As Chairman of the Rework America Task Force, I applaud and support the California Community College System’s ambitious new initiative announced today to build a fully online college that is tech enabled and competency-based, with the primary mission of serving adult workers with flexible options and strong supports to help them gain a stronger foothold in the economy. This program is particularly important for adults with some college and no degree, as well as working adults with vocational needs, to enable them to earn credentials that lead to better workforce outcomes. It fills a gap in the market, and provides an important, large-scale demonstration that lifelong access to learning and skills building is as feasible as it is necessary.
In light of the economic, technological, and social changes fundamentally changing the American economy, it is imperative that we ensure that all Americans, including those who do not have college degrees, are empowered rather than left behind by these changes, and that they have affordable, accessible, high-quality education and training opportunities to obtain the skills needed in the modern economy. There is currently insufficient access to and support for such opportunities. I commend the California Community College system and those who have led the way in developing tech-enabled public online education, including Arizona State University. That commitment to innovation has helped broaden access to educational opportunities and enhance student success. This initiative should serve as a call to action for educators, technology entrepreneurs and other business leaders, and individuals to build an economy rooted in skills.
The Rework America Task Force seeks to transform the American labor market, aiming to connect all Americans – especially the almost seven in ten Americans without a college degree – to new opportunities and training for in-demand jobs.