In support of the Community College to Career Fund Act•
Opportunity Nation supports the Community College to Career Fund Act introduced by Senators Al Franken (D-MN) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL).
The expansion of innovation and partnerships between K-12 educational institutions, community colleges, and businesses to train individuals for jobs in high-demand industries is necessary in our changing economy.
The Georgetown Center for Education and the Workforce estimates that by 2020, two-thirds of all jobs in the United States will require an associate’s degree or higher. Compare that with the 1970s, when just 28 percent of jobs required this level of education. Only about 30 percent of students are graduating from two-year institutions within three years and about 58 percent of students are graduating from four-year institutions within six years. Unless more students enroll and graduate from community and four-year colleges, we are on track to fall short by three million skilled workers by 2018.
Opportunity Nation and our Coalition recognized that given the needs of our economy for skilled workers, it was critical to include a goal to increase the number of post-secondary degrees, certificates, and other credentials by 2025 in the Our Opportunity Nation policy plan.
With many Americans shut out of post-secondary education because of rapidly rising higher education costs, community colleges will play an important role in helping us achieve that goal.
The Community College to Career Fund Act meets these needs by encouraging partnerships that would give more students on-the-job training, paid apprenticeships and internships, and a rigorous curriculum while meeting regional and state workforce needs. We also support the inclusion of a pay-for-performance grant program as part of the legislation to support effective programs and activities with demonstrated results.
Pathways to employment can begin with more than just a four-year degree and we celebrate forward progress on achieving the bold goals set out in our policy plan, including this act.
Full bill can be found here.