The United States recession in the early 1980s severely affected Cleveland and Tri-C. The old steel town lost jobs, plants and prestige and gained one of highest unemployment rates in the country. Former factory workers flocked to Cuyahoga Community College to inventory their skills and assess opportunities presented for engaging in the new technology and service-based economy.
The old promises of lifetime employment by a single manufacturing company were rendered obsolete by the growth in foreign competition and new technologies. Now the economic/employment system rewarded contributions from workers who suddenly found themselves personally responsible for acquiring and maintaining the new skills that employers demanded.
Responding to these dramatic changes, Dr. Ellison pursued partnerships with many of Cleveland’s leading employers while the College invested in new technologies and training systems. Dr. Ellison aimed to create a generation of productive workers who mastered the techniques and technologies needed to thrive in the brave new world.