Spring 2009

Back to School and Back to Work: Community Colleges and Workforce Development


As the nation waits for economic recovery, workers from a variety of sectors and skill levels are struggling to recover from job losses. In past downturns, displaced workers could utilize unemployment insurance benefits to get by until the contraction ended, businesses expanded, and jobs were restored. But given the severity of job losses that have occurred in such a short period of time, displaced workers may face an entirely different employment landscape in the economy that emerges from this recession. A recent article in the New York Times reported that layoffs in key industries, such as manufacturing, financial services and retail, have accelerated so quickly that many companies may abandon whole areas of business; entire sectors of employment may not be restored and workers will have to be retrained for other careers.

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