From Education Dive – The day after the president’s task force convened, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos called for a “major shift” in higher education that would include a greater emphasis on apprenticeship programs at the Wall Street Journal CEO Council conference in Washington. DeVos said “we have stigmatized” career and technical education programs for years, when in reality, many students could benefit from such programs — and so could the workforce.

Neither higher education nor the workforce can afford to continue operating in silos. Community colleges have traditionally had stronger ties to the workforce, and the renewed interest from the White House provides an opportunity for four-year institutions to be more forward-looking about the ways they collaborate with industry to provide a more diverse, better qualified pool of candidates. If private industry could better trust colleges and universities to prepare graduates with the skills they need to succeed in the workforce, higher ed would face fewer attacks on relevance and ROI. Collaboration between the sectors, such as that which is developing in the Dallas region, would save both sides time and money and promote a stronger regional and national economy.