The U.S. Department of Education, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor, today announced the availability of $474.5 million to create and expand innovative partnerships between community colleges and businesses to educate and train workers with the skills employers need. This is the third round of funding since 2009 under the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant program, for a total of nearly $1.5 billion.
"Equipping our nation's students with the skills they need is one of the best investments we can make to keep our economy growing," said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. "This third round of funding will build on the work of earlier grantees by strengthening partnerships between institutions and employers so students develop the skills and attain the credentials they need for jobs in high-need fields now and in the future."
Acting Secretary of Labor Seth Harris announced the new funding today at an event with Under Secretary of Education Martha Kanter at Contra Costa College training facility in Richmond, Calif. The college is part of the "Design-It Build-It Ship-It" consortium of 10 community colleges in San Francisco's East Bay area that was awarded $15 million in the second round of TAACCCT grants to support regional partnerships, build career pathways, and enhance industry engagement in the advanced manufacturing, logistics, and engineering industries.
"Building a well-educated workforce is critical to achieve President Obama's mission to grow the economy from the middle class out," said Acting Secretary Harris. "This new round of funding will expand our capacity to provide world-class job skills to thousands of workers around the country in occupations we know are growing now and will continue to grow in the future."
Contra Costa Community College received $600,000 as part of the consortia grant to serve as the regional lead for Advanced Automotive Technologies and to develop new degree programs and accelerated certificates in partnership with Richmond Workforce Investment Board and the San Pablo Economic Development Corporation.
Institutions or consortiums that are interested in applying for funding can visit www.grants.gov for more information on this grant program. Administered by the Department of Labor in close collaboration with the Department of Education, the TAACCCT program is one component of President Obama's plan to help every American have at least one year of post-secondary education and for America to have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020.
This latest round of funding will invest in innovative and evidence-based training models that include strong partnerships with local employers and employer organizations, including sector-based strategies. Strong partnerships and work-based training will help ensure that curricula and training are aligned with the practical skills and competencies industries seek from workers.
Funds will also encourage community colleges to better track data on the employment and earnings of students after they graduate as a tool to improve their programming and to create employment results scorecards that will help prospective students choose between training programs.
Finally, models funded this year will use advanced online and technology-based job training tools. Course materials developed with this funding will be available publicly through the Open Educational Resources initiative to users to modify, update and build on instructional content. Additionally, all grantees will be required to evaluate their programs to build knowledge on what strategies are most effective in helping students gain skills and succeed in the workplace.
Prospective applicants are encouraged to view the online tutorial, "Grant Applications 101: A Plain English Guide to ETA Competitive Grants," available at: http://www.workforce3one.org/page/grants_toolkit. Prospective applicants can register on www.Grants.gov to access the Solicitation for Grant Application (SGA). In addition, DOL posts grant information at www.doleta.gov/grants.