The Lone Star College System has joined a national program in an effort to address a skilled labor shortage caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

According to a news release, LSCS has joined with the Lumina Foundation and other community colleges as part of the New Models for Career Preparation cohort.

"Community colleges like LSC are responsive to employer needs by playing a key role in developing a high-quality, responsive workforce integrating the correct state licensures and national industry-recognized certifications,” said Linda Leto Head, LSC senior associate vice chancellor of external and employer relations, in the release. “LSC has developed strategic relationships with industry leaders to better understand their exact needs, which sets up our students to be fully trained and ready to go to work upon completion of an applied degree, certificate or certification program.”

The release states the Lumina Foundation conducted research that revealed four key indicators of an effective, workforce-oriented community college, which include employing robust workforce staff, maintaining long-term employer relationships, addressing occupational segregation and focusing on job quality. This can guide a college to be an economic development catalyst in its region while signaling to partners the college is an effective workforce partner, the release said.

"The LSC student population mirrors the demographic breakdown of the Greater Houston area,” Head said in the release. “Employers work with community colleges like Lone Star College to have access to the diverse pipeline of employees we all provide.”