The president and vice president made a rare joint appearance [last] Wednesday 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. <Read more.>