California Community Colleges Are Helping Shape the STEM Workforce of the Future
Community colleges are developing sophisticated simulation laboratories, makerspaces, and innovation centers to prepare students to successfully enter the STEM workforce and meet the needs of high-tech employers.
Abstract: The demand for graduates and technicians in the academic fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) is influencing the design of specialized educational facilities in community colleges. Community colleges are increasingly aligning their academic programs to the specific economic development priorities and projected demand for skilled labor in the geographic regions they serve. It is expected that partnerships with local industry will increasingly shape curriculum development and facilities design. This trend is rapidly developing in California, where community colleges are incorporating sophisticated simulation laboratories, makerspaces, and innovation centers outfitted with advanced infrastructure and equipment, along with spaces that support the full spectrum of competencies required for graduates to succeed in the STEM labor market.