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Skill Panels vs.Community College Program Advisory Committees

Skill Panels are often confused with technical program advisory committees of a community and technical college. In the same region, some of the same individuals or representatives of organizations or employers might serve on both types of bodies.

However, a Skill Panel brings a fresh, entrepreneurial energy to the process of seeking a wide variety of solutions to industry specific skill gaps that goes beyond the scope of a program specific Advisory Committee.  By their very nature, Skill Panels stimulate economic growth.  When industry skill gaps are closed, businesses gain or maintain their competitive advantage that is vitally important to the economic stability and growth of the communities they serve.  Regional and individual prosperity are the lasting result.

The following points illustrate some of the unique attributes of Skill Panels and Advisory Committees.

Skill Panels

  • Are created around a specific industry or industry cluster and are business driven.
  • Engage in work to identify and close the skill gaps within a specific industry and region.
  • Go beyond the advising capacity and engage in activities that create innovative solutions to close industry skill gaps.
  • Focus on education and training to ensure the competitive advantage of an economically vital industry is maintained.
  • Choose members for their unique knowledge of the industry cluster being examined.
  • May be short term or long term in nature, depending upon the work identified to be done.
  • Result in a more highly skilled workforce to support the economic development of a state, region, or community.

Advisory Committees

  • Provide subject matter expertise in the review and evaluation of program curricula, equipment, and overall program effectiveness.
  • Function in an advisory capacity to a specific professional technical degree program.
  • Help determine professional/technical program goals.
  • Are long term in nature.
  • Create a bridge between local industry and professional and technical educational programs.

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