Obama And Biden Promote $550-Million In New Job-Training Funds

Career College Central summary:

  • The president and vice president made a rare joint appearance this week to tout new federal funds for community colleges and apprenticeship programs. In speeches at the Community College of Allegheny County’s West Hills Center, outside Pittsburgh, President Obama and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. announced $550-million in grants to prepare American workers for in-demand jobs.
  • The bulk of the money, roughly $450-million, comes from the fourth and final round of competitive grants under the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Program. That $2-billion program, which was wrapped into the 2010 legislation to overhaul the health-care system, helps two-year colleges train displaced workers for high-skill, high-wage occupations.
  • Unlike previous competitions in the program, the fourth will give priority—and larger grants—to applicants that seek to scale up best practices through partnerships with national industry groups. It will also reward applicants that aim to "ensure a seamless progression" across the education spectrum, and that commit states to further integrating their employment and education data systems.
  • In a fact sheet issued on Wednesday, the White House said six national foundations, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Lumina Foundation, would provide technical assistance to applicants. Skills for America's Future, which describes itself as "an employer-led policy initiative" that fosters collaboration among educators, job trainers, and employers, will create a website to advise community colleges on how best to team up with employers.

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