Community College of Rhode Island: Building a 21st Century Workforce
Author(s): Individual author not identified
Organizational Author(s): Community College of Rhode island (CCRI); Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation
Community College of Rhode Island
Nellie Mae Education Foundation
Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation
Rhode Island Foundation
United Way of Rhode Island
Resource Availability: Publicly available
Provides analysis of workforce needs and policy recommendations from the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) 21st Century Workforce Commission for creating a 21st-century workforce.
The report makes the case that there are substantial workforce challenges (emerging jobs with new skills, aging workforce, and need for remedial education in the workforce) that must be addressed by the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI), which requires a new strategic approach. The report recommends four actions: enact state career pathways legislation, strengthen CCRI's capacity, encourage culture of innovation at CCRI, and increase and assure funding. (Abstractor: Website Staff)
Major Findings & Recommendations
"• The Commission found that Rhode Island’s workforce development needs are widely varied, pulling the state’s sole community college in too many directions. Employers, workforce development providers, and community-based organizations echo [the Governor’s] call for a coordinated, strategic approach to align CCRI’s workforce development efforts across the state.
• CCRI is the largest supplier of healthcare workers in the state. The Commission’s research indicates that CCRI is also well-positioned to address demand for workers in financial, accounting, information technology, engineering and technology fields, as well as supervisory positions across industries.
• To meet these demands, CCRI must increase enrollments in new areas of study, graduate more students with certificates and degrees in areas of industry demand, and offer more opportunities for students to gain work experience. It must also address the repeated call from employers for entry-level workers with soft skills. These [skills] include communicating in a professional manner and providing customer service.
• Finally, the Commission found that CCRI lacks the resources and flexibility demanded by employers competing in a global market — shortcomings that severely hamper the college’s ability to expand its partnerships with employers, industry, and other state and educational institutions. In addition, there is a perceived lack of awareness of CCRI’s workforce development and training programs" (p. 4). (Abstractor: Author)