In tandem

Editor’s note: CC Daily today launches a new feature that provides briefs on various recently announced community college partnerships with business and industry, other higher education institutions and more. The goal is to share information about what AACC-member colleges are doing and provide a connection to institutions interested in starting similar endeavors.

  • A pathway toward careers in carpentry, insurance
  • A more diverse energy-related workforce
  • Partnering for health and fitness services
  • Free after-school childcare service

A pathway toward careers in carpentry, insurance

In North Carolina, Forsyth Technical Community College, Stokes County Schools and Marshall Brothers Construction (MBC) have signed an agreement to provide the first youth apprenticeship registered through ApprenticeshipNC, the first apprenticeship partnership between Forsyth Tech and the school district, and the first carpentry apprenticeship partnership for Forsyth Tech.

Apprentices will train to become carpenters and earn a journeyworker credential for carpentry upon completion of their work and instruction.

“We appreciate the opportunity to be involved in this worthwhile and much-needed program,” MBC co-owner Mike Marshall said in a release. “At MBC, we have a lot of experience in the construction industry and are glad to pass that knowledge on to those who wish to pursue this as a career. Not everyone wants or needs to go to a four-year college, and we believe it’s better to go to the workforce with a plan than to college without one.”

Forsyth Tech also recently expanded opportunities for students interested in the insurance field. Forsyth Tech, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC), and Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina (Goodwill) this fall started an insurance career pathway partnership with scholarship opportunities.

The first cohort of the Forsyth Tech pre-licensing insurance program ran from November 1 through December 9, offering pre-licensing education required by the North Carolina Department of Insurance (NCDOI) to become an insurance licensee. Program courses included Human Resource Development (HRD) Careers in Insurance, CRC Assessment, Life and Health Insurance, and Medicare Supplement Insurance.

Blue Cross NC offers scholarships to selected students in each cohort to cover the cost of courses, exams and NCDOI fees.

A more diverse energy-related workforce

Minnesota State Community and Technical College, Xcel Energy and the Minnesota State Energy Center of Excellence are working together to engage more students from diverse backgrounds in energy-related fields of study.

The new Energy Careers Academy makes electric and gas utility educational programs more accessible to urban student populations, with enrollment in the academy targeted to students who live within the seven-county Twin Cities metro area. Students at the academy receive hands-on instruction at Xcel Energy’s metro-area training facilities.

An electrical linework program is already underway, and plans are in the works to offer a gas utility construction and service program in the near future, according to the college.

“Being able to launch this program is the culmination of seven years of planning and implementation of phases of the programs,” said Bruce Peterson, project manager with the Minnesota State Energy Center of Excellence. “Bringing these educational opportunities closer to where our targeted populations live is a huge key to our long-term goals. It is incredibly gratifying to observe the students as they develop their skills and prepare to enter these technical fields.”

Partnering for health and fitness services

In Florida, Palm Beach State College (PBSC) and the YMCA of the Palm Beaches recently kicked off a new partnership for health and fitness services at the college’s Lake Worth campus.

Under the agreement, the YMCA now manages PBSC’s Wellness Center, which opened in 2013, and oversees fitness services and combined group exercises. The YMCA’s 3,000 members can use the fitness facilities at the Wellness Center, while PBSC students and employees who already had access to the Wellness Center can now participate in group exercises and fitness services led by YMCA instructors.

“It is a great partnership for us because there is a lot of possibility and a lot of future initiatives that we’re exploring doing together,’’ said Peter Barbatis, vice president of student services and enrollment management at PBSC, who led the initiative with YMCA officials.

The Palm Beach State College men’s basketball team gives a fitness equipment demonstration at the announcement of a new partnership between the Florida college and the YMCA of the Palm Beaches. (Photo: PBSC)

Free after-school childcare service

In California, the Long Beach Community College District (LBCCD) and Boys & Girls Clubs of Long Beach (BGCLB) have teamed to support Long Beach City College (LBCC) student parents who need childcare services. LBCC students can drop off their school-aged children for free after-school programming.

“This new partnership between BGCLB and LBCC was formed when LBCC student parents with school-aged children described their challenges to attend classes, counseling appointments and study sessions in the evening hours, while trying to find high-quality, affordable after-school childcare,” according to a release.

About the Author

Matthew Dembicki
Matthew Dembicki edits Community College Daily and serves as associate vice president of communications for the American Association of Community Colleges.