What is STEM?
Trades in Focus
One initiative designed to advance industrial tech careers is Trades in Focus. This program was created through a partnership between the Association of Community Colleges and W.W. Grainger, Inc., the leading North American supplier of maintenance, repair and operating products. Trades in Focus provides an online toolkit to educate the general public about the importance of industrial tech careers and the potential opportunities these skilled trades offer. The program is also geared to alert those interested in industrial tech careers to schools and colleges across the country that are committed to training up workers in those specific fields, with innovative programs designed to teach the latest technology and processes in their industry.
What the Numbers Show
The current report by Community College Week shows that over the past decade, the number of associate degrees offered by community colleges in the health care field grew by an astonishing 111 percent. Certificates offered by community colleges in the health care industry grew by 240 percent during the same time frame. By the end of the 2009-2010 school year, community colleges across the country awarded more than 177,000 health care degrees alone.
What is the Skills for America's Future Program?
Last year, President Obama launched an ambitious initiative along with the Aspen Institute, designed to bring companies together with community colleges to produce future workers that would be highly qualified and able to compete in a global market. The movement was dubbed Skills for America's Future, and it began with partnerships between industries and academia that would coordinate the training and build the skills of a qualified workforce in the United States. The initiative, according to the Aspen Institute website, would serve as a broad umbrella under which labor unions, corporations and community colleges could coordinate their efforts to train up a new generation of American workers.