MCC Daily Tribune
MCC Cited as National Model for Workforce Development
When the Aspen Institute's College Excellence Program wanted to do a deep dive into workforce development programs at community colleges, their researchers selected six colleges from across the United States to visit, MCC being one of them. Their research is captured in The Workforce Playbook, a Community College Guide to Delivering Excellent Career and Technical Education, released yesterday.
The Workforce Playbook cites MCC and five other community colleges as national models for best practices in workforce development. It is a practical guide with the goal of improving community colleges' effectiveness in delivering talent for communities and enabling social mobility for students. The Playbook uses concrete examples from the six identified high-performing community colleges to offer specific guidance about what colleges can do to build more effective workforce programs. That MCC was identified among the most effective community colleges in terms of preparing the workforce is a testament to the data- and partnership-driven approach we have taken, led by Vice President Oldham and his team.
Within MCC's programs, the Aspen researchers chose to highlight:
- MCC's work in identifying regional talent gaps and using that information to develop and market programs (pp. 12-13 of the report);
- how MCC helps employers understand the market for the kind of employees they seek (pg. 16);
- MCC's partnership with the Rochester City School District that has resulted in P-TECH (pg. 42);
- the problem-solving role the College sometimes plays for employers (pg. 47);
- MCC's leveraging of technology to support and manage its relationships with employers in a business-friendly way (pg. 54);
- how the College's approach to meeting workforce needs changed when the local economy shifted from the "Big Three" to many small and mid-sized companies, specifically citing the Monroe County-MCC LadderzUP partnership and the College's role as an industry convener (pg. 57); and
- the College's strategic use of data (pg. 58).
"MCC's labor market-informed approach to workforce development has helped us to better understand where to make program investments that will result in a larger pool of skilled workers that are most needed by local industry," said Dr. Todd Oldham, vice president, economic development and workforce and career technical education.
LadderzUP, a Monroe County workforce development program powered by Monroe Community College, is cited in the Aspen report as a unique practice. LadderzUP connects area residents to skills training aligned to the needs of local employers.
"LadderzUP has been a life-changing program for over 750 Monroe County residents," said Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo. "This innovative partnership between Monroe County and MCC has helped unlock enhanced career opportunities for individuals interested in growing fields like health care, information technology, advanced manufacturing, and the skilled trades. We're proud of this partnership and pleased that it is being recognized as a national model."
The Workforce Playbook also underscores the importance of K-12/higher education partnerships in building the worker pipeline. MCC is recognized for its partnership with the Rochester City School District and P-TECH to make it possible for students to graduate with a high school diploma and an associate's degree in information technology.
Aspen has been evaluating effective community colleges since 2011, when the biannual $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence was first awarded. Using a methodology similar to that developed for the first round of the Aspen Prize, for this playbook Aspen examined quantitative outcomes in completion and earnings for graduates to identify nearly 300 high-performing community and technical colleges, then used qualitative analyses to identify a subgroup of several dozen institutions with strong workforce programs. The Workforce Playbook is based on interviews with leaders and practitioners from 30 community colleges, as well as in-depth qualitative investigations of six colleges that deliver exceptional labor market outcomes for students.
To read the full report, visit https://highered.aspeninstitute.org/labor-market/.
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