Championing Business with ‘Business Champions’

By March 4, 2007General

Manufacturers are community colleges’ greatest champions.

After all, community colleges are a great educational resource, enrolling almost 12 million students nationwide in high-quality programs. Many of these students are studying technical, job-oriented fields. They’re gaining the skills that manufacturers will put to use in the high-tech workplace.

To be sure these community colleges get the public support they deserve, the National Association of Manufacturers has formed “Business Champions.” This national coalition of business leaders – these “champions” – will mobilize support for higher education that’s more closely aligned with the needs of the workforce.

The Ford Foundation has just awarded a $200,000 grant to “Business Champions,” building on more than a half-million-dollars awarded earlier by the Lumina Foundation. [Manufacturing Institute news release here in .pdf format.] These foundations recognize how much community colleges can achieve in training America’s workforce, and how much more we can accomplish when business teams up with the community colleges.

Manufacturers are in the fight of their lives for skilled talent. It’s a critical time for business leaders to speak out for efforts to strengthen our workforce, to improve the training and skill levels of the workforce.

With “Business Champions,” manufacturers will speak out, and they’ll act — for better education, for good jobs and for a brighter future.