TUCSON, CA – Today, Congressman Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) released the following statement after the U.S. Department of Labor (DoL) announced nearly $12.5 million in funding for five Arizona community colleges as part of DoL’s nearly $2 billion Trade Assistance Community College and Career Training initiative.
“The grants announced today will support vital job-driven training programs, ensuring the skills Arizonans learn in their academic careers provide the foundation they need for their professional careers,” said Rep. Grijalva. “This is an investment in our future, providing our students with the equipment, training and resources needed to get ahead in these challenge economic times. I congratulate the recipients of these grants, and look forward to tremendous impact this funding will have on students throughout Arizona.”
A consortium of four schools led by Central Arizona College are receiving $10 million to provide training in advanced manufacturing, and Pima County Community College will receive nearly $2.5 million to develop degree pathways in welding and aviation, and to update equipment to meet employer-identified needs. According to the Department of Labor, grantees will use this funding for a variety of activities, including:
· Hiring or training instructors to expand their capacity to offer in-demand courses or certificates;
· Leveraging online learning to accelerate skills attainment;
· Developing new curricula and training models to add additional classes and certifications;
· Purchasing new equipment to ensure students train on what employers actually use;
· Soliciting feedback from local employers and designing new programs based on their needs;
· Expanding career pathways in which stackable credentials are linked to industry skills that lead participants to higher-skill jobs.