Community Colleges: Ready for the Workforce Challenges Ahead

Though the economic downturn that’s come on us so suddenly has its roots in something none of us have ever experienced – a global pandemic – it’s certainly not the first time Ohio has had to come together to overcome challenges, or pull itself out of an economic ditch.

The years during and after the Great Recession were tough – very tough. The reduced business activity had far-reaching consequences, including on the revenue our schools and other public and social service organizations depend on to best serve our communities. Though most of the past decade saw Ohio’s economy recover from the depths of the recession, the reality is that the modern economy is still leaving thousands of Ohioans and their families behind.

With unemployment unseen since the Great Depression, the COVID-19 economic downturn will further widen opportunity gaps for many low and middle-class families. The pandemic has already had a devastating financial effect on low-skilled and low-income workers, with 40 percent of U.S. households earning less than $40,000 a year having lost their jobs.

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