“This report describes the activities and strategies of a wide variety of partnerships between community colleges and workforce boards, with key takeaways…that can assist other community colleges and workforce organizations to solidify their collaborations and further their mutual goals….
Many community colleges and public workforce organizations—state workforce agencies, state and local workforce development boards (WDBs) and American Job Centers (AJCs)—have [created partnerships] to have a larger impact together than they could have alone in helping people prepare for jobs and employers find a skilled labor force.
Building such partnerships is an essential element of the U.S. Department of Labor grant program called Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT). This program provided nearly $2 billion over a seven-year period to help the nation’s community colleges deliver industry-aligned credentials for unemployed and underemployed adults.
Many of the examples in this report illustrate partnerships that emerged out of TAACCCT, while others are longstanding relationships that pre-dated the program.
The first set of stories focuses on statewide and regional efforts to identify needs in the local labor market and to develop programs to meet them. The second set delves into the activities and lessons learned from serving ‘common customers’—individual students, employers, and jobseekers. In most cases, these two purposes are not mutually exclusive, and colleges and public workforce agencies come together to do both. But looking at them separately is helpful for homing in on the particular activities needed in each instance.
The common thread in these stories, whether the focus is service delivery or labor market planning, is that, like all relationships, successful partnerships don’t happen overnight. They require deliberate planning, focus, time, and resources” (p.1-2).