As the United States continues an uphill battle to reform its education system in an attempt to successfully compete in the global economy, many educators are seeking new and innovative programs in order to better prepare tomorrow’s students while, at the same time, upgrading the skills of today’s workforce. Rapidly changing learning technologies are accelerating their efforts — and, often, our community colleges are leading the way.

Many small to medium-sized industries lack satisfactory training programs for their employees. Unfortunately, the cost of implementing traditional training programs often prevents these smaller businesses from investing in the modern multi-sensory training programs, so necessary to the learning culture of most of our citizenry. Therefore, these smaller industries are readily turning to their local community colleges to fill this learning gap.

Community colleges are uniquely positioned to fill their local area multi-sensory training needs as they can spread the cost over a broad base by contracting with multiple business users instead of concentrating the cost on the back of a single company. The idea is to make the local community college a “one-stop shopping” training market where small and medium-sized companies can come and receive the training advice and support they so desperately need.

By inviting the local industries to work with the local community college in designing specific training paths for their employees, utilizing the newest and most innovative training technologies, a “win/win” learning scenario is created.

There are other paths that can lead to America’s need for more and better education — but our community colleges offer a particularly bright path to success.

More on Thursday – – – – –

— Bill Walton, Founder, ITC Learning