Cuyahoga Community College restructuring workforce training to meet needs of businesses

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Cuyahoga Community College is developing closer relationships with businesses and community organizations to identify and meet job needs.

“There has to be a integrated approach to workforce development in Northeast Ohio,” said William Gary, executive vice president of Tri-C’s Workforce and Economic Development Decision. “We are taking the initiative because we have the capacity for training. Let’s make sure our programs are aligned.”

Gary, who arrived at Tri-C a year ago from a similar position at Northern Virginia Community College, said he is realigning its workforce training.

He identified six sectors that he says drives northeast Ohio – hospitality, health care, construction building trades, professional services, public safety and information technology.

In August he met with a half-dozen Cleveland hotel managers to discuss how Tri-C’s hospitality management program can be better aligned with their employment needs and training.

“I didn’t want to sell them anything.,” he said. “I wanted to sit with them and see their challenges and issues.”

He said a hospitality job fair will be organized and Tri-C may adjust its curriculum to meet the needs of the industry, including making sure students have basic math and literacy skills, he said.

Tri-C may also provide in-house training, he said.

Gary wants to collaborate with community organizations because they can alert people in the community to job and training opportunities.

“We have got to market the industry to the community,” he said. “So many opportunities are going unaddressed. We have individuals in our community who have no clue of these opportunities. We need to reach out to them.”

By Karen Farkas, Northeast Ohio Media Grou