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Labor Department To Award $474.5 Million for Career Training

The United States Department of Labor will award $474.5 million in grants to community colleges and universities in the third round of funding from the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant program.

Grant recipients will use the funds to change scheduling, sequencing, and delivery of two-year or shorter programs that will feed specific industries local to the school with a shortage of labor.

Comprising 57 grants to support 190 projects at 183 institutions, the funding "will expand programs in growing industries, such as advanced manufacturing, transportation, and health care, and encourage geographic and industry sector collaboration through the development of both statewide and multistate college consortia," according to a Department of Labor news release. "All course materials developed using these public funds will be available through the open educational resources initiative so that others can access and build on successful training models."

This round of funding is designed to encourage deeper relationships between learning institutions, employers, and other community members, and grant recipients have more such partners than in previous years, including several that will provide work-based opportunities for students. "At least 10 of the individual grants will be focused on these work-based training opportunities and many consortia grants will incorporate similar strategies into their programs," according to information released by the department.

"For America's workforce to be competitive in the 21st century, our workers must possess the skills employers need for their businesses to succeed. That is why employers should partner with educational institutions and government to help develop curriculum and credentialing programs at the local level," said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, in a prepared statement. "This round of grants has an increased emphasis on creating the types of training programs that will prepare community college students for the jobs in which they are needed, which is good for employees, employers, and the strength of our economy."

Examples of grantees and their projects, according to information released by the Department of Labor, include:

"Community colleges play a vital role in training Americans to meet the needs of employers today," said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, in a prepared statement. "As our economy continues to rebuild, businesses are looking for employees with the skills their company needs to stay competitive, and America's students and adult workers want to be equipped to fill those roles. These grants help to meet those demands, providing critical investments in education and supporting key partnerships."

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at [email protected].

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