Last week, Todd Oldham of Monroe Community College in New York joined us for a webinar on how MCC uses Career Coach, EMSI’s online career exploration tool, to market programs to students. Of particular emphasis to MCC in launching Career Coach to its students and the public in Rochester is increasing the number of students (and ultimately qualified workers) for middle-skill jobs in STEM, advanced manufacturing, and other in-demand sectors.
“We have quite a large number in New York state — as it is in the United States — of middle-skill positions,” Todd explained. “So we see our clear target as a community college — clearly that’s right in line with what we provide. And then on top of that, our large amount of high-tech and particularly advanced manufacturing pathways and occupations, we really have a need to be able to promote those occupations to one, keep our credit-based career-technical education enrollments up, but also to ultimately produce the workers that the workforce is looking for.”
Enter Career Coach, which gives students key information on careers and links those careers to local educational programs. For MCC, the tool (see here) helps facilitate three primary goals:
- Actively promote applied STEM (science, technology, engineering, math), career-technical education, and middle-skill career pathways to students and parents
- Address shortages in the educational pipeline
- Increase the enrollment within MCC’s career-technical education programming
“Career Coach provides up-to-date local employment data, such as current and projected job openings, estimated earnings, and occupations that require similar skills and knowledge, as well as specific MCC educational programs that will prepare an individual for a given occupation,” Todd wrote in an essay on addressing the growing mismatch between job openings and jobseekers.
“The data come from nearly 90 federal, state and private sources, including the U.S. Department of Labor, Census Bureau and Indeed.com jobs listing site. This tool provides users with a clear connection between a particular program of study and tangible opportunities in the job market.”
In the webinar, Todd gave specific examples of how MCC tested and rolled out Career Coach to students, the greater Rochester community, and the media. Among the chief tactics MCC employed:
- Use student testimonials for promotional opportunities
- Reach students through faculty and key offices
- Workshops (demos by MCC experts) for students, employees that helped drive traffic to MCC’s Career Coach site
- College-related events, such as expos, fairs and open houses
- Share information with high schools
- Incorporate into messages at speaking engagements
- Production of video that promotes tool