The United States has always taken a piecemeal approach to workforce development. The result of this approach has been the development of a large collection of education and job training programs that in many cases differ only in target population. Inevitably, this has produced a fragmented system that confuses and frustrates the customer.
The U.S. Department of Labor, in partnership with states and many local areas, is working to deliver an integrated service delivery system for job seekers and employers in an effort to transform the fragmented array of existing programs through an organizing vehicle termed the one-stop career center system. Customers of the one-stop career center system should be provided with a single point of access for information and services.
Where does education fit into the one-stop career center system model? Historically, community colleges have played an active role in economic and workforce development. Employers have looked to community colleges as a source for trained workers, including graduates of both vocational and general education programs. However, policy at all levels has separated job training from education since the 1960s.
This report will comparatively study how public community colleges in different states are approaching and fitting into the one-stop career center system. The following four states will be analyzed: Iowa, North Carolina, Oregon, and Texas