Community colleges have a voice in crafting a
comprehensive national workforce strategy. Walter
G. Bumphus, president and CEO of the American
Association of Community Colleges (AACC), was
appointed to serve on a new blue-ribbon advisory
board to the National Council for the American
The 25-member American Workforce Policy
Advisory Board will serve the council that
President Donald Trump established in 2018.
Recommendations from the board will help guide
NCAW’s work to create a national campaign promoting education pathways; improve labor market data
to better identify needed skills and competencies
for available jobs; and increase transparency and
public/private investments in education.
“Inherent to the mission of our colleges is the
notion of providing access to educational pathways
that lead to employment that earns a family-
sustaining wage,” Bumphus said. “Our community
colleges are providing training that creates a pipe-
line of skilled workers benefiting local and regional
economies. Working on a national model will allow
regional successes to be replicated and scaled to
ensure greater access to affordable and relevant
career and technical educational opportunities.”
The community college sector will have three rep-
resentatives on the advisory board. Jay Box, president
of the Kentucky Community and Technical College
System, and Sheree Utash, president of Wichita
State University Campus of Applied Sciences and
Technology in Kansas, also will serve on the board,
which includes leaders from business and industry,
higher education, state and local governments, trade
associations, nonprofits and organized labor. Some
of the representatives from business and industry
include the CEOs of Apple, IBM, Lockheed Martin,
Walmart, Home Depot and Siemens USA.
U. S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Ivanka
Trump, advisor to the president, will co-chair the
advisory board. The first meeting was held in early
March and board members will serve until July 2020.
AACC is ready to work with any administration
when the goal is increasing success for students, communities and employers, according to Bumphus.
“Community colleges are uniquely positioned to
play a pivotal role in closing the American skills gap.
I look forward to working with and across all sectors
to advance educational opportunities and successes
for all Americans,” Bumphus said.
AACC also recently announced it is working with
the U.S. Department of Labor to expand apprenticeships. For more on that project, flip to Quick Hits.
to national workforce
By AACC Staff
“Community colleges are uniquely positioned to play a pivotal role in
closing the American skills gap.”
WALTER G. BUMPHUS, president and CEO, AACC