Community colleges provided beginnings to the likes of Walt Disney and Ross Perot

When you need trained workers to keep orders filled and your company growing, where can you turn for help?

The answer is the local community college. Across the country, these colleges are playing a significant role in the marketplace by training workers for specific jobs that the local economy needs filled.

These institutions are a boon for the business community, because you can work directly with the college to tailor the training to meet your specific needs, resulting in workers who are ready to start contributing the first day on the job.

The colleges also do a great job staying relevant. They look at the market and where the job growth is, determining where there are shortfalls in skilled workers, then develop curriculum that will help fill that gap. This is a win-win for the community. Employers get a steady supply of trained workers in areas of need and employees get relevant skills that make them attractive to employers. Community colleges aren’t just graduating students, they are matching them to jobs.

The contribution that community colleges make isn’t just limited to local businesses. They bring accessibility to education to many students, no matter what their need. Some are looking for job training, some are interested in two-year degree programs and others are looking for a bachelor’s degree. For four-year programs, many community colleges offer either a complete program or allow students to take initial classes at a reduced cost compared to a traditional four-year college. This allows students to keep working while taking classes toward a degree or to give college a try without making a major financial commitment.

Community colleges have created affordable education opportunities for thousands of people across the nation, including giving Walt Disney and Ross Perot their starts. The services they offer can help local businesses keep growing and help workers attain relevant skills in a changing economy. If you haven’t spoken to someone at your local college, I encourage you to do so. You might be surprised at how helpful they can be.