Skip to content

Resources to Prepare the Future Workforce

PBS Documentary: Future of Work

Future of Work is a three-part documentary film exploring monumental changes in the workplace and the long-term impact on workers, employers, educators and communities. Employment is part of the American Dream. Will the future provide opportunities for jobs that sustain families and the nation? 

Research Highlighting the Need for Alternative Career Pathways:

The Boston Foundation: “Pathways to Economic Mobility: Identifying the Labor Market Value of Community College in Massachusetts” June 10, 2021

Excerpt from the Description: “They looked at outcomes for women, men, those who started right after high school, those who started one to five years later, different racial and ethnic groups, level of credential received, and areas of study. The nuances are presented in full in the report. To generalize, women with community college experience earn 15–20 percent more than their high-school-diploma-only peers, amounting to an additional $1,500–$8,000 per year. Men see a boost of $5,500–$9,000 per year, but only if they earn a credential—or if construction jobs are taken out of the equation. That remains a high-paying field for a terminal high school degree, and still predominantly male.” 

Committee for Economic Development: “Improving Noncollege Pathways to Skills and Successful Careers” May 23, 2019

Excerpt from Executive Summary: “Significant portions of the US working population don’t have a college degree and may not ever achieve one. Roughly half of today’s 30- to 34-year-olds have not achieved a college degree of any kind. Children from families with low socioeconomic status are significantly less likely than their more affluent peers to attain a college degree at the outset of their careers. Helping all children reach their educational goals should be a priority. However, a realistic approach to employment means that a college degree shouldn’t represent the only path. The Committee for Economic Development (CED) believes the nation must focus on effective pathways to help students from all backgrounds and educational attainments successfully transition to careers as members of a skilled US workforce.” 

Community College Daily from the American Association of Community Colleges: “Preparing for the future of work” January 31, 2020 – by Hope Cotner, president and CEO of the Center for Occupational Research and Development

Excerpt from the Article: Change is the new constant. But the speed at which we’re expected to respond to change is continuing to accelerate. By focusing on outcomes and how we can achieve them more efficiently, we can help our communities prepare for an uncertain future. Push the envelope and ask:

  • How can we be a nimble, responsive workforce partner with antiquated delivery models?
  • How can we arm students with skills that support the latest technologies and credentials the future workforce will demand if our course approval time is longer than the shelf-life of the emerging skill set?
  • How can we ensure economic mobility for our students if we’re not working to ameliorate the barriers that stand in their way?