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Politicians, business leaders ask high schoolers to consider community college

Four-year colleges are often seen as the natural next step for high school students, but business leaders and politicians want teens to consider another option: community college, U.S. News reports. An associate degree from a two-year technical program may be the quickest route for recent high school graduates to enter a stable, lucrative career field. It may also be the only way to keep up with workforce demands, said President Obama.

“Jobs requiring at least an associate degree are projected to grow twice as fast as jobs requiring no college experience,” the president said at a 2010 summit of community college leaders. “We will not fill those jobs–or keep those jobs on our shores–without the training offered by community colleges.”

An estimated 600,000 jobs, largely in manufacturing, currently sit unfilled because of a lack of qualified workers, Jay Timmons, president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers, noted last week in written testimony to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce…

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