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President Harrison testifies before Congressional Committee

DTH Testifies at committee

President David T. Harrison was one of four witnesses invited to provide expertise at a U.S. Congressional hearing this week. Ohio Congressman Pat Tiberi, who chairs the Joint Economic Committee, called on Dr. Harrison for his view points and suggestions for the hearing titled "A Record Six Million U.S. Job Vacancies: Reasons and Remedies." The nearly two-hour hearing was held Wednesday morning in Washington D.C.

Witnesses joining Dr. Harrison to testify for the committee included Scot McLemore of Honda North America, Inc., Diana Furchtgott-Roth of the Manhattan Institute and Dr. Betsey Stevenson from the University of Michigan. They were asked to address the reasons for the record-setting number of job vacancies in the United States and how American workers could be matched better to the available job opportunities.

In his public and written testimony, Dr. Harrison said, "The nation's workforce is becoming more diverse, and employment practices haven't kept pace with changing demographics. We have over-emphasized the bachelor's degree as the starting point to a successful career, escalating student loan debt without a proportional positive impact on the labor force. Community colleges are purpose-built to meet two of the nation's most urgent challenges: unmet workforce needs and rising student debt."

The president highlighted educational partnerships with K-12 districts and the Preferred Pathway programs with area four-year institutions. He emphasized the importance of public-private partnerships, including a $5 million dollar grant from American Electric Power for the Credits Count program, a $2.5 million grant from JPMorgan Chase which supports the Central Ohio Compact and the ongoing work with Honda to develop a pipeline of graduates.

Click here to read Dr. Harrison's full written testimony.