The solution to the skills to jobs mismatch and information gap ultimately lies in education. We must ensure Americans have the skills and information to succeed in the jobs of today and tomorrow. As the largest and most affordable sector of the country's higher education system, community colleges are uniquely positioned for this effort.
Here in Chicago, we have embraced this challenge. Last December, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and I launched College to Careers at the City Colleges of Chicago, Illinois' largest community college system serving 120,000 students annually. The overarching goal of College to Careers is simple: create top-notch occupational programs that provide students relevant skills and transferable credits that prepare them for 21st century careers.
College to Careers has attracted major corporate partners, from UPS to United Airlines, from Walgreen to CVS, who are eager to help City Colleges develop what we call "credentials of economic value," meaning that students earn credentials that have real value to both employers and 4-year colleges. Seems like common sense, and it is. For years, community colleges have been a gateway to education for all comers. But we must also focus on the success of each student once they join our system. This means ensuring that they complete their degree, and that they have the skills and knowledge to enter the workforce or continue their education. Full article at Huffington Post