Employers are outsourcing job training to “corporate colleges” run by community colleges, reports Inside Higher Ed. These employer-funded programs are money makers for colleges such as Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C), located in Ohio, North Carolina’s Central Piedmont College and the Lone Star College System in Texas.
In Arizona, the 10-college Maricopa Community College District has opened Maricopa Corporate College. Marriott International is its biggest client. “We’re starting to market ourselves as a business,” said Rufus Glasper, the district’s chancellor.
Corporate colleges cater to the training needs of companies, including recent hires and workers who need to learn new skills. Programs are typically non-credit and customized based on the employer’s needs. They can be online or in person, and taught either on a college campus or taken directly to a company. Some of the most common programs are in management training, English as a second language, information technology, advanced manufacturing and welding.
Until recently, community colleges have worked with regional employers. In 2007, Tri-C spun off Global Corporate College, a consortium of more than 50 community colleges and universities. Through Global Corporate, colleges can network to meet the training needs of national companies.
That’s how Maricopa landed Mariott, said Eugene Giovannini, president of the Maricopa Corporate College. “The network will deliver that training across the country.”
Maricopa hopes to triple the $1.5 million in corporate training revenue earned in a recent year, reports Inside Higher Ed. “This is very much a business decision,” said Giovannini.