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Workforce Development

Few elements of education broadly and postsecondary education specifically have more political cache across the spectrum in the early 21st century than workforce development. Politicians regularly campaign for office by vowing to improve the economic health of their communities through workforce development. Frequently, community colleges are at the center of such campaign promises. Still, the term workforce development is ambiguous, even when viewed at the level of single institution. This entry describes workforce development; its role within the community college mission; the challenges that policy makers, higher education leaders, and practitioners face in executing workforce development; and the contribution of workforce development to a set of public policy priorities.

At its broadest, workforce development refers to the building of skills that are valued in the market. ...

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