“Skills for America’s Future” has Community College Focus

President Obama announced this week at his Economic Advisory Board meeting the launch of a new plan to promote better job training at community colleges. The “Skills for America’s Future” initiative aims at connecting private sector businesses with community colleges with a view to boosting job skills in the U.S. This initiative was in conjunction with the Community College Summit also this week.

“The idea here is simple,” the president told the Advisory Board. “We want to make easier to connect students looking for jobs, with businesses looking to hire.”

Community colleges had a rare moment, as the were heralded as the unsung heroes of education and the life-force behind workforce development.

The summit focused on strategies to achieve Obama’s goal of an additional 5 million community college graduates by 2020 and the critical role that two-year institutions will play in developing the U.S. work force of the future, when most jobs will require a postsecondary credential.

“But reaching the 2020 goal that I’ve set is not just going to depend on government. It also depends on educators and students doing their part. And it depends on business and not-for-profits working with colleges to connect students with jobs,” Obama said.

There is a lot of momentum behind the community college push this week, as Melinda Gates announced a renewed commitment to post secondary education and community colleges. Her column in the Huffington Post described the importance of non-traditional students and education institutions that are community based.

To read the White House fact sheet on strengthening community colleges HERE.

For more information on ‘Building Skills for America’s Future’ check out the Aspen Institute site.