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BCCC is adapting to boost students' job prospects

Like the Baltimore Sun, Baltimore City Community College (BCCC) commends the Abell Foundation for its recently released examination of why so few city high school graduates pursue employment opportunities in high-demand jobs that don't require a four-year college degree ("Tickets to success," March 20). The findings of the study were by no means news to BCCC. Our researchers, planners and faculty are diligently engaged in efforts to determine what skills Baltimore area employers are looking for and aligning credit and noncredit programs accordingly.

BCCC has made considerable progress since 2012, the final year of the Abell study — particularly in the area of "best prospects" occupations. Although the college had previously eliminated some programs due to low student demand, it has recently re-instituted, added or substituted programs to address workforce needs. In 2014, we implemented four new certificate programs: coding specialist; cyber security and assurance; information technology basic skills; and emergency medical services. We are implementing a paramedic two-year degree program and another for cyber security assurance.

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The college has been especially active in developing noncredit training programs in the trades, transportation and utilities sector, which typically require the shortest time for completion. Thanks to such efforts, enrollees will soon take advantage of training for jobs in transportation, warehousing and supply chain management. BCCC is the employment training partner for the Red Line and Baltimore City Public School System construction projects.

For leisure and hospitality job opportunities, we have partnered with Horseshoe Casino to provide instruction for nearly 2,000 trainees. New partnerships with the American Hotel and Lodging Association and the Stratford University Culinary School will result in additional best prospects job training.

BCCC is developing new offerings based on recommendations of the Baltimore Regional Workforce Pipeline. In addition, I recently joined the Baltimore Workforce Investment Board which advises the Mayor's Office of Employment Development.

Strengthening BCCC's vocational mission promotes living up to our full potential. We are committed to helping more Baltimore City public high school graduates live up to theirs.

Gordon F. May, Baltimore

The writer is president/CEO of Baltimore City Community College.

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