Innovation and transformation are leading Odessa College’s strategy to redefine college-going and college-completing culture in the region—placing workforce readiness and career pathway development center stage. In its move to enhance collaborative efforts with its regional employers, the College is announcing the adoption of GoEducate’s Opportunity Portal and Marketplace to personalize current and future students' access to employment. Through GoEducate’s integrated cloud-based Opportunity Portal, Odessa College programs, pathways and certifications directly link through the web platform to regional employers, actively connecting academic programs to live jobs, internships and apprenticeships.
“We are in the beginning of a full transformation to a seamless and sustainable talent pipeline that starts in school and with jobseekers in the Permian Basin and leads them directly into in-demand jobs and careers,” says Odessa College Vice President of Academic Partnerships, Dr. Jonathan Fuentes.
Austin-based GoEducate is a fully operational education and employment ecosystem, linking exploratory, enrollment, recruiting and talent pipeline management in a singular-process platform. Uniquely, GoEducate has successfully deployed a true data and skills “end-to-end” solution that facilitates advancing from school, to training, to college and to work and, in the other direction, from employers into colleges, CTE programs, and into schools.
In New Mexico, Northern New Mexico College operates its own Opportunity Portal. This particular Opportunity Portal links skills certifications and degree programs directly into the hiring programs at the nearby Los Alamos National Laboratory, the region’s largest employer and one of the leading science and technology institutions in the world. The Los Alamos Laboratory has connected employment opportunities—ranging from Accounting and Financial Analyst roles to high school, undergrad and post-Bachelor internships—to Northern’s Business and Accounting pathway programs, and Los Alamos is actively connecting job roles into more academic and technical programs with the organization’s breadth of STEM and business opportunities.
For Texas, beginning with Odessa College, GoEducate and its technology are addressing the growing education and employment problems the state is facing in filling in-demand jobs. Statewide, community colleges have seen close to a 11% drop in enrollment during the pandemic, equivalent to a loss of about 80,000 students. Nationwide, there is an unprecedented and felt shortage of talent across all employment segments. By connecting the dots between students, education and employers, GoEducate facilitates skills-based learning and job matching to actively place students and job seekers.
Odessa College and GoEducate joined efforts in the fall of 2021, with the College’s President, Dr. Greg Williams, recognizing the need to deploy the new-to-market tool to help drive the school’s OC10K by 2030 and Odessa Promise initiatives. Both programs are aimed at solving workplace shortages in the Permian Basin, and making higher education widely accessible through a new scholarship fund that will cover tuition and fees beginning with the region’s high school graduating class of 2024.
“Today’s jobs require a skilled, trained and educated workforce. OC must come together to ensure the families in the Permian Basin have access to free education and a family-sustaining wage. Together we will solve this educational crisis and fulfill the economic need,” says Dr. Williams.
To manage OC’s Opportunity Marketplace implementation, employer partnerships and student and job seeker acquisition, Dr. Williams assembled an executive team including Jonathan Fuentes; Jacqui Gore, Vice President of Advancement, Business and Governmental Relations; Leroy Giles, Business Development Director; and Kim McKay, Vice President of Student Services and Enrollment Management. The team works closely with GoEducate in all facets of the platform launch, from employer engagement to student and job seeker outreach and promotion.
“Odessa College is excited for this shift and is gearing up for a campus-wide release of the GoEducate Opportunity Portal for our Fall 2022 students, and the Portal will serve as a tool to better guide and serve the academic and employment needs of those enrolled,” says Dr. Fuentes. “We also know that this will benefit our region, which is looking to improve employment and economic outcomes,” adds Dr. Fuentes.
GoEducate and Odessa College will be holding a panel session on May 28 at NISOD's 2022 International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence, taking place in Austin, TX. The session, titled “Connecting the Dots in the Education-to-Employment Market with GoEducate,” will focus on the platform’s use-case and ease of adoption into institution and employer organizations.