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How Can We Make Community College Investments More Equitable?

Allison Hyra

White Paper

April 23, 2021

Community colleges provide an important route for millions of Americans to self-sufficiency and a fulfilling career. With many federal initiatives supporting career training and workforce development programs, community colleges use these funds to design and provide programs that prepare individuals for work in well-paying, in-demand jobs that meet local employers’ needs. As the Biden Administration has directed the executive branch to assess ways to advance equity and provide all Americans with the opportunity to reach their full potential, community colleges are well-positioned to advance equity. Community colleges already serve diverse student bodies, and due to their missions, they are in strong positions to carry an equity focus and ensure Black, Indigenous, people of color, and women enroll in, complete training, and become employed in higher paying jobs and industries. This paper provides several recommendations for how community colleges can address racial and gender disparities in their training programs.