Disaster Preparedness • Economic Recovery • Resilience

Community Colleges’ Roles in Economic Diversification

This trio of papers was developed to explore the various ways that community colleges aid the economic diversification of their service areas. The papers were developed in partnership with the American Association of Community Colleges, with funding from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, to support economic diversification efforts in communities in Alabama, Kentucky and Tennessee that have been affected by the changes in the coal industry. Community colleges’ roles are organized into three themes:

Economic Diversification: How Community Colleges Prepare the Workforce,” addresses soft skills development, workforce development, entrepreneurship, and leadership development.

Economic Diversification: How Community Colleges Support Community Initiatives,” explores the role of community colleges in initiatives specifically designed to diversify the local economy. Topics include small business development, supporting the growth of new industries, tourism, downtown revitalization, asset mapping, and economic development training.

Economic Diversification: How Community Colleges Partner with Economic Development Organizations,” focuses on how to build strong and lasting collaborations between community colleges and EDOs. Topics explored include the necessity and benefits of such llaborations, opportunities for collaboration, recommended steps for building collaborative relationships, and examples of successful initiatives.