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U.S. Labor Department announces $500 million in community college, career training grants

The Associated Press

The U.S. Department of Labor today announced a solicitation for grant applications under the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grant Program. The Labor Department will award approximately $500 million this year through the program and a total of $2 billion over the next four years. Grants will support the development and improvement of postsecondary programs of two years or less that use evidence-based or innovative strategies to prepare students for successful careers in growing and emerging industries.

The program will be administered by the Labor Department in coordination with the U.S. Department of Education.

By helping to increase the number of workers who attain degrees, certificates and other industry-recognized credentials, the program underscores President Obama’s commitment to help every American have at least one year of postsecondary education. The program also furthers the president’s efforts to ensure that by 2020 the United States once again has the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.

“Everyone, especially the trade-impacted workers who are the focus of this program, deserves access to the level of education necessary to obtain employment that can support a family,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. “These grants will help colleges create programs that make it possible for workers to come back to school and acquire skills and industry-recognized credentials needed to compete for good jobs in growing industries.”>/p>

The grant program is authorized through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009’s amendments to the Trade Adjustment Assistance Act. The Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, signed by the president on March 30, 2010, provides the funding beginning in fiscal year 2011.

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