Community colleges receive $500 million in grants for job training

Job training grants given to community colleges

U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis and Under Secretary of Education Martha Kanter this week announced almost $500 million in grants to community colleges across the U.S. for targeted training and workforce development programs.

The grants will support partnerships between community colleges and employers to develop programs that provide clear pathways to high-quality jobs, including building instructional programs to meet specific industry needs, strengthening technology-enabled learning, and allowing students and workers to access free learning materials online.

The U.S. Department of Labor is implementing and administering the program in coordination with the U.S. Department of Education. In an initial round of community college and career training funds, grants are being awarded to 32 recipients--a complete list of grantees by state, with award amounts and project descriptions, can be viewed here.

"The president knows that building a well-educated workforce is critical to reviving and strengthening the American economy," U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in a statement. "These grants will help community colleges and businesses work together to give students the skills they need to compete for good jobs in growing industries."

The Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training initiatuve

This is the first installment in the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) initiative, a $2 billion, four-year investment designed in combination with the American Jobs Act to help increase opportunities for the unemployed by providing additional support for hiring and re-employment services.

As part of the initiative, every state will receive at least $2.5 million for community college career training programs--states that did not receive a grant in this round will be contacted by the program's administrators to develop a qualifying project that will immediately receive $2.5 million.

"Making it possible for unemployed Americans to return to work is a top priority of President Obama's," Secretary Solis said in a statement. "These federal grants will enable community colleges, employers and other partners to prepare job candidates, through innovative programs, for new careers in high-wage, high-skills fields, including advanced manufacturing, transportation, health care and STEM occupations."

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