Leaving No Worker Behind: Community Colleges Retrain the Michigan Workforce and Themselves

At a Glance

Five Michigan community colleges aimed to support dislocated workers and low-skilled adults by retraining them for jobs emerging in today's economy. The lessons these colleges learned could guide institutions nationwide as they attempt to serve these populations.

In 2007, Michigan undertook a bold mission: to retrain tens of thousands of dislocated workers and other low-skilled adults so they can qualify for jobs in emerging and expanding sectors of the economy. Community colleges would train these workers while the state would cover up to $5,000 of their college and related expenses each year. By 2011, more than 150,000 adults had enrolled in NWLB-financed training, and 59 percent of participants eligible for federal workforce programs found a new job after completing their training.

Leaving No Worker Behind examines what five community colleges learned about catering to the needs of dislocated, jobless, and otherwise low-skilled adults. These lessons can help institutions and states nationwide as they too strive to serve this rapidly growing college population.