Market-Responsive Community Colleges Regional Dialogue September 30, 2003 Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce Chicago, Illinois

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1 Market-Responsive Community Colleges Regional Dialogue September 30, 2003 Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce Chicago, Illinois

2 Page 2 9/30/03

3 Market-Responsive Community College Forum Chicago, Illinois The Center for Workforce Preparation (CWP), in conjunction with the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), is developing a comprehensive guide for community colleges and chambers of commerce to create effective workforce development partnerships. Chambers of commerce and community colleges, which often work independently of one another, are part of the solution to workforce challenges across the nation. Four half-day regional forums are being conducted throughout the country to identify, evaluate, and select promising practices that will build the capacity of chambers of commerce and community colleges to develop the workforce necessary to keep their communities competitive in today s and tomorrow s economy. These forums aim to increase how chambers of commerce, community colleges, and businesses can work together to develop the services they need. Chicago, Illinois On September 30, 2003, the second of four forums was held at the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce in Chicago, Illinois. Approximately 30 workforce professionals convened to discuss workforce priorities in the community. This group gathered information on promising practices, market-responsive challenges, and solutions for the economic success of communities in the region. Agenda I. What Does Success Look Like: A Vision for the Future II. Forging a Successful Chamber- Community College Relationship III. Promising Practices IV. Success Indicators V. The Must-Haves for a Useful Product VI. Wrap-Up and Next Steps Page 3 9/30/03

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5 I. What Does Success Look Like: A Vision for the Future To prepare for the forum, participants were asked to imagine themselves 5 years in the future telling a colleague or group of business associates about their local marketresponsive community colleges. Participants were asked to respond to a series of questions about what new values and attitudes they see in market-responsive community college systems, what types of relationships they envision, and what effects these systems have in the community. Their visions were displayed on murals around the room in the following categories: Key Results, What People Say, and New Actions and Behaviors. During the forum, participants walked around the room reviewing and expanding on one another s ideas. Key Results Community colleges provide online training during work hours. Community colleges are the trainers of choice for local businesses. The return on investment from market-responsive community colleges is equal to regional economic development. Businesses play an important participatory role in the development of a community college s strategic plan by providing more and better quantitative data on specific job category needs. Community colleges design career ladder approaches to certificates that are smaller packages of associate degree programs. Community colleges blend the lines between credit and non-credit courses. Community colleges, workforce investment boards, chambers, and local business leaders meet regularly to keep current on the changing market-place. Employees are able to train at both community colleges and business locations. Community colleges offer flexible training options including multiple delivery systems as well as multiple learning styles. A market-responsive measurement system is in place that contains focus groups and trend analysis. One-stop centers are located on community college campuses presenting an education environment instead of a government social service stigma. Community colleges collaborate with each other to meet specific workforce needs in the community and region. More bridge programs have been created to incorporate all students K-16. There is a more seamless transition from the community college education to an actual job because community colleges train people and instill skill sets for jobs that are in existence within the community. The community college system has a center for excellence that provides resources to the system to help gauge supply and demand of the local labor market place. There is a bridging of internal product/service delivery silos to achieve the set of economic goals and objectives set by the community. Page 5 9/30/03

6 A standards based curriculum is present within the state community college system. Workforce investment boards develop regional economic centers at community colleges. Community colleges train for all levels of employment. The community college system in place is big and efficient so that small business is able to create contracts with ease. The market-responsive community college system generates a credible, reliable, and appropriately skilled product for employers. There is a reduction in hard to fill jobs because of faster training by community colleges. Page 6 9/30/03

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8 People are Saying Companies who once thought of themselves as too technical for community college training programs now train employees at local campuses. Community colleges add value to the local market place by offering programs that develop, enhance, and retain a qualified workforce. Students see community college as a one-stop source for job counseling, training, educating, and job placement. Community learning resource centers serve as a marketing arm of the local community college via satellite campuses. Graduating high school seniors are aware of a breath of jobs requiring only one to two year certificates/degrees. Business and industry professionals are eager to teach in community colleges. Community colleges identify and match students to positions in local and regional businesses. Workforce development organizations look beyond their borders to expand economic impact across the region. Community colleges offer a wide variety of evening, weekend, and online classes. There is more state funding for community colleges to be more responsive to curriculum, facility needs, development, class sizes, and class schedules. Business sees the community college as a good investment because it aides in driving economic recovery. Workplace productivity improves due to accessible and relevant education offered at local community colleges. Courses taught at the community college include information and skills that are relevant to the needs of businesses and corporations. Cross-district competition for business improves community college offerings. High school graduates and parents see value in starting professional career preparation at community colleges; no longer as a second choice. Learning is no longer vertical (K-20), but multidimensional. Community colleges teach skills and courses that are relevant to business needs. Page 8 9/30/03

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10 New Actions/Behaviors Community colleges provide skill upgrading in a flexible setting such as e- learning. The backbone of the economy is a diverse and well educated small business community because they use community colleges for training employees. Business is willing to support basic education in conjunction with skills training for beginning level of workers (ESL, GED). Collaborative partnerships with community colleges attract new companies to the region. Companies remain in the region because of the value of the available skilled workforce. No industry/business recruitment visits are made without the community college s involvement. Community colleges develop a network of satellite campuses, including business, government, and community facilities to bring skills to customers. The community college is an active player in the economic development of the community by aiding in business relocations. The latest technology and equipment provided by businesses to local community colleges ensures high performance capability in the workforce. Faculty and administrators of community colleges support seamless education that transcends traditional calendars so that business views community colleges as integral to the business success. Community colleges better market and package the key role they play in the community. Dual enrollment is available for all high school students within the community. Business investment increases in the education/training of their current workforce because of the validated return on investment. There is less reliance on government programs, so that the government is able to focus on best applications and gaps in the system. Education modalities constantly evolve in the market-responsive community college system. Curriculum is customized to the immediacy of the industry as well as the learner. A coalition of co-training by the community colleges, chambers of commerce, and the CEOs of businesses exists. Workforce boards act as conveners of industry and education summits. Annual assessments of industry needs and certification requirements are the driving force behind curriculum changes. An attitudinal shift regarding economic research and development exists in community colleges and they are no longer reactive. There are more job-specific marketing approaches made by community colleges to certain geographic areas. There is a commitment of community colleges and businesses to train and provide career ladders for underserved and under skilled populations. The Small Business Administration has sites on community college campuses Page 10 9/30/03

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12 II. Forging a Successful Chamber-Community College Relationship The regional forum included a state of the union panel detailing workforce development in the Greater Chicagoland region. Gerald Roper, CEO, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce; Wayne Watson, chancellor, City Colleges of Chicago; Nancy Clawson, cochair, and Joanna Greene, director of youth policy, The Workforce Board of Chicago; each spoke about workforce development issues and promising practices in their respective organizations. Their focus was primarily on the efforts their partnering has had on the health care sector in the region. Success for the 8.3 million people in the region resulted when 18 community colleges, 200 chambers of commerce, and 65% of the region s employers met the needs for 200,000 jobs. Key elements to their success included visionary regional forums, analysis of the workforce regional Web site and clearing house, industry summits, and elimination of duplication and redundancy. After a brief question and answer session, participants joined a large group discussion to explore and identify barriers, incentives, alignments, and partners in workforce development. Barriers to creating a market-responsive community college system: Uncooperative community stakeholders Difficulty in approving and funding curriculum Unclear labor information Long-standing turf issues among community colleges Short-sighted thinking Entangled bureaucratic systems On-going silo mentality Pervasive internal politics Poorly articulated partner needs Unmet partnership results Incentives to creating a market-responsive community college system: Community colleges attract students through career ladders. Community colleges are cost competitive for business and students. Community colleges appeal to businesses because they have accessible locations. Community colleges are credible and more visible when performing well. Community colleges are viewed as more practical since they are tied to real jobs in the community. The community college system is more flexible than four-year institutions since they offer a variety of schedules to all customers, both businesses and students. Alignment in creating a market-responsive community college system: Processing grant applications Sharing of resources for individual needs Integrating new accreditation with accountability measures Page 12 9/30/03

13 Developing proactive community colleges instead of reacting to the community s needs Packaging of community colleges results as a marketing tool to business Partners involved in creating a market-responsive community college system: Students Labor K-12 Legislators Leaders who have the influence and power to make decisions, not note takers Foundations County executives Page 13 9/30/03

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16 III. Best Practices Best Practices in the Region: City Colleges of Chicago Work Keys project with Metro Workforce Boards Medical interpreting certificates at Waubonsee Community College as a direct response to local market labor needs Ford Motor Company Supplier Park Training Center Regional consortium of Chicago Southland Community Colleges and local universities Chicago Southland Alliance Health Care Forum Small Business Administration sites on Prairie State College Campus Employer-based training, assessment, and retention programs in community developed by regional workforce board Metropolitan Chicago Workforce Board has case history of its regional efforts, including economic industry summits Illinois Occupational Skills Standards active Web site: IV. Success Indicators Following the large group discussion, participants were asked to place success indicators on a group outcome board. The following success indicators capture how outcomes can be measured and evaluated in terms of their effectiveness as a market-responsive community college: Student retention rates rise Businesses and community colleges share costs and accountability for marketdriven programs Businesses provide equipment at their site or at local college, create internships, and/or job placement programs for graduates Community colleges provide programs for students with curriculum designed jointly by business and community college personnel Literacy rates of workforce increase New business/industry steadily moving into the community More emphasis on result measurements More individuals in region accessing life long learning as a result of understanding the importance and availability of adult training, such as, career ladders, lattice opportunities, etc. Health care and technical courses provided in all high schools Reduction in poverty rates Channeling of untapped labor populations into economic mainstream Reduction in job vacancy rate Growth in biotech, health care, ship building industries high wage, high skilled jobs Page 16 9/30/03

17 Creation of a one-stop center that is recognized as the primary place in the community for employers to go to for listing jobs, getting services, training, grants, etc. Agreement on definition of workforce development Identification of appropriate players Key goals measured continuously Benchmarking the specific occupational trends and needs of community, followed by gauging success against degrees achieved in those specific areas Increased earning power of community college students/graduates Increase in number of operational bridge programs that link adult remedial education programs to skill based college credit programs An end to employer complaints regarding job applicants not speaking well enough or not having analytic/problem solving skills for basic office functions Increased graduation rates Education levels rising Increased per capita earnings of students Increased productivity in workplace Unemployment rate declining Overall regional economic indicators increase Employee retention rates increase Major employers and small businesses have larger number of job applicants and incumbent workers capable of taking short courses for upgrading or retraining Measured reduction in number or percentage of hard-to-fill technical, high-skill, good wage jobs Reduction in hiring costs due to flow of pipeline, good retention, etc. from increased business investment in training employee benefits Higher math and science skills at elementary, secondary and post-secondary levels Higher number of women and minorities in technical occupations Page 17 9/30/03

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19 V. The Must Haves for a Useful Product The group indicated the following components as important considerations in developing guide products: Promising practices Resources Work keys Interactive Web site List of standard access points List of agencies that provide program certificates Results from practices Glossary/acronyms References and contacts to real individuals (sources) of practices A structure including situation/action/results of practice Templates: MOUs, contracts, benchmarking tools, surveys Stories of great failures (lessons learned) Reference to programs for people with disabilities VI. Wrap-up and Next Steps This forum was the second in a series of four half-day regional forums being conducted throughout the country by the Center for Workforce Preparation. The forum ended with a meeting evaluation considering both the positives and negatives from the day. The participants particularly liked the pre-work assignment, the time allotment, the interaction from the group, and how most sectors were represented. Things to change included more action discussion, the need for representative cross sections in the room, the addition of legislators, and the omission of the local presentations. The next two regional forums will be held in Seattle, WA and New Orleans, LA. Following the regional forums, CWP will develop a comprehensive guide to further enhance the capacity of chambers and community colleges to collaborate with their public workforce boards in building market-driven workforce systems. This summary, as well as the summaries of the other forums will be posted on CWP s Web site: Page 19 9/30/03

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