Publications by James Jacobs

APRIL 2022

Based on fieldwork at eight institutions, this report describes how community colleges are responding to workplace technology innovation by adapting their workforce programming, diversifying pathways to certificates and degrees, and addressing equity concerns.

MARCH 2019

This paper describes how community colleges became a major resource for the nation's workforce development requirements and discusses how this role continues to evolve to meet the needs of students, employers, and local communities. 


Findings from this paper suggest that while Pell recipients at community colleges have a stronger academic focus than non-Pell recipients, they may be taking more time to complete a credential than is prudent.

MARCH 2012

Based on fieldwork in two distinct labor markets, this paper compares how associate and bachelor's degrees are perceived by employers seeking to hire IT technicians.

JUNE 2009

Drawing on a national review of state policies and case studies of 20 community colleges, this article examines trends in noncredit courses connected with workforce instruction and contract training.

APRIL 2009

This report provides detailed findings on state policies and community college practice from CCRC's study of community college noncredit workforce education.

JUNE 2008

In this paper, the author argues for a new paradigm in federal workforce education policy, one that privileges capacity-building over compliance.

JUNE 2008

This paper explores some of the barriers adult basic education students face in obtaining postsecondary credentials, and how changes in federal policy can improve ABE outcomes.


This paper analyzes how effective ATE regional centers, which work with community colleges and businesses in a single region to improve technical education, have been in meeting their goals.


This article explores the evolution of the workforce development role of the community college, its interactions with other missions of the college, and the current crisis facing workforce development.


This article calls for community colleges, on behalf of their students, to join the national discussion of how income and wealth are created.


This article examines horizontal and vertical workforce transitions and how a global economy and the need to train new subpopulations of future workers will cause community colleges to approach their roles in workforce training differently.

APRIL 2004

This report examines the ability of the ATE projects and centers to have a significant and permanent influence on the host colleges and on the system of STEM education in general.


This report presents the findings of exploratory research designed to identify the characteristics of the outsourcing of instruction at community colleges and the forces that promote or block its spread.

APRIL 2003

This paper discusses the economic returns to education for African American and Hispanic students and the performance of community colleges in increasing college access for ethnic minority students.

MARCH 2003

This report, commissioned by the Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) of the U.S. Department of Education, examines the rationale for federal involvement in occupational education.

MARCH 2002

This book chapter discusses changing labor demands in the information economy and how workforce development at community colleges can meet those demands.

MARCH 2001

This article in New Directions for Community Colleges discusses the Workforce Investment Act and its impact on workforce development at community colleges.


This article discusses how postsecondary occupational education must become more responsive to contemporary labor market needs through redesigning workforce development.