Workforce development training is an important part of the mission of community colleges. Increasingly, students need and expect online courses to be an option for some or all of their programs. I conducted a study looking at why some community and technical colleges offer more online programs than others.
Although common in other countries, apprenticeships are not widely known in the U.S. Despite their lack of widespread use, they provide a cost effective training model that leads to middle-class jobs. Apprenticeships provide cost advantages to employers utilizing these programs as a source for developing skilled talent. Many other methods of attaining or developing a skilled workforce are more expensive or less effective.
Community colleges in the United States have become major providers of human resource development services, particularly through offering workforce development training to local employers. The addition of workforce development services to community colleges is a fairly recent phenomenon. Some see workforce development efforts as diluting community colleges’ historic mission of providing affordable and accessible opportunities for students to transfer to four-year institutions.