EMBARGOED UNTIL 10:00 a.m. EASTERN
February 13, 2012
WASHINGTON-In response to President Obama's fiscal year (FY) 2013 budget request, the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) applauds the inclusion of new funding for a Community College to Career Fund. The three-year, $8 billion program will expand upon partnerships between community colleges and the business community in order to train and employ two million workers in technical and skilled manufacturing jobs.
"Community colleges must be partners in training our 21st century workforce," said ACCT Chair Roberto Uranga, a trustee at Long Beach City College in California. "Each day our community colleges are on the front lines in training millions of Americans. This proposal will help fuel that commitment and codify the relationship between community colleges and the business community." There are currently 3.2 million unfilled jobs nationally. It is estimated that between 10% and 30% of those jobs are not being filled due to a lack of skilled workers.
"At $8 billion, the program represents a historic investment in the community college training system," said ACCT President & CEO J. Noah Brown. "This proposal fulfills a vast need in our system to provide the resources necessary to train and place millions of workers in highly skilled jobs. It also reconfirms the Obama Administration's commitment to improving higher education degree and certificate attainment rates for all Americans."
The Community College to Career Fund carries out job training priorities through a number of funding streams. In addition to the funding devoted to training partnerships, funding will be available for state and local entities, training providers, community colleges, and local workforce organizations to provide financial incentives for effective workforce programs. There will also be a program for entrepreneur training and investment in retaining domestic jobs included in the Community College to Career Fund.
The president's budget proposal will now go to Congress for consideration, and serve as a baseline for the FY 2013 budget and appropriations process. ACCT encourages Congress to support the new job-training program, as it stands to educate and ultimately employ millions of Americans at a pivotal time in our nation's history.
Founded in 1972, the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) is the nonprofit educational organization of governing boards, representing more than 6,500 elected and appointed trustees of community, technical, and junior colleges in the United States and beyond. ACCT's purpose is to strengthen the capacity of community, technical, and junior colleges and to foster the realization of their missions through effective board leadership at local, state, and national levels. For more information, visit www.acct.org. Follow ACCT on Twitter at twitter.com/CCTrustees.