The Vice President and Dr. Biden’s Support for Community Colleges and Apprenticeship Programs

Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the 94th Annual Convention of the American Association of Community Colleges in Washington, D.C., April 7, 2014.

Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the 94th Annual Convention of the American Association of Community Colleges. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

Earlier this week, Vice President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden spoke to 1,500 educational leaders at the American Association of Community Colleges 94th Annual Convention.

During the speech, the Vice President recognized that community colleges provide “a trusted pathway to good jobs in the middle class,” and spoke about the importance of matching job openings with skilled workers. The Vice President highlighted the Administration’s work in making higher education more affordable through further investment in Pell Grants and capping federal student loan repayments at 10% of income.

Dr. Biden, a lifelong educator and community college teacher, noted that she has visited innovative workforce partnerships at community colleges around the country – and that they are critical to America’s future.

Stating that the “very best job training is on-the-job training,” Vice President Biden announced the launch of the Registered Apprenticeship College Consortium.

Apprenticeships are some of the strongest and most successful forms of job training with 87 percent of apprentices remaining employed after completing their apprenticeship programs. The Consortium will make it easier for apprentices to receive college credits for their rigorous training that can then be applied to a degree.

Noting that 6 out of 10 jobs in the next 10 years are going to require a degree or a certificate beyond high school, Vice President Biden talked about the need to build partnerships between community colleges and local businesses.

“There are going to be hundreds of thousands of job openings in industries ranging from advanced manufacturing, to health care, to information technology, to energy,” stated the Vice President.

“The middle class has its best shot of growing through all of you,” he said in closing. “You really are the heart of expanding opportunity for millions of Americans.”

If you missed the Vice President and Dr. Biden’s remarks, check out some of the coverage from the event:

The Chronicle of Higher Education: Biden Announces Drive to Award Credit for Apprenticeships

Inside Higher Ed: Apprenticeship as Degree Pathway

Sean O’Brien is Director of Speechwriting for the Vice President.
Related Topics: Higher Education