The COVID-19 pandemic has created a major shift in the U.S. labor market. Even though the overall unemployment rate is dropping, employers complain of labor shortages while long-term unemployment remains high.
To help address this critical issue, Lone Star College is teaming up with Lumina Foundation and other community colleges around the nation as part of the New Models for Career Preparation cohort.
“Community colleges like Lone Star College are responsive to employer needs by playing a key role in developing a high-quality, responsive workforce integrating the correct state licensures and national industry-recognized certifications,” said Linda Leto Head, LSC senior associate vice chancellor, External and Employer Relations. “LSC has developed strategic relationships with industry leaders to better understand their exact needs which sets up our students to be fully trained and ready to go to work upon completion of an applied degree, certificate or certification program.”
Lumina Foundation conducted research that revealed four key indicators of an effective, workforce-oriented community college. These indicators which include robust workforce staffing, long-term employer relationships, addressing occupational segregation and a focus on job quality can guide a college to be a powerful economic development catalyst in its region while signaling to partners that the college is an effective workforce partner.
The research also showed that fostering racial and gender equity, as well as addressing occupational segregation, is a necessary focus for a truly excellent workforce-oriented community college.
“The Lone Star College student population mirrors the demographic breakdown of the greater Houston area,” said Head. “Employers work with community colleges like Lone Star College to have access to the diverse pipeline of employees we all provide.”
The Kinder Institute for Urban Research reports Houston, America's fourth largest city, is officially the most diverse city in the country.