“Building a Higher Skilled Workforce: Results and Implications from the BridgeConnect National Survey”

The Workforce Strategy Center recently published “Building a Higher Skilled Workforce: Results and Implications from the BridgeConnect National Survey” which surveyed bridge programs nationally and examined the diversity and scale of these expanding programs. Bridge programs are essentially programs designed to assist low-skilled individuals obtain the academic and technical skills they need to be successful in post secondary education and career track employment. 515 programs responded and participated nationally.

Findings include:

  • No community of practice currently exists to advance the bridge program field
  • New questions emerged and new research will be needed, such as what are the standard measures of success, what strategies work best and what is is considered innovative in the field?
  • There is a diverse set of stakeholders are involved from a variety of funding sources
  • The researchers’ recommendations include:
  • Building a community of practice to share results
  • Implement a bridge program demonstration project to start to catalogue standards and evaluate results
  • Form a bridge program policy commission to review federal, state and local policies to establish bridge program standards
  • I’m going to solicit the Workforce Strategy Center to release a list of the national respondents because normal searches for these programs yields limited results.

Model Programs Include:

Bridge to Biotech and video at City College of San Francisco
Health Care Bridge at Jewish Vocational Services
Instituto Del Progreso Latino, IL (Allied Health, Manufacturing)
Capital IDEA, Austin, TX (Allied Health, Automotive/Transportation, Energy/Green energy, IT)
Project Arriba, El Paso, TX (Allied Health, Education, IT)
Project Quest, San Antonio, TX (Allied Health, Administrative Office Tech, IT, Manufacturing)
I-BEST, Des Moines, WA

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