Education leaders say community colleges need to offer better pay and benefits to attract and retain qualified instructors

community-collegesAlabama’s Calhoun Community College recently created a process control technology program to train people for high-tech, high-level industry jobs, like those that will be available at the recently announced GE Aviation plant in Limestone County.

But finding qualified instructors has been a problem.

“I can’t even get people to apply,” Calhoun President James Klauber said last week. “They’re paid so well in private industry.”

For now, the college is transferring instructors from other programs to teach the process program.

“That’s a real challenge for us because that’s a program that will fit hand-in-glove with the new GE Aviation project,” Klauber said.

Struggles to recruit and keep instructors for high-tech programs were highlighted in last week’s Alabama Community College System board meeting. It’s also part of the reason the board is asking for a nearly 25 percent increase in funding in fiscal 2017.

Next page: What community college leaders say they’ll need to have a chance of remaining competitive

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