Working in the Middle
Strengthening Education and Training for the Mid-Skilled Labor Force

W. Norton Grubb

"Anyone interested in a better trained workforce should read this book. Well-paying jobs requiring less than a college degree are a growing sector of the economy that is often ignored. Grubb's book shows how community colleges can improve the chances of Americans securing those jobs."

--Jack Jennings, director, Center on National Education Policy

"Community colleges have become America's premier training institutions and Norton Grubb has written the definitive book on how they fit into the labor market and affect economic outcomes. Working in the Middle will be the standard source for years to come."

--Paul Osterman, professor of human resources and management, Sloan School, MIT

Sixty percent of Americans have at least a high school diploma but lack a college degree. Working in the Middle is the first book to offer a comprehensive view of the education and training of this growing mid-skilled labor force. Based on both statistical research and interviews with students, educators, and employers, this important resource offers a thorough examination of "workers in the middle," focusing on workers' characteristics, the types of work they perform, how they prepared for and obtained their positions, and what further skills they need to develop.

W. Norton Grubb stresses the advantages realized by both employers and local educational institutions such as community colleges when they join forces to meet the needs of mid-skilled workers. He examines a variety of methods--including advisory committees, placement offices, placement by occupational instructors, student follow-up and tracking mechanisms, and co-op education--that can bring employers and educators together.

Working in the Middle is filled with illustrative case studies that demonstrate the powerful advantages of such exemplary practices as integration of academic and occupational education, remedial education within occupational programs, and co-op programs.

July 1996
ISBN 0-7879-0258-6

336 pages


W. Norton Grubb is professor, School of Education, University of California, Berkeley. He is the editor of Education Through Occupations in American High Schools (1995), and the author of Learning to Work: The Case for Re-integrating Education and Job Training (1996).

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