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IBM taps community colleges to fill workforce pipeline

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.