No longer can those fresh out of high school easily step into middle-class jobs. Today, high school is not enough. Additional education and better job skills are necessary for anything beyond low-wage work. The hundreds of thousands of students on those community college waiting lists know this.
The future of middle class jobs is at stake. Private enterprise will not provide the education and skill training needed for these jobs. The public community colleges are where much of this will happen. We underfund them now at our future peril.