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Education and Work on Center Stage

Recent news on the future for community colleges, apprenticeships, AI in education, and more.

A roundup of the latest news from Work Shift and beyond on the future for community colleges, apprenticeships, AI in education, and economic mobility in the country’s less-affluent metros.

Photo by Elyse Ashburn for Work Shift

The Job is on spring break, but we’ve shared recent news in our Open Tabs. It was hard to choose what to include as economic mobility, new approaches to education, and the potential impacts of AI on learning and work increasingly are taking center stage in federal, state, and local policy. We’re also sharing top recent articles from Work Shift, in case you missed them.

They’re worth diving into whether you’re in the office or on a flight home from vacation. We’ll be back next week with a regular issue. Paul Fain

The Community College Pivot

Apprenticeships on the Move

Economic Development and Upward Mobility

Who Gets to Shape AI in Education + Work?

Open Tabs

Career Collective
LaGuardia Community College has received a $116M gift from the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation to create a workforce training center. The Cohen Career Collective will feature education and training programs that lead to associate degrees, industry certifications, and other credentials in high-demand industries. It will offer wraparound student supports, including career advising and job placement.

Targeted Grants
Colorado announced more than $55M in economic opportunity grants, which will support 190 businesses and 218 education partners across 17 industries. ActivateWork, for example, will receive roughly $2.4M. The grants will back job training and the projected placement of more than 6,500 Coloradans in new, good-paying jobs. The funds are aimed at in-demand and high-wage careers, with 45% of the money targeted to rural Colorado.

Labor Force Participation
Michigan’s new statewide workforce plan will seek to address a lack of skilled talent due to the changing economy, and barriers Michiganders face in the job market. The plan released by Gretchen Whitmer, the state’s Democratic governor, includes a goal for Michigan to become a top 10 state for growth in labor force participation. It’s linked to a new state strategy that features a focus on registered apprenticeships and an EV jobs academy.

Cybersecurity Pathway
A partnership between the Chicago Public Schools, City Colleges of Chicago, and the Illinois Institute of Technology offers high school students an accelerated pathway in cybersecurity, Zareen Syed reports for the Chicago Tribune. Students potentially can earn 60 credits and an associate degree while in high school. The partnership is set to expand after an initial pilot, and will be offered to eligible students across all CPS high schools.

HSIs and ROI
Students who attended two-year, Hispanic-serving institutions earned roughly 11% more than their peers who attended non-HSIs, according to the Institute for College Access and Success. However, borrowers from four-year HSIs owed a higher share of their original student loan balances a decade after entering repayment than borrowers who attended non-HSIs. The analysis is part of a series from TICAS on race and economic mobility.

Planning for AI
No one can accurately predict AI’s impacts on jobs, writes Adam Thierer, a tech policy analyst, in a set of essays the American Enterprise Institute published on AI and the future of work. Thierer says the right mix of needed policies probably includes improved STEM education, better online and microcredentialing programs, technical recertification efforts, and creative approaches with vocational apprenticeship programs.

AI and Jobs
It’s very possible that people will have plentiful, high-paying jobs in an era of AI dominance, often doing similar work to what they’re doing now, commenter Noah Smith writes in a widely circulated essay, which cites the economic model of comparative advantage. However, Smith says this positive scenario is hardly guaranteed. AI could worsen inequality, for example, and pose serious challenges for worker retraining as the economy adjusts.

Work-Based Learning
National University is expanding its partnership with Riipen, a marketplace platform that offers experiential learning to college students. Popular choices in a university pilot included cybersecurity, data science, manufacturing engineering, and healthcare. National enrolls 50K students annually in degree programs, and 80K in workforce and professional training programs.

Early Childhood Education
StraighterLine, an online course provider, has acquired ProSolutions Training, which provides online and self-paced training for early childhood educators. StraighterLine previously acquired the ChildCare Education Institute.