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A new report from the American Enterprise Institute explores how community colleges could contribute to expanding apprenticeship opportunities, by playing a "role that would contribute to resolving the current mismatch between what postsecondary institutions produce and what employers need."

"With the right strategies in place, community colleges may be able to provide the widest on-ramp to expanding apprenticeships," conclude the report's co-authors, Mark Schneider, a visiting scholar at AEI who recently joined the U.S. Department of Education, and Jorge Klor de Alva, president of Nexus Research and Policy Center. "However, they add that "community colleges face cultural, organizational and financial challenges in delivering and expanding apprenticeships, including developing relationships with employers, registering programs with the U.S. Department of Labor, and facing potential competition from emerging entities called apprenticeship service providers."

Last week a White House-convened panel released a report on a proposed alternative system to industry-recognized apprenticeships. That report included strong criticism of traditional higher education.