Community Colleges Launch Initiatives to Train More Tech-Savvy Workers
As the competition for skilled technology heats up, state lawmakers are asking community colleges to create programs designed to turn out skilled workers that can keep local economies thriving.
At Northern Virginia community college, in Springfield, VA, officials have found themselves inundated with requests from local businesses desperate for specialized training programs, reports Community College Daily (CCD). Steven Partridge, vice president of workforce and economic development at NVCC, recently told a state House committee that the school is focusing on “risk-of-flight companies” to ensure that economic powerhouses don’t leave the region. He points out that in 2018, the area will need about 20,000 new technology workers to meet demand.
The bad news? He says local colleges don’t have the capacity to produce more than 10,000 of those employees.
To address the problem, the school is launching the Tech Talent Pipeline initiative. It’s an ecosystem comprised of public schools, nonprofit partners, postsecondary institutions, and economic developers to educate the public about what careers are available to them—and highlight the pathways to training. The goal is to triple the number of students studying technology-related fields.
Community colleges around the country are addressing the need for more technologically savvy workers.
“They come in all shapes and sizes – short-term, long-term, at the company, at a college, provided by a community-based organization or a venture-funded ed tech startup,” Tamar Jacoby, president of Opportunity America, told CCD. “The sheer variety of offerings can be hard to take in – truly a thousand flowers blooming.”