Shortly after taking office in 2009, President Obama pledged that America would have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020 and would increase the number of workers who attain degrees, certificates, and other industry-recognized credentials.Â An announcement from the Administration today should go a long way in helping to reach that goal. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced that grant applications for the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grant Program are now available. The grants were authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009 and funded at $2 billion over four years by the health care bill in 2010.
â€œThese 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,â€ said Secretary Solis.
The grants are authorized at $500 million a year (FY 2011 to 2014) and will be available to community colleges or other two-year degree granting institutions of higher education as defined in the Higher Education Act. The goal of the grants is for schools to expand their capacity to provide education and career training to TAA for Workers program participants and other individuals to upgrade their knowledge and skills so that they can find family-sustaining employment. Each state will be guaranteed a minimum of 0.5% of the total funding, or $2.5 million per state per year.
The solicitation for grant applications can be accessed here. Applications must be received no later than 4 PM ET on April 21, 2011.