Filling the middle skills gap in Cumberland County

Cumberland County College has embarked on a dual track strategy to help raise the current level of human capital in the county. Our approach focuses on the “middle skills gap.” Middle skills jobs are those that require more than a high school diploma, but less than a bachelor’s degree. These could be jobs that require a full associate degree, a certificate, or vocational/technical training.

In the regional economy of South Jersey, we see consistent growth in the number and proportion of jobs requiring middle skills credentials for entry-level positions. More advanced degrees are needed for career mobility. To accommodate those, Cumberland County College offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees through our university partners. Currently, a student can complete all of their degrees including a master’s degree on campus via partnerships offered at our University Center. Institutions such as Wilmington University, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Montclair State University, Seton Hall University, and Georgian Court University all offer degree programs taught at Cumberland. In addition, we also offer online programs through Drexel University, the University of Delaware, Franklin University, and Thomas Edison State College, among other institutions.

We are committed to meeting our residents where they are to help them get their foot in the door and ascend the career ladder with the necessary education. Similarly, we are also committed to helping our current employers upgrade the level of skills of their incumbent workers. As I meet with employers across Cumberland, many have shared their needs for customized training. With new technologies, new state, federal and industry regulations and certifications, changing demographics that include retirement of highly-skilled veteran workers, employers are faced with a myriad of challenges.

Cumberland County College is the premier educational partner for individuals and businesses alike in the county. Our collaborations with our partners at the Scarpa Technical Education Center and the Center for Workforce and Economic Development help us to better serve the region more effectively and more efficiently. Together with our other local high schools, we are addressing the county’s education and training needs and empowering our residents and businesses.

Previously published on thedailyjournal.com on February 6, 2017.

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