Today, President Obama announced the Community College to Career Fund, an $8 billion investment in his Fiscal Year 2013 Budget that would train two million workers with skills that lead directly to good jobs in industries that need workers, including advanced manufacturing, clean energy, and information technology.
This program will serve a dual purpose: making sure community colleges have the resources they need to equip workers with crucial skills and industry-recognized credentials, and ensuring that employers in high-growth industries have the skilled workforce they need for positions that might otherwise go unfilled—or overseas.
Employers today are looking for skilled, educated workers, and they should be able to find those workers right here in the United States. Here’s how the Community College to Career Fund would help:
Support for workers:
In addition to supporting community college-based training programs that provide workers with targeted, certified training for jobs in rapidly growing industries like clean energy, high-tech manufacturing and information technology, the proposed program will fund:
- On-the-job training opportunities such as registered apprenticeships and paid internships that allow students to simultaneously earn credit for work-based learning and gain relevant employment experience in high-wage, high-skill fields.
- “Pay for Performance” strategies that provide incentives for training providers, community colleges, and local workforce organizations to make sure workers find permanent jobs after they complete training and earn credentials.
Support for industry:
The program would also help high-growth industries address the issues they face in hiring skilled workers by funding regional or national industry groups tasked with identifying workforce needs in their respective fields, and developing solutions like standardized worker certification, new training technologies, or collaborations with industry employers to better define careers pathways for workers.
Support for state and local governments:
The Community College to Career Fund will allow federal agencies to partner with state and local governments to encourage businesses to invest in America in several ways:
- The ability to quickly train the local workforce will enable state and local governments to encourage companies to locate in the U.S.
- States will also be able to seek funding to support employer efforts to upgrade the skills of their workforce.