The first installment in a four-year, $2 billion grant program for community colleges across the country has been released, and as U.S. Sen. Mark Udall announced today, $17.2 million of that money was awarded to Colorado community colleges.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor:
Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis and Under Secretary of Education Martha Kanter today announced nearly $500 million in grants to community colleges around the country for targeted training and workforce development to help economically dislocated workers who are changing careers. The grants support partnerships between community colleges and employers to develop programs that provide pathways to good jobs, including building instructional programs that meet specific industry needs.
This installment is the first in a $2 billion, four-year investment designed, when in combination with President Obama's American Jobs Act that would provide additional support for hiring and re-employment services, to increase opportunities for the unemployed.
The initiative complements President Obama's broader agenda for every American to have at least one year of postsecondary education and will help to reach his goal for America to have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020. Every state will receive at least $2.5 million for community college career training programs through this initiative. States without a winning submission named in this round are being contacted by the program's administrators to develop a qualifying project that will immediately receive $2.5 million.
From a press release from Udall's office:
Today, Mark Udall announced that a consortium of Colorado community colleges has been selected to receive a major grant to help train workers for new jobs in high-wage, high-skill jobs.
The consortium, led by the Community College of Denver, will receive the $17.2 million grant, which is designed to help community colleges create job-training programs in partnership with private employers in growing industries, including clean energy, mining, water-quality management, and oil and gas. The schools will build instructional programs that meet specific industry needs, strengthening technology-enabled learning, and allowing students and workers to access free learning materials online.
"This is a win-win for Colorado's workers and employers. By enabling colleges to work directly with private employers, students will get the specific skills that make them competitive for higher-paying jobs in growing industries - and employers will get a well-trained workforce they can rely on," Udall said. "Not only will this program help us put Coloradans to work, it will help strengthen our economy. This is the kind of investment we must make if we are going to position our state - and our nation - to win in the global economic race."
Besides the Community College of Denver, the consortium members are:
1. Aims Community College
2. Colorado Mountain College
3. Front Range Community College
4. Northeastern Junior College
5. Red Rocks Community College
6. Community College of Aurora
7. Lamar Community College
8. Otero Junior College
9. Morgan Community College
10. Pikes Peak Community College
11. Colorado Northwestern Community College