Leaving No Worker Behind: Community College Retrain the Michigan Workforce--and Themselves

This report contains case studies of five community colleges and describes the lessons that these institutions learned as they took part in Michigan's 2007 initiative to retrain tens of thousands of dislocated workers and other low-skilled adults. The aim of this initiative was to help dislocated, jobless, and otherwise low-skilled adults qualify for jobs in emerging and expanding sectors of the economy. Community colleges would train these workers while the state would cover up to $5,000 of their college and related expenses each year. By 2011, more than 150,000 adults had enrolled in NWLB-financed training, and 59 percent of participants eligible for federal workforce programs found a new job after completing their training. Leaving No Worker Behind examines what five community colleges learned about catering to the needs of a struggling and rapidly growing faction of workers. These lessons can help institutions and states nationwide as they too strive to serve this new college population.

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