A partnership of ten community colleges spanning nine states sought to help unemployed and underemployed individuals attain meaningful employment through development of one-year certificate programs in high demand areas. Targeted industries included composites, cyber technology, electric vehicle technology, environmental technology, and mechatronics. Coupled with the programs were individualized support services for students, such as assigned navigators and STEM Bridge (STEM Readiness and STEM Foundations), an open-source, online curriculum intended to strengthen math and workplace skills (e.g., communication, professionalism).
Hezel Associates was instrumental in demonstrating their success, finding that the collective work of the consortium fostered credential and employment attainment for students. Our team provided an informative evaluation, giving project staff insight into stakeholder perceptions and student outcomes, identifying accomplishments as well as areas in need of improvement. We produced a series of reports, providing an overview of the entire project, an in-depth look at the educational model, and a prospective view of the labor market for each industry and region.