Community College Partnership for Business Retention & Growth
Are economic woes jeopardizing employment opportunities in your district? Plant closing announcements and relocation to third world locations have become commonplace throughout the country. Join us to see how one rural community college is taking proactive and unusual steps to eliminate this dilemma, while becoming one of the fastest growing community colleges in the nation.
Community colleges can play a pivotal role in strengthening local businesses to compete in a global economy. After an analysis of the strengths and challenges for area employers and a study of financial impact on the community if an employer is lost, the community college can look for creative ways to assist in creating a competitive advantage through training and education.
Rend Lake College has made the integration of training and education into the business environment a primary focus. This presentation will focus on the more notable initiatives instituted by Rend Lake College with reciprocal benefits. Those initiatives include:
- Purchase of a bankrupt outlet shopping mall and transformation to multi-purpose use for business & education including a small business development center, Kumon Center, Infant through Pre-K program, One Stop Center for government services, meeting space and classrooms, and retail shops.
- Development of College Training Centers inside the Continental Tire, NA plant and Walgreens Distribution Center with a focus on providing outstanding “customer service” to non-traditional students
- Founding partner of a corporate university at Continental Tire, NA
- Development of Internship Partnership programs at Continental Tire, NA
- Use of video-conferencing to maximize training/education dollars by connecting programs from multiple business locations.
- Leveraging educational opportunities in the workplace as a “value added” benefit of employment.
Handouts will include analysis documents that can be used to determine business needs and solutions, resource information, and program models, as well as benefits realized by the college as a result of these programs.
Sharon Bowman, Industrial Training Coordinator' Rend Lake College, IL