Obama Unveils Blueprint to Train Two Million New Workers

Through his State of the Union address, President Obama announced that his Administration is aiming for a national commitment to help create an economy built to last by training two million workers with skills that will lead directly to a job.

While there are many Americans today looking for work, there are some jobs that require specific technical skills. That is why Obama's Administration is looking to the future to fill millions of well-paying mid- and high-level skilled positions in high-growth industries from healthcare to advanced manufacturing, clean energy to information technology by investing now in community colleges.

President Obama is touting a new $8 billion Community College to Career Fund, co-administered by the Department of Labor and the Department of Education, that will help develop partnerships between community colleges and businesses to hit the two million worker target.

"It provides funding for community colleges and states to partner with businesses to train workers in a range of high-growth and in-demand areas, such as health care, transportation, and advanced manufacturing," says a press release.

"These investments will give more community colleges the resources they need to become community career centers where people learn crucial skills that local businesses are looking for right now, ensuring that employers have the skilled workforce they need and workers are gaining industry-recognized credentials to build strong careers."

The Community College to Career Fund in the President's Budget will advance skill building through supporting community college-based training programs that will expand targeted training and invest in registered apprenticeships and other on-the-job training opportunities.

The Fund will also help low-income community college students earn credit for work-based learning and while also gaining relevant employment experience in a high-wage, high-skill field by supporting paid internships.

"States will also be able to seek funding to support employer efforts to upgrade the skills of their workforce."

Under the Community College to Career Fund, states would be eligible for funding to support bonus programs for training programs whose graduates earn a credential and find quality jobs shortly after finishing the program.

"Pay for performance structures would provide stronger incentives for programs that effectively place individuals who face greater barriers to employment."

The Community College to Career Fund will encourage states and districts to work with federal agencies:

"State and local governments will be able to apply for grants to encourage companies to locate in the U.S. because of the availability of training to quickly skill up the local workforce."

02 16, 2012
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