Well-funded and forward-looking community colleges are key to a state's competitive future and might be the ultimate hedge against structural unemployment. The most successful states are scaling innovative training and education programs at their community colleges in partnership with local governments and employers. Unfortunately, state and local funding for community colleges is declining nationwide. A significant majority of states are failing to recognize their long-term importance.
Strong community college programs can ensure that a state actually has the skilled workers trained for the jobs of the future. Just as importantly, these local educational institutions attract new businesses and retain changing industries with a sustainable pipeline of skilled workers.