California’s online community college is partnering with Opportunity@Work, a nonprofit aimed at fixing the opportunity gap, to connect students with employers hiring for specific skills.
The initiative is aimed at students who are Skilled Through Alternative Routes, or STARs, defined as adults who graduated high school and have skills but no four-year degree. Some enrolled in college in the past but didn’t complete the program, and others have certificates or two-year degrees or were taught skills on the job or in military service.
The partnership aims to help these Californians build skills in online programs that are relevant for in-demand jobs and then connect them to employers who are hiring for middle- to high-wage positions, according to a news release.
California is home to about eight million people who are considered STARs, and they are now the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic. Those with only a high school diploma or some college have unemployment rates of 15 percent or higher, according to the release, while unemployment for those with bachelor’s degrees remains in the single digits.