to fit agreeably.
  • Partnerships with employers in the activity are key.
  • Courses apprenticeships and credentialing need to be affable to all learners.

Day 1: Education perspectives

On the leading day of programming professionals from aggregation colleges state government and activity recognized the growing need for fitable workforce training programs at both the entrance level and the pressing worker level which will claim powerful unions between educational programs and employers. George Westerman senior lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management and a highest investigation scientist at J-WEL Workforce Learning says ’We need a new standard for employers to help form the workers they need rather than trying to find them.’ A pliant mixed online/in-person standard would allow a wider range of students to approach and complete these programs. Training programs should emphasize ’ethnical skills’ that workers will quiet be able to leverage even as hard skills evolve.

In ’The Changing Face of Community College Education’ panelists who work at aggregation colleges discussed the growing claim for pressing worker training and fast-tracked entrance-level workforce training. Repackaging curricula with palpable milestones such as ’stackable credentials’  would hasten the path to a grade for part-time students they said. Focusing on ’credentials of value’ can embed employer needs from local activity in courses.

Moderated by Bob LePage Massachusetts helper secretary for course education a panel on the role of education plan focused on the opportunities to rebuild and modernize the education method. The pandemic has shown that a mixed education approach could be an fair strategy that combines the best of digital approach and hands-on activities to hasten student learning. Beyond the classroom schools need scalable work-based learning opportunities over registered apprentices. Federal and state planmakers are also looking to embed activity unions into the transmitted grade standard speakers said.

In ’A Cross-activity Look at Education Needs’ panelists from Mass Tech College and University Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center the University of Massachusetts and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center discussed the challenges of finding fitted candidates for technical jobs. They envisioned a method for incentivizing these difficult-to-fill positions by partnering with aggregation colleges to propose brief-term training for lower-wage workers. By training the existing workforce employers can better evolve to fit their own needs.

A keynote introduction from Bill Bonvillian senior ruler of particular projects at MIT Open Learning and lecturer at MIT and Sanjay Sarma vice chairman for open learning focused on the high work nonparticipation rates that have been edifice over the last 15 years and exacerbated by the pandemic. Recent reports show millions of higher-skilled jobs are going unfilled owing we lack the workforce education method to train those who can fill them. The work market information chain is broken: Workers dont know what skills they need educators dont know what skills to instruct for and employers dont know what skills workers have. ’The collective contract of universities has to change’ Sarma said. ’Ideally such a contract would prepare ’a holistic education to nation who need it in the workforce.’

Drawing from Bonvillian and Sarmas late book "Workforce Education" Bonvillian proposeed recommendations for new delivery standards of training such as breaking down the work/learning barrier with more apprenticeships; creating ’trifecta’ programs at aggregation colleges that extend high school students aggregation college students and pressing workers; implementing brief courses that lead to certificates and grades for students who are already in the workforce and have time restraints; and integrating federal programs at the state level. Bonvillian said ’Designing programs that completion each other ... blurring the line between grades and credentials filling gaps where Pell grants dont help on workforce needs — these are all programs that have come right out of those combined education-activity efforts.’

Day 2: Industry government and student perspectives

Workers of the forthcoming will need to be trained in digital literacy hands-on abilities and nice thinking. Speakers on the second day of programming indicated a powerful drive persistence and inquisitiveness from aggregation college students that can be fostered through targeted training programs.

In the panel ’Up and Coming’ MIT habitual engineering lecturer John Liu moderated a converse with a cluster of running and preceding aggregation college students who returned to school behind a stop in the workforce to chase training in another field. Their motivations ranged from pursuing their passions to helping others to creating a more firm forthcoming for themselves. One panelist Mussie Demisse was a preceding Bunker Hill Community College student who went on to graduate with a bachelors grade from MIT. Demisse said the MassHire program which supports student achievement through state funding and activity involvement via personal coaching and internships ’aligned their goals with mine for my betterment and that made it easier for me to align my goals with them.’

Keynote speaker Celeste Carter lead program ruler for advanced technological education at the National Science Foundation (NSF) shared how the NSF developed a program that looked at innovative strategies to instruct the skilled technical workforce. Carter said communication with students is hugely significant to training programs. ’Theres a lot of inquisitiveness a lot of persistence a lot of veritably keen nation at two-year institutions. We need to take gain of it’ she said.

In a panel on statewide agency and colworkation statewide education leaders who work for different institutions in different states shared how they have seen correspondent achievementes through unions listening and flexibility. Panelists said its significant to have a pliant program construction that can fit to these evolving needs of employers and students. Amy Firestone of Apprentice Carolina and South Carolinas Technical College System shared how their ’3D process’ (which stands for ’discovery design and delivery’) informed their program.

Crossing organizational boundaries

Aill-tempered two days of panel discussions educators planmakers activity leaders and students spoke to the achievement of unions between educational institutions and employers. If employers have a vested interest in the outcomes of training programs students will be trained with the running needs of their industries in mind and will be better fitd for the workforce upon graduation they said.

"One word we heard a lot during this discussion is ’union’ and thats so significant’ says Westerman. ’Because we have a gap and you cant ill-tempered this gap on your own. We all know that ill-tempereding organizational boundaries is an unnatural act and so we all have to find ways to get athwart there."