The chairman of the Midwestern Higher Education Compact pays Nebraska a visit to discuss matching higher education with 21st Century jobs.
Missouri State Sen. David Pearce has been traveling the dozen states that make up the compact during his time as chairman.
“I think the thing that I hear throughout the Midwest is are we training the graduates for the jobs that are available out there?” Pearce tells Nebraska Radio Network.
While the economy might be soft in much of the country, the Midwest seems to have jobs.
Pearce says business executives throughout the Midwest have told him they have jobs, they need qualified workers.
“As much as we possibly can do to have that communication with our colleges, community colleges, and business to make sure that we’re training students for those jobs that are out there,” according to Pearce.
The Midwestern Higher Education Compact is comprised of 12 states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
The compact provides cost-savings to member states through group purchases, but Pearce says it’s most important role is in idea-sharing. Pearce says each state approaches higher education differently and all states can learn from the others, determining best practices that fit unique needs.
Pearce recently spent a couple of days in Nebraska. He says the friendliness of the people impressed him as did the state Capitol itself.
He says he also knew he was in Big Red Country.
“Just had a wonderful visit while we were in the state of Nebraska; especially like the doormen in the Senate who wore the red jackets. That was really great,” Pearce says with a laugh.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]