"Promising practice partnership examples from eight community colleges that capture the most progressive and replicable elements for economic development success, including tools useful for partnership planning, management, and evaluation from programs, policymakers, and intermediaries."

The American Association of Community Colleges Center for Workforce and Economic Development (the Center) and the National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE) created a compendium of promising practices and tools to address the necessary components for long-term sustainability of an effective. 

 - Time and financial maintenance

-  Evolving collaborative practices as partnerships become more complex

-  Multifaceted and interrelated employment, education and training, and social dynamics with increasingly diminished public resources.

In this report, the Center and NCEE have gathered promising practice partnership examples from community colleges across the country to capture the most progressive and replicable elements for economic development success. In addition to the case studies, the Center collected tools useful for partnership planning, management, and evaluation from programs, policymakers, and intermediaries.

"The material in this publication is intended for use by community college leaders and staff who have institutional responsibilities and interact with external audiences in fundraising, sustainability, or capacity building. As experts at interacting with workforce boards, economic development entities, businesses, community organizations, workers’ organizations, and other public entities, community colleges aptly have the vision and capacity to time, leverage, and appropriately maintain these continuously evolving partnerships for local labor market growth" (p.2). (Abstractor: Author) 

Major Findings & Recommendations

Case Studies: "Centralia Community College (WA) The work being done at Centralia Community College provides a stellar example of community colleges, industry leaders, public agencies, and others coming together to achieve a shared vision and highlights the ability of a region to align multiple and different organizations, initiatives, and funding sources. Indiana Partnership Compact (IN) With a collective community college system, Indiana provides a model case study of a “declaration of interdependence” that puts in writing the underlying ethics, roles, and responsibilities of partners engaged in a regional economic growth initiative. Northern Virginia Community College (VA) The HealthFORCE Initiative at Northern Virginia Community College demonstrates an effective regional partnership spearheaded by community college leaders. A task force was created to address critical skill shortages in the health-care industry while considering the issues identified by all parties. Consortium for Alabama Regional Center for Automotive Manufacturing (AL) This case study of an Alabama consortium highlights a comprehensive plan to meet the emerging needs of the state’s growing automotive cluster. Los Angeles Community Colleges (CA) Focused initially on the transportation and logistics sector, this partnership proved to be so highly adaptable in meeting a wide range of needs for diverse target populations that the partners were able to replicate the model in other sectors. This case study provides an example of widening capacity. Greater Louisville inc. (KY) The stakeholders in Louisville deliberately took the time to identify the core partnership needed and leveraged necessary support from public, private, nonprofit, and political stakeholders to achieve regional goals. This case study profiles the postsecondary partners who collectively met industry needs. California Workforce Association (CA) This case study of creating competitive workforce advantage is a strong example of how one partner, the workforce system, identified the role it plays in contributing to and achieving regional success. Cape Cod Community College (MA) This case study describes a regional initiative for a rapidly growing green sector leveraging multiple partners and their individual resources in support of a collective effort" (p.3). (Abstractor: Author)