Workforce Development and Preparation Initiatives: Implications for the California Community Colleges

Career Technical Education

The purpose of this paper is to identify the major proposals/initiatives and the issues they raise, discuss areas where the California Community Colleges are currently addressing those issues, and suggest the implications and strategies for the California Community Colleges in relationship to the new directions those initiatives are setting.


The following strategies are recommended:

  1. Establishment of an immediate response team.
    An identified group of faculty, trustees, community support people, and staff would be constituted as an immediate response team, communicating regularly using methods such as the Internet.
    1. Review, comment and provide an immediate response on recommendations made by various workforce development taskforces.
    2. Analyze the impact of proposed federal and state workforce development legislation; develop amendment language if needed; develop legislative response letters by district; and prepare and present testimony at public hearings and before legislative committees.
    3. Develop a hot1ine for a speakers bureau. Individuals should be trained to provide presentations to a variety of target audiences. Seek faculty and administrators who are willing to guest spot on radio talk shows and cable to invite the public to engage in community dialog.
    4. Prepare and present speeches to national, state, and local events. This can be done as a member of a panel or as an individual presenter.
  2. Establishment of a Writing Team.
    This team of Public Information Officers, faculty, and administrators would anticipate opportunities and respond appropriately.
    1. Submit editorials to local newspapers and publications throughout the state.
    2. Provide press releases on a regular and strategic schedule. These releases would keep the public informed of the evolving planning processes and the implications for the public and the community college system.
    3. Organize teams of interested parties to monitor the taskforce meetings. This would create a presence of education in an effort to expand the public dialog. This also perpetuates current information as the monitors report back to the system and the public through the publication and presentation efforts.
    4. Develop draft position papers, talk pieces, questions and answers, and abstracts to facilitate the dissemination of information.
    5. Develop a comprehensive strategy to manage the media in order to facilitate greater public discussion and dissemination of information.
  3. Build Regional Consortiums.
    Title II-A funds could be used to strengthen the existing regions.
    1. Establish effective links with the geographical clusters of the Academic Senate. This link could promote the development of local efforts to engage the community in the discussion.
    2. Hire coordinators or bring in temporary teams of faculty and administrators who are willing to get together on a regional level to prepare materials, go to each campus to work with the faculty senates, vocational education divisions and departments.
  4. Organize the Local Community.
    A network of people responsible for maintaining contact with the community should be established.
    1. Meet with the Chamber of Commerce, the Black Chamber of Commerce, the Asian Chamber of Commerce, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in their districts. Inform them of the emerging proposals, positions on the proposals, and implications for the district.
    2. Contact local business with whom the college has partnerships and ask the businesses to support the ongoing partnership and the role of the community colleges in workforce preparation.
  5. Organize Existing Advisory Groups.
    Vocational educational programs and services currently have strong relationships with advisory groups, commonly consisting of industry representatives. These groups should be organized to address workforce preparation concerns.
    1. Testify and show support for the community college role in workforce development, the faculty primacy of the curriculum, and the ongoing partnerships between the advisory bodies and the colleges.
  6. Organize Community Groups.
    Community groups which address specific needs to the community should be engaged in the public discussion to determine the impact of the emerging processes on their issues and needs.
  7. Develop a strategic education team for the purpose of pursuing workforce development and preparation legislation.