Colorado Community College System develops new tool for manufacturing jobs

Jun 30, 2015

DENVER – The Colorado Community College System (CCCS) is developing a new designation to improve students’ ability to gain employment and to meet industry demands. The designation is called a badge. At this time the focus is on programs for the manufacturing industry.

A badge allows a college to work with industries to develop highly specific coursework to meet a demand they have in their companies. For example, if a manufacturing company needs workers to have just some specific welding skills, they can work with the college to develop a badge that teaches just those skills, not an entire Welding 101 program. The business benefits since it is now assured that the student knows exactly what is needed and expected.

For the students, they benefit on many different fronts. It takes less time to complete a badge, it is less expensive, and they are gaining the particular skills that will be attractive to a potential employer, increasing their chances of being hired by that employer.
Badges also enhance the degree or certificate a student may already have. Again, by indicating that a student has had specialized training in addition to their general training from a full time course, value is added to the degree or certificate.

“We are excited about adding this new level of training for our students. It is our highest priority to prepare our students for meaningful, well-paying jobs when they finish their education with us,” said Dr. Nancy McCallin, president of CCCS. “Further, developing these badges gives us a tremendous opportunity to partner with business and industry and grow the workforce and the economy. After creating the coursework for the badges, we hope to continue these partnerships and benefit other parts of our curriculum.”
To accomplish the badge development, CCCS is currently working through the Colorado Helps Advanced Manufacturing Programs (CHAMP) grant project funded by the Department of Labor to advance the badge initiative with our manufacturing industry to help them to address their current workforce needs.

The Colorado Community College System comprises the state’s largest system of higher education serving more than 151,000 students annually. It oversees career and academic programs in the 13 state community colleges and career and technical programs in more than 160 school districts and six other post-secondary institutions.