Educators from across the country came to Shoreline Community College on Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014 to continue work on how to align education and training with the needs of business and industry.
Titled the “Credentials to Careers (C2C) National Peer Learning Conference,” the event is part of a $12.3 million, three-year, federal Department of Labor grant with a goal of putting more people to work by making sure the skills being learned are those that are needed in the workplace.
Shoreline and six other community colleges are participating in the grant, including: Northern Virginia Community College, Austin (Texas) Community College, Mott (Michigan) Community College, Muskegon (Michigan) Community College, Los Angeles Trade-Technical College and Virginia Western Community College .
Shoreline has focused on increase the number of manufacturing graduates in the region by better aligning the curriculum with jobs, adding career navigation services and expanding online resources. The grant itself builds upon a number of innovations at Shoreline, including stackable credentials and Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I-BEST). The college’s Computer Numeric Controlled (CNC) Machining program was the first in the state to receive National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) certification.
A number of other organizations are supporting the project, including the Aspen Institute and Achieving the Dream at the national level and the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County at the local level.
While much of the conference is taking place at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Seattle, conference participants on Thursday came to Shoreline and toured four programs, including manufacturing, biotechnology, clean technology and automotive. The group then heard a panel discussion on Shoreline’s efforts to engage employers in workforce programs. Participating were Susan Hoyne, Dean of Science; Dan Fey, Dean of Workforce; Mary Kaye Bredeson, Executive Director of the Center for Excellence in Aerospace e and Advanced Materials Manufacturing, and Meredith Hatch from Achieving the Dream.
The group also heard panel discussions on employer perspectives as well as the career-navigator approach used at Shoreline and in other programs.