The relationship between community colleges and employers isn’t adequate to feed today’s workforce, especially when it comes to middle-skill jobs, according to a report released Monday that calls on both education and business leaders to revamp their practices.

Just 10% of community college leaders said employers would guarantee jobs to students who completed programs, according to the report from Harvard Business School’s Project on Managing the Future of Work and the American Association of Community Colleges. Some 47% of employers said hiring from the open market is more cost effective than spending on training new workers.

The report calls for “rebooting the system” so that training is aligned with industry needs, employers hire community college graduates, and key decisions are based on the latest data and trends.

Higher education and employers alike are grappling with the best ways to improve connections between education and the workforce. It’s a key component of higher education’s value proposition for students — research indicates students value education focused on career training over the traditional liberal arts.

Yet surveyors have found young adults with degrees often feel their education failed to prepare them for the workforce.

A number of overlapping solutions have been pursued to fix this gulf. Among them are corporate education benefits for workers, skills-based learning, and short-term programs including a dizzying number of credentials.

Ideally, community colleges would train students to fill current middle-skill positions, which Monday’s report defines as jobs requiring more than a high school diploma but less than a four-year college degree. But it suggests the system isn’t working for graduates.

Read the full article about higher education and employer relationships by Rick Seltzer at Higher Education Dive.