Ivy Tech Fort Wayne and Regional Partnership urged lawmakers to modernize education and workforce policies to improve student and business outcomes.
The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership and Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne joined more than 30 business and community college leaders from 12 states in Washington, D.C. this week to speak with members of Congress and their staff, urging them to modernize the Higher Education Act by revising current federal policy by:
- Making Pell grants available to high-quality, short-term training programs that prepare workers for in-demand jobs.
- Making transparent data available so that the public can see which education and training programs are preparing prospective employees to meet the needs of their industry.
- Investing in partnerships between businesses and community colleges to provide high-quality training for workers.
- Helping workers complete their training programs by offering support like childcare, career counseling, and transportation assistance.
“These are solutions that deliver real results for community colleges, local businesses, and expand economic opportunities for the workers and families they serve,” says Chancellor Jerrilee K. Mosier, Ed.D. “The suggested revisions recognize the great work that is currently happening at Ivy Tech Community College and other community colleges across the country as well as offer a framework to provide scale on a nation-level.”
Nearly two-thirds (62 percent) of small and midsized business leaders say it is difficult to find and hire skilled workers, according to the Business Leaders United for Workforce Partnerships (BLU). Community and technical colleges play a critical role in ensuring workers and employers have the skills to succeed on the job and in their careers. But our federal education policies simply aren’t structured to support partnerships between businesses and community colleges—and they don’t do enough to help the working people who want and need training to take the next step in their career.
“The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership and area industry sectors are already working together with Ivy Tech Community College—partnering to make sure training programs give people the in-demand skills they need to get hired,” says John Sampson, CEO of Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership. “We need the support of Congress to ensure federal policies are aligned to support higher education institutions and the employers we serve.”