Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis today announced $500 million in grants to community colleges and universities around the country for the development and expansion of innovative training programs. The grants are part of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training initiative, which promotes skills development and employment opportunities in fields such as advanced manufacturing, transportation and health care, as well as science, technology, engineering and math careers through partnerships between training providers and local employers. The U.S. Department of Labor is implementing and administering the program in coordination with the U.S. Department of Education.
Speaking in Florida at St. Petersburg College, which is receiving $15 million in funds to lead a consortium of community colleges across the state in developing programs focused on advanced manufacturing, Secretary Solis said: "These federal grants are part of the Obama administration's ongoing commitment to strengthening American businesses by strengthening the American workforce. This strategic investment will enhance ties among community colleges, universities, employers and other local partners while ensuring that students have access to the skills and resources they need to compete for high-wage, high-skill careers."
The initiative complements President Obama's broader goals to help ensure that every American has at least one year of postsecondary education and the U.S. has the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020. Through this initiative, each state plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico will receive at least $2.5 million in dedicated funding for community college career training programs.
In total, 297 schools will receive grants as individual applicants or as members of a consortium. The grants include 27 awards to community college and university consortia totaling $359,237,048 and 27 awards to individual institutions totaling $78,262,952. Twenty-five states that were without a winning individual submission will be contacted to develop a qualifying $2.5 million project.
Educational institutions will use these funds to create affordable training programs that meet industry needs, invest in staff and educational resources, and provide access to free, digital learning materials. All education materials developed through the grants will be available for use by the public and other education providers through a Creative Commons license.
These grants emphasize evidence-based program design. Each grantee is required to collect rigorous student outcome data annually and conduct final evaluations at the end of the grant period to build knowledge about which strategies are most effective in placing graduates in jobs.
Learn more about the grant program at http://www.doleta.gov/taaccct. A list of grantees by state, including project descriptions, follows