Partnering for ‘new-collar’ job training

You’ve heard of blue-collar and white-collar jobs and middle-skills jobs. Now there are “new-collar” jobs, and IBM is partnering with community colleges to prepare people for these in-demand tech jobs.

In addition to collaborating on curricula design for next generation IT skills, IBM will work with community colleges near its major U.S. facilities. It’ll give local students an opportunity to participate in internships and apprenticeships within the company, and maybe get hired for a career at IBM.

As the initiative grows, it’ll include more than a dozen colleges. The intention is to spread to areas that traditionally have been under-served by high-tech employers.

“IBM has had real success tapping into a talent pool that doesn’t have traditional degrees. Last year alone, these ‘new-collar’ professionals accounted for around 15 percent of our U.S. hiring,” Sam Ladah, IBM’s vice president of talent, said in a release.

Currently, IBM is working with Missouri’s Moberly Area Community College (MACC) to recruit new-collar positions through a major hiring initiative. The first class of new-collar interns, many of whom are enrolled at MACC, started with IBM this spring. IBM employees will be volunteering in several programs, including MACC’s STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) camp – focusing on STEM skills and the arts – this summer. And starting this fall, IBM Columbia’s Network for Emerging Women chapter will serve as mentors to MACC students.

“Initiatives like this provide a great opportunity to prepare our students and graduates to compete for and land marketable jobs,” said Jo Fey, dean of career and technical education at MACC. “This will also position them well for the future as job openings increasingly call for technical skills and work experience that do not come automatically with a degree.”

Read the full article on the AACC 21st-Century Center.