It’s not just the economy that’s jobs driven anymore. A growing number of colleges and universities are partnering with employers to train students with the skills they will need to break into local industries—letting the jobs lead the way.
At a national summit hosted by STEMconnector, higher education professionals and business leaders met to discuss and share best practices on collaborations between employers and colleges and universities. The summit, Advancing a Jobs-Driven Economy, was held Oct. 7-8.
“I would say nearly every good or great job requires STEM skills at this time,” Rob Denson, president of Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC), told Diverse on Tuesday.
Denson added that there is a “skills gap shortage” nationally that colleges and universities can play a crucial part in addressing. “Every one of our students wants a good job. The good jobs are there. We’re the connector to make it all happen,” he said.
DMACC’s partnership with Accumold, a micro molding company, is one example of the kinds of collaborations between higher education and business going on across the country. Denson and Roger Hardens, president and CEO of Accumold, created a scholarship program to enable new Accumold employees to earn a two-year Tool and Die Associate of Applied Science Degree, while working at Accumold part time. Once their education is complete, graduates of the program move on to a full-time position with Accumold. <Read more.>