Community Colleges Can Tailor Training to Employers' Needs


The news that more tech executives are scaling back discretionary projects and considering making staff cuts in 2009 doesn't change the fact that plenty of companies are still hunting for employees.


I've written a number of posts on some of the relatively unexplored avenues for employment prospects. A Forrester Research analyst advises CIOs to consider tech-savvy business people, vendor staff and academic researchers and/or faculty, for example. Another option is following EMC's lead and partnering with the U.S. Army's job placement arm, which helps secure civilian jobs for former members of the military, including ex-soldiers with tech experience.


Yet another interesting option is highlighted in a recent strategy+business article: partnering with a community college to create a training program tailor-made for employer needs. As the article notes:

More than ever, they are creating fast-track training and workforce development programs that are backed by solid academic principles and remediation resources.

The article offers several examples, including United Solar Ovonic's teaming with Michigan's Montcalm Community College, which helped the company ramp up production at a new solar panel production facility ahead of schedule, and a partnership with Cargill, Inc. that led Iowa's Indian Hills Community College to create the Iowa Bioprocess Training Center, which trains technicians for several food processing plants.


These types of programs seem like they might be especially appropriate for preparing workers with skills suited to employment in what I've called the middle ground between McDonald's and Microsoft.