Community Colleges and Employers: How Can We Understand their Connection?

Paul Osterman, Andrew Weaver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper uses an original, nationally representative survey of manufacturing establishments to shed light on the interaction of employers with community colleges, including information on skill requirements and human resource practices. We test three hypotheses: that high-skill employers use community colleges, that community colleges are a substitute for employer-based training, and that community colleges are a complement to so-called “high-road” or “high-commitment” human resource practices. We find limited utilization of community colleges by employers, but those that do establish a relationship are generally satisfied. Employers that demand high skills are more likely to use community colleges, as are “high-commitment” firms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)523-545
Number of pages23
JournalIndustrial Relations
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial relations
  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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