I’m very interested in efforts to link career training with community-based organizations, industry and community colleges. I believe the Obama administration is making an important contribution in its focus on community colleges for this reason. These two stories describe creative approaches to closing the skills gap for low income and minority communities in PA and MN:
In PA, the Highmark company is providing $2 million in funding to 25 organizations across the state for career development and job training through the Highmark Local Workforce Initiative. The initiative was created to recognize organizations that demonstrate the proven ability to make an impact in diverse rural and urban neighborhoods where there may be minority populations, individuals with a disability, veterans or displaced workers seeking career opportunities and advancements.
In MN, VISTA has built a partnership with the Women’s Fund and Presenting Yourself for first-generation college women to enable Central Lakes College to equip its students with the tools necessary to build successful futures. Local AmeriCorps VISTAs are sponsored and supported by the Initiative Foundation, based in Little Falls, in partnership with the Corporation for National and Community Service which coordinates AmeriCorps VISTA, AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps), AmeriCorps State and National and Senior Corps.