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Sophie Elgort / AP

IBM is expanding partnerships with community colleges to offer local internships and apprenticeships for students not pursuing traditional 4-year degrees.

Why it matters: Business Roundtable's CEO Survey released Wednesday shows more than half of respondents' open positions do not require a college degree, yet only 11% of respondents describe involvement with community colleges as "very important" to training workers for the skilled jobs that tech companies have a persistent problem filling.

The Trump administration is encouraging public-private partnerships to provide alternative training pathways to match skilled workers with open jobs.

"New Collar" jobs: IBM is focusing on what it calls "new collar" jobs that have very specific skillsets such as data management, cybersecurity or health IT. IBM CEO Ginni Rometty says widening training programs will open up more opportunities to students who are not pursuing 4-year degrees and provide new options for companies struggling to fill open positions. The initiative will include schools near communities such as Raleigh, Austin, Houston and Boulder.

Go deeper

1 hour ago - World

Biden freezes U.S. arms deals with Saudi Arabia and UAE

Trump struck several large arms deals with Mohammed bin Salman (L) and Saudi Arabia. Photo: Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images

The Biden administration has put on hold two big arms deals with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates which were approved in the final weeks of the Trump administration, a State Department official tells Axios.

Why it matters: The sales of F-35 jets and attack drones to the UAE and a large supply of munitions to Saudi Arabia will be paused pending a review. That signals a major policy shift from the Trump era, and may herald sharp tensions with both Gulf countries.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
2 hours ago - Podcasts

Robert Downey Jr. launches VC funds to help save the planet

Robert Downey Jr. on Wednesday announced the launch of two venture capital funds focused on startups in the sustainability sector, the latest evolution of a project he launched two years ago called Footprint Coalition.

Between the lines: This is a bit of life imitating art, as Downey Jr. spent 11 films portraying a character who sought to save the planet (or, in some cases, the universe).

DHS warns of "heightened threat" because of domestic extremism

Supporters of former President Trump protest inside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Photo: Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images

The Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday issued an advisory warning of a "heightened threat environment" in the U.S. because of "ideologically-motivated violent extremists."

Why it matters: DHS believes the threat of violence will persist for "weeks" following President Biden's inauguration. The extremists include those who opposed the presidential transition, people spurred by "grievances fueled by false narratives" and "anger over COVID-19 restrictions ... and police use of force[.]"

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