June 3, 2009
Contact: John White, Press Secretary|
Milwaukee U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan visited the Milwaukee Area Technical College today to announce a $7 million special competitive grant to establish innovative and sustainable community college programs that prepare displaced workers for second careers. This first-of-its-kind grant program will be used to develop national models that can be replicated across the country, especially in communities where autoworkers have lost their jobs.
Accompanied by Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle, Milwaukee Area Technical College Acting President Vicki Martin and Manpower Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Joerres, Secretary Duncan called upon institutions of higher learning, private and public nonprofit organizations, and other agencies to propose model programs for training adults to pursue family-sustaining second careers. Secretary Duncan is one of several cabinet secretaries and other high-level officials from the Obama administration traveling across the Midwest this week to visit communities affected by layoffs in the automobile industry.
"Education is the catalyst for a strong economy and the means by which adults will reinvent themselves and rebuild the industrial cities that have been the foundation of our nation," Secretary Duncan said. "The Obama administration is committed to supporting auto communities and workers, who have been displaced from their jobs. Community colleges are invaluable resources for adults seeking to acquire new skills that are needed by employers."
According to Manpower, the 10 hardest jobs for U.S. employers to fill in 2009 are:
- Skilled/Manual Trades
- Sales Representatives
- Drivers (delivery and short-haul)
- Information Technology
- Machinist/Machine Operators
Many of these careers are within the reach of a community college graduate and will be made even more accessible by Secretary Duncan's announcement.
The U.S. Department of Education launched its first special focus competition grant today from the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) benefiting community colleges. The grant will provide seed funding for model programs in community colleges that help adults develop the skills they need to succeed in a new career.
The programs could provide services, such as tutoring, academic and career counseling, and help with the registration process. They also could remove financial constraints for adults returning to school, including child care, transportation, and textbooks. These innovative new programs must be sustainable beyond the three-year grant period.
The grant application will be announced online today, June 4, in the Federal Register, and published tomorrow, June 5. Applications will be due on Aug. 4. The Department of Education anticipates awarding approximately 28 grants by mid-September with projects beginning on or about Oct. 1. The estimated range of the grant awards is $300,000-$750,000 over a three-year period.
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