With university tuition costs on the rise, community colleges have become more attractive to those looking to start or build a career. Community colleges can provide students with quality career training programs while meeting local workforce needs. As a result, the public workforce system and businesses are increasingly pursuing community college partnerships to better prepare students for industry-aligned jobs. These resources explore these partnerships and strategies to strengthen them.

Improving America’s Workforce through Enhanced Collaboration between the Public Workforce System and Community Colleges. 2011. This report analyzes the gaps and describes promising strategies for collaborative partnerships between the public workforce system and community colleges to effectively meet workforce training needs through Career and Technical Education programs. It also makes recommendations to guide future research related to fostering collaborative partnerships. For example, create a demonstration program “aimed at providing better information about the labor market outcomes of existing One‐Stop and community college programs” that can facilitate improved decision-making.


Key Factors and Stages of Collaboration within Community College Automotive Industry Sector Partnerships. 2012. This study examines seven college-automotive industry partnerships that are part of AMTEC. The study finds “differences of perceptions between each local community college’s partners and that of their automotive manufacturing partner.” Perceptions were organized into eleven categories: collaborative mindset, strategic alignment, collaboration value, resource exchange, contextual learning, personal connection, progress communication, focused attention, mutual expectations and accountability, and level of engagement. The study offers recommendations for businesses and community colleges to consider to improve collaboration. For instance, the study suggests that engaging “both partners in a shared vision and mission will enable them to overcome attitudes resistant to collaboration and begin to realize their full potential.”


Oregon Credentials, Acceleration and Support for Employment (CASE) Evaluation Report: Results, Key Issues and Implications for Policy, Practice and Systems. 2015. This evaluation report examines the education and employment outcomes of 17 Oregon community colleges. CASE advanced collaborative efforts to improve career pathways, career coaching and supportive services, and credit for prior learning. Of the 4,639 CASE student participants, nearly two-thirds earned credentials and one-fifth earned a degree. The study also finds that about a quarter of “participants who were unemployed at enrollment and completed training got jobs.” The report identifies key issues and implications for policy, practice and systems regarding the CASE project, including the program model and its career pathways framework.