Adapting to the Needs of a New Economy

September 26, 2011

There are 1,167 community colleges in the United States. Of the 12.5 million students, 61% are employed full-time, and once again they are at the center of the jobs discussion. We are blessed with great community and technical colleges within the Columbus Region. Whether our team is recruiting a new company to our Region, or assisting an existing employer, these institutions are at the heart of the discussion. There are multiple reasons. First, many of the jobs created today require certification and specific knowledge not gained from general education programs at colleges and universities. Many require certificates or specialized training programs, often directed by instructors with industry experience or even from the company’s own training staff. Second, the skills required by today’s industry – specifically in the fields of IT and manufacturing – continue to change very rapidly. Columbus State Community College and Central Ohio Technical College are excellent institutions and are helping the Columbus Region compete and prosper.

Community colleges are agile, quick to change, and very adaptable, but they need support and guidance. The Columbus Region’s Logistics Council was created to aid in the development and growth of the logistics sector in the Columbus Region, and it has a great partner in our area’s community colleges. This type of successful industry collaboration can help community colleges meet the challenges of preparing today’s workforce. It is also helping people change careers and get back into the workforce, many of which have been out of work for more than six months. A living example of this was provided to our team from the LogisticsART graduation recently, where Sherry Gassaway provided a moving speech that exemplifies this collaboration between our community colleges and industry officials.

Columbus2020! Update
Our team has landed in Japan and is meeting with over 20 companies this week in a continued effort to build relationships and increase international business in the Columbus Region. Our team will be hosting clients this week and also meeting with our regional allies from across the State of Ohio to continue to build the JobsOhio Network system.

Kenny McDonald
Chief Economic Officer