Tapping the Resources of America's Community Colleges: New paper and event in DC tomorrow

In a new paper released today by NDN Globalization Initiative Director, Dr. Robert J. Shapiro, we lay out a simple plan to provide tens of millions of American workers with essential IT training. Under this proposal, America's community colleges would receive federal grants to keep their computer labs open three nights a week, staffed by instructors who would provide basic - and free - IT and computer instruction to any person in the community who walks in and requests it.

The new paper, Tapping the Resources of America's Community Colleges, is the second in our Series of Modest Proposals to Build 21st Century Skills. The first paper, A Laptop in Every Backpack, called upon the federal government to equip every U.S. sixth grader with a laptop, so that students - the workforce of tomorrow - have the tools necessary to access the internet and build IT skills. Alec Ross, of the remarkable advocacy group, One Economy, and I co-wrote this paper.

Taken together, these papers urge the U.S. government to make a new national commitment to giving all American workers and students the skills needed to use modern information technology and navigate the emerging global communications network. Providing these skills is one component of a broader economic strategy advocated by NDN to ensure that globalization works for all Americans.

Please visit our website to read these papers and the accompanying introduction. For those of you in Washington, we invite you to attend our event tomorrow on IT Skills and Training for the 21st Century Economy. The event will be held in the Capitol, room H-122, from 10:30-11:45 (*please note the new room change). Additional event details may be found on our website.

Helping to make sure that all Americans benefit from the opportunities of today's economy is one of the greatest challenges facing American policymakers. For the last several years NDN's Globalization Initiative has been offering original and compelling thinking about how we can best meet this important challenge. I am proud of our work, and hope you will find this new paper, and its companion, helpful.