Since the Great Recession, college graduates have entered a challenging job market. And yet, some 2 million manufacturing jobs will remain vacant over the next decade, due in large part to the “skills gap,” or a lack of qualified candidates. One possible solution, cited by the administration, educators, and manufacturers alike, is the development of community college training programs to cultivate the next generation of manufacturing employees. As a result, many community colleges are entering into partnerships with large companies to prepare their students for a career in the country’s reinvigorated manufacturing sector.
On July 9, Governance Studies at Brookings hosted a half-day conference focused on the growing partnerships between community colleges and the manufacturing sector. Panels focused on the future of workforce development and the role of community colleges in the training of manufacturing workers. How are community colleges working to prepare the next generation of innovators in the manufacturing space and ready young adults to enter the workforce?
The conference marks the fourth annual John Hazen White Forum on Public Policy, which convenes leaders from academia, business, and government to discuss and identify solutions to the United States’ most pressing challenges.