Sunday, September 19, 2021


Hundreds of wealthy Americans back the Biden Build Back Better Act; Roger Stone is served with a warrant on live radio; and family caregivers are in need of assistance.


Virginia gubernatorial candidates debate; former federal prosecutor Michael Sussmann indicted for lying to FBI; lawmakers set to question oil industry over climate disinformation; and FDA scientists express skepticism over booster shots.


Lawsuits stall debt relief for America's Black farmers; Idaho hospitals using "critical care" protocols; grant money boosts rural towns in Utah and more conservation acreage could protect the iconic sage grouse.

Community Colleges Can Help Drive Economic Recovery


Monday, September 21, 2020   

BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. -- Community colleges could play a major role in helping the state bounce back from the coronavirus recession, according to the authors of a new report.

More than 16 million Americans have lost their jobs due to the pandemic, and it's estimated many of those positions aren't coming back.

In rural Tennessee, community colleges are often one of the few places residents can find opportunities to re-skill, participate in apprenticeships, and learn about emerging industries.

Sam Rowell, vice president of economic and workforce development for Northeast State Community College, said having an embedded relationship with local business and industry is key to helping students retool.

"Our regional center for advanced manufacturing is in partnership with area industries," Rowell said. "And we actually have non-credit and credit training going on, we have incumbent workers taking credit classes as part of their apprenticeships. And then we have students who aspire to work at those companies taking those same classes."

More than 660,000 Tennesseans work in industries vulnerable to COVID-19's economic effects. The state's unemployment rate hovered around 8.5% in August.

Rowell said enrollment is slightly down this semester, noting many students are juggling child care or remote learning. He said his college has increased course schedule flexibility in response.

"You have individuals who might have been taking classes, that have school-age students at home that are taking classes online as well," Rowell said. "Child care is something that comes up quite a bit in conversations."

Rowell said community colleges across the country will have to adapt to meet the needs of students and the regional economy.

"We are doing some things being creative," Rowell explained. "We have a second-term semester that starts in October. We also reach out to any of the businesses and industries in our region that have been impacted by COVID or employees, as part of any opportunities we have for grant funding to help support those individuals who have been displaced; that's been a priority for us."

According to one estimate, 80% of community college students hold down a job alongside their school work, and 15% are single parents. According to data from the Tennessee Board of Regents, about 88,000 students are enrolled in community colleges statewide.

Support for this reporting was provided by Lumina Foundation.

get more stories like this via email

A panel of House Democrats proposes raising $2.9 trillion in new taxes to pay for President Joe Biden's "Build Back Better" plan through higher tax rates for wealthy Americans. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

RICHMOND, Va. - As U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., takes heat this week for attending a posh fundraiser in a dress that said "Tax the …


EAST TROY, Wis. - Wisconsin farmers are looking ahead to the fall harvest, and those who use cover crops face a deadline to sign up for a research …

Social Issues

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - The pandemic is shining a new light on the burdens felt by family caregivers, and a bill in Congress would remove some of the …

A letter encourages Congress to raise taxes on wealthy people, including an additional tax on people with net assets of more than $50 million. (W.Scott McGill/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

PORTLAND, Ore. - Wealthy Americans have a message for Congress: Tax us more. More than 200 high-income taxpayers and business owners have sent an …

Social Issues

ALBANY, N.Y. - As a U.S. House committee debates the Biden administration's "Build Back Better" Act, a letter from more than 200 wealthy Americans …

According to The Pew Research Center, liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans are more likely to have heard about "cancel culture" than their more moderate peers. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

By Sonali Kolhatkar for Yes! Media. Broadcast version by Lily Bohlke for Commonwealth News Service reporting for the YES! Media-Public News Service …


MANCHESTER, N.H. - Three New Hampshire professors are among those who've signed a letter urging the United Nations General Assembly to adopt what's …

Social Issues

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - One out of every three people incarcerated in the United States has contracted COVID-19, and a new report shows how state …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021