Dr. Quintin Bullock, President of CCAC, writes about responding to the Greater Pittsburgh region’s immediate workforce needs following COVID-19 for Pittsburgh Business Times. The article can be read in full here.
At some point after the Covid-19 crisis ends, our economy is going to start growing again. Some types of jobs — some entire industries — are going to be changed forever. Manufacturing is already on an accelerated path toward automation. Large numbers of employees are going to need retraining to meet the demands of the economy of the 2020s, and community colleges will certainly have an important role to play.
Our ability to thrive despite the massive disruption and shifts that are likely to take place will require industry-education partnerships across the region. Adults who become students again want to maximize the benefits of their general education degrees and utilize these skills to adapt to the times and rebuild their careers.
That means educational institutions need to understand specific industries and businesses when developing retraining programs. Curriculum needs to be designed to meet a clear demand, and schools need to be agile in identifying current and future trends. For example, a few months ago, no one had heard of “contact tracing.” Now, there is clearly going to be a strong and immediate demand for contact tracing investigators throughout the country.