Identifying the Best Community Colleges for Workforce Training

College students on campus

In partnership with Harvard University’s Project on Workforce and its initiative on Reimagining the Economy, the PROMISE Center is examining how community colleges across the country approach and succeed with workforce training. Together, we are integrating multiple national datasets documenting community colleges’ workforce training outcomes. With this data, we will seek to identify colleges that are most effective in generating training for high-wage jobs, particularly for traditionally underserved populations.

We will also explore how strong community colleges can play major roles in regional economic development, and more specifically, how they help regions that have experienced negative economic developments (e.g., the disappearance of coal or manufacturing jobs) rebuild.

Our goal is to develop a deeper understanding of how community colleges interact with other workforce and economic development agencies; how they support growth in local industries that generate greater opportunity for lower-income students and students of color; and explore partnerships to help community colleges improve workforce outcomes.


The PROMISE Center is directly supported by the AIR Equity Initiative, AIR’s $100+ million five-year investment to advance equity in several important areas: workforce development, education, public safety and policing, and health. The AIR Equity Initiative is committed to investing in the generation and use of high-quality evidence that address the harmful effects of segregation by race and place.