According to a recent Wall Street Journal piece, American companies are now putting more pressure on vocational colleges to produce graduates with the skills they want. As James Hagerty explains:
Much of the emphasis is on community colleges and vocational schools because they are affordable and can quickly turn out job candidates. Employers increasingly are asking community colleges to create custom training programs for specific jobs. In Ohio, Lorain County Community College’s Nord Advanced Technology Center has provided 41 courses tailored for individual employers in the latest school year, up from 32 a year earlier.
Even as employers clamor for more, states, the main supporters of community colleges, are setting limits. The proposed California budget for the fiscal year beginning in July calls for cutting community college funds by about 5%.
Some large companies are also working on creating grant programs to improve students’ math and science skills.
According to the article companies are now interested in improving technological skills because of “the looming retirement of baby boomers…. An estimated 2.7 million U.S. manufacturing employees, for example, nearly a quarter of the total, are 55 or older.”