The effort to help College of Western Idaho (CWI) prepare for its future has received a $25,000 financial boost from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation. The College, with help from the CWI Foundation, is the recipient of the grant which will be used to help create a five year comprehensive strategic plan for the College.
CWI hired Eva Klein & Associates; a consulting organization that specializes in supporting academic institutions in their quests to design strategic visions. CWI launched the comprehensive strategic planning efforts last October with an anticipated completion later this May.
“Our original comprehensive strategic plan was created in 2009 when the College was initially created,” notes CWI President Bert Glandon. “A lot has changed both at CWI and in our community since then. The most significant being the unprecedented growth of the College and how we will continue to meet the educational needs of western Idaho.”
The JPMorgan Chase Foundation is funding the completion of an Economic Development and Labor Market Analysis as part of the overall plan. This section will ensure that the College’s future growth falls in line with what the community needs.
“We are excited to support CWI’s partnership with employers to create career pathways and increase economic opportunity,” Cat Martin, the region’s Vice President, Global Philanthropy Relationship Manager at JPMorgan Chase & Co., said. “With (this) funding, CWI is collecting data on labor market conditions for middle skills jobs, and in response, will provide data-driven solutions to address the mismatch between employer needs and the skills of job seekers.”
Areas that CWI has noted as opportunities for reducing workforce skills gaps include:
- Business Technology
- Advanced Manufacturing
“We know that helping people gain the skills they need to compete in the labor market is a powerful strategy for expanding access to opportunity and promoting economic mobility,” Martin said. “At the same time, many employers are struggling to fill vacancies, especially for technical and skilled positions that require more education and training than a high school diploma, but not a four-year college degree.”
For more information on supporting CWI programs and students, please visit the CWI website.
About the College of Western Idaho:
The College of Western Idaho is a public, open-access, and comprehensive community college committed to providing affordable access to quality teaching and learning opportunities to the residents of its service area in western Idaho. CWI has seven campus locations throughout Southwest Idaho providing higher education and 21st Century technical skills acquisition. The college is dedicated to improving the community’s economic well-being by responding with highly-educated and productive graduates. The foundation for the area’s only community college was created by a supermajority of voters in Ada and Canyon counties on May 22, 2007. For more information about the college, visit www.cwidaho.cc or call (208) 562-3000.