Time to Reinforce the Building Blocks of The American Dream

Successful nations, just like successful businesses, are built on three things: people, education and ideas. 

By opening our nation’s doors to people ready to build new lives and abide by the Constitution, the U.S. has become a stronger, more vibrant nation. By investing heavily in public education, the nation transformed both natives and newcomers into literate, numerate Americans ready to contribute to an advanced industrial economy. And by investing in scientific research, the nation combined and advanced new ideas — many from these new Americans — in new ways to build the most productive, prosperous nation the world has even seen.

However, these three pillars of the American dream — people, education and the investment in scientific research that is the wellspring of new ideas, new capabilities and new products — are all endangered.


A New U: Faster + Cheaper Alternatives to College

Every year, the cost of a four-year degree goes up, and the value goes down. But for many students, there’s a better answer. 

So many things are getting faster and cheaper. Movies stream into your living room, without ticket or concession-stand costs. The world’s libraries are at your fingertips instantly, and for free. 

So why is a college education the only thing that seems immune to change? Colleges and universities operate much as they did 40 years ago, with one major exception: they’ve gotten dramatically more expensive. And they’ve actually gotten slower, with the average time to graduate now over five years. 

As a result, graduates often struggle with enormous debt burdens. Even worse, they often find that degrees did not prepare them to obtain and succeed at good jobs in growing sectors of the economy. Parents and students have accepted this because a college degree has been seen as a prerequisite to a professional career. But now, for the first time, there are real alternatives. 

A New You

ONE and DONE, Workforce Development at Houston Community College

Houston Community College is pioneering a program to ensure students earn a level one certificate, receive resume writing assistance and get help with job interviews in just one semester.  The “Take One & Done” program is being offered at HCC’s Southeast College Eastside Campus.

“Students come full time and we will provide financial aid, child care from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. if necessary, and they will get a level one certificate in one of seven programs,” says Melissa Gonzalez, president of Southeast College. “We looked specifically at these programs, where there are jobs and there is a demand for workers.”

“Take One and Done” includes level one certificates in:

  1. Welding Technology-Basic Welding Helper
  2. Construction Management Technology
  3. Industrial Electricity Electrical Helper
  4. Business Management-Insurance Specialist/Associate
  5. Logistics & Supply Chain Management - Maritime Logistics & Specialist
  6. Real Estate - Residential
  7. HVAC