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Quinsigamond Community College Chosen for National Study

Contact: Cherie Ronayne
Office of Institutional Communications
508.854.2849
cronayne [at] qcc.mass.edu

Release Date: 
9/9/2008

WORCESTER, Ma – Quinsigamond Community College is pleased to announce that it is one of 13 community colleges across the country chosen to participate in a national study to assist adults in attaining higher levels of education and career advancement.  Involvement in this study is an initial step in determining QCC’s participation in a pilot program, “Adult Career Pathways:  A Second Chance in Education,” designed to identify, enroll, and prepare underemployed adults for high-demand career opportunities in manufacturing.

Studies across the country conducted by the Clements Group, a resource development and institutional advancement consulting firm, consistently find that the lack of a skilled workforce is a major challenge in virtually every industry and in every state.  For many industries, an associate degree or approved technical certificate is the minimum qualification for employment.  In industries such as manufacturing, the need has reached crisis proportions.

Dr. Richard C. Hinckley, President, Center for Occupational Research and Development (CORD) indicated that “Quinsigamond Community College was selected for participation in the Adult Career Pathway Benchmark Study because of its reputation among community colleges nationally as being especially concerned with workforce and economic development issues, and its president’s demonstrated leadership in seeking solutions to the educational needs of young adults and workforce needs in the community.”  QCC president, Dr. Gail Carberry, stated “We know that manufacturers are going to be hard pressed in the next 18 months to find a large enough skilled pool of employees.”

Dr. Carberry, a strong proponent of this new initiative, pointed out that QCC conducted its own study on manufacturing last year.  “Our study showed that 64% of manufacturers will be facing a diminishing skilled labor pool over the next three years,” she said.  The study also pointed to a 45% lack of availability of skilled employees as a top operational obstacle impacting competitive efforts.  “Having been chosen for this national study, we are confident that QCC will be able to move forward in the Adult Career Pathways pilot program,” she concluded.

QCC has been a leader in the region in assisting manufacturers through its acclaimed Manufacturing Technology degree and certificate programs. Whether trained as engineering technicians, quality assurance technicians, or manufacturing team supervisors responsible for production, the curriculum supports the skill standards defined by the National Coalition for Advanced Manufacturing and the National Skills Standards for Advanced High Performance Manufacturing.

Quinsigamond will be working in partnership with CORD and the Clements Group to prepare to implement and refine the Adult Career Pathways (ACP) model program in Central Massachusetts.  Each college participating in the pilot program must have the instructional expertise, facilities, and resources that are essential to developing an appropriate response to defined industry workforce needs.  Quinsigamond’s Vice President of Academic Affairs, Patricia Toney, commented that “QCC is excited to be one of the thirteen community colleges across the country chosen as a leading community college in providing these services.”

The College is positioned to assist in a number of ways, including developing customized programming to meet immediate and future needs of the region’s manufacturers.  In addition to QCC’s credit offerings, its non-credit Training and Education Center assists companies in writing grant proposals that can possibly secure thousands of dollars to educate new and existing employees.  Programs in Lean Manufacturing, Supervisory Development, Six Sigma, Project Management, Strategic Planning and Process Improvement, ESL, and IT Skills can be included.

The ACP Benchmark Study is designed to ensure that pilot colleges have the services, processes, and organizational structures in place to assist ACP students, as well as determine which of those capabilities need to be enhanced.  College staff, with assistance from CORD and the Clements Group, will complete an online survey to document the status and effectiveness of key college services, including student support services, career services, developmental education offerings, the curriculum development process, partnerships with community organizations, and resource development capabilities.  The process will also document manufacturing and logistics assessment, and degree/certificate training programs.

Quinsigamond Community College is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).  Membership in the Association indicates that an institution has been stringently evaluated and found to meet high standards agreed upon by qualified educators.  Celebrating 45 years of teaching and learning, QCC is located at 670 West Boylston St., Worcester, MA.  Visit the College web site at www.qcc.edu.

Quinsigamond Community College is the most affordable higher education in Worcester County. As a regional leader in education and workforce development, QCC serves the diverse educational needs of Central Massachusetts by providing affordable, accessible, and high quality programming leading to transfer, career, and lifelong learning.