As the nation rebuilds in the wake of the pandemic, millions of Americans will need fast, job-focused upskilling and reskilling before they can return to work. No institution is better positioned to take up the challenge – new demand for safety training, technical training, IT training and more – than the nation’s 1,100 two-year community and technical colleges.

A new report by a group of educators and education policy thinkers outlines a strategy for community colleges – urging them to step up in the wake of the Covid crisis as the nation’s premier provider of workforce education.


Full report
Executive summary
Executive summary (PDF)


Can community colleges step up as engines of economic recovery? Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Workforce Currents, 11-13-20
America’s community colleges: Time to step up JFF, 10-15-20
Community colleges can be the engine of economic recovery The Hechinger Report, 9-4-20
It’s time to digitally transform community college EdSurge, 8-12-20


Opportunity America report: Community colleges can be the primary provider of job-focused education WorkingNation, 7-6-20
Report lays out how community colleges could save economy Inside Higher Ed, 6-25-20
Heavy on workforce development American Association of Community Colleges Community College Daily, 6-25-20


Rebooting community colleges to get Americans back to work Greater Houston Partnership, UpSkill Works, 12-2-20
Aligning college programs with the labor market National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship, 12-1-20
Hidden college, hidden asset: Noncredit education National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship, 11-17-20
Meeting regional STEMM workforce needs in the wake of COVID-19 National Academy of Sciences, 11-10-20
Hire education conference Virginia Community College System, 11-6-20
Leveraging education to find workforce solutions Pasadena City College, Future of Work podcast, 11-5-20
Community college partnership Zoominar Midwest Urban Strategies, 10-29-20
Postsecondary education and training are vital to mobility WorkingNation Work in Progress podcast, 10-20-20
Reimagining community college in Florida Florida College System, Council of Workforce Education, 10-8-20
How US community colleges can bolster the post-Covid recovery Harvard Business School, Managing the Future of Work podcast, 10-7-20
Hidden college, hidden asset: Noncredit education Association of Community College Trustees Leadership Congress, 10-5-20
Tamar Jacoby on the future of community colleges America Enterprise Institute, Hardly Working podcast, 8-26-20
The role of community colleges during and after the pandemic National Conference of State Legislatures, 8-21-20
The indispensable role community colleges play in the economic recovery Bellevue University, Real Learning Summit, 6-18-20
Next steps for adult and continuing education City University of New York, summer 2020 through spring 2021


Speaker biographies


Kenneth Adams, president, LaGuardia Community College
Julian L. Alssid, former vice president of workforce development, Community College of Rhode Island
Peter Riley Bahr, associate professor, Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education, University of Michigan
Michael Bettersworth, vice chancellor, Texas State Technical College
Earl Buford, CEO, Partner4Work
Ryan Craig, managing director, Achieve Partners
Amy Ellen Duke-Benfield, senior fellow, National Skills Coalition
Aaron Fichtner, president, New Jersey Council of County Colleges
Joseph Fuller, professor of management practice, Harvard Business School
Sean Gallagher, executive professor of educational policy, Northeastern University
Kimberly Green, executive director, Advance CTE
Tamar Jacoby, president, Opportunity America
Kemi Jona, assistant vice chancellor for digital innovation and enterprise learning, Northeastern University
Anne Kress, president, Northern Virginia Community College
Russell McCaffery, dean of transportation programs, Broward College
Ajita Menon, president and CEO, Calbright College
Steven Partridge, vice president for strategic partnerships and workforce innovation, Northern Virginia Community College
Bill Pink, president, Grand Rapids Community College
Robert Schwartz, senior research fellow, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Matt Sigelman, CEO, Burning Glass Technologies
Hanna Skandera, member, Colorado state board for community colleges and occupational education
Monty Sullivan, president, Louisiana Community and Technical College System

Member biographies