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Massbay Comunity College

A new college campus for MetroWest

Editorial: A new college campus for MetroWest
MetroWest Daily News

Given rising college costs, the option to start at a community college and transfer to a four-year school becomes increasingly attractive. Last week's announcement of $22 million in initial capital funding for a new Framingham campus for MassBay ...

After years of talk about the importance of workforce development to job creation, we’re starting to see some progress.
 
Progress begins by getting specific about the jobs the economy needs. Yes, we need engineers, entrepreneurs and top-flight scientists, who are best provided by the Bay State’s great public and private universities.  But employers also need workers with specific, but not post-graduate-level, skills in fields like precision manufacturing, life sciences research, health care and technical support.
 
The next step is identifying the setting where those skills can best be taught. That includes University of Massachusetts, state universities and vocational-technical schools. But the greatest opportunity comes from expanding, reorganizing and focusing the state’s community colleges.
 
The Legislature took a step in that direction this year, bringing more coordination to the dispersed community colleges and providing new resources to encourage greater collaboration between employers and community colleges.
 
Such coordination is critical to success. We don’t want to be training workers for jobs that aren’t there for them or provide narrow certifications for students who otherwise aren’t ready to work. The best new models combine classroom work with internships in the field, and reserve jobs for the students who qualify in the program.
 
As community colleges expand their skills training capacity, it’s also important that they not abandon other missions, including general education and remedial courses through which students develop college level academic skills. Given rising college costs, the option to start at a community college and transfer to a four-year school becomes increasingly attractive.
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