Vice President and Dr. Biden visit the Rochester, NY community college to talk workforce retraining less than 24 hours following President Obama’s State of the Union Address.
As part of his annual State of the Union address, President Obama called for expanded access to apprenticeships and improved job training programs at community colleges. Since his speech, he and Vice President Joe Biden have taken that message on the road to “set a young worker on an upward trajectory for life” promoting enhanced federal job-training programs.
On January 29th, appearing at Monroe Community College’s Applied Technologies Center, Dr. Jill Biden and Vice President Joe Biden called the SUNY community college a national model for college workforce training. The MCC center works closely with about 2,400 local businesses to provide customized training in automotive technologies, heating and air systems, and precision tooling and machining for new high-tech manufacturing jobs. The visit comes after President Obama committed to helping community colleges build industry partnerships, so that as workforce and skills needs change, community colleges can quickly adapt and increase the employability of their students.
President Obama has tasked the Vice President to “lead an across-the-board reform of America’s training programs” announcing a government wide review, to develop an action plan to make the job-training system more job-driven, integrated, and effective. As part of the emphasis on workforce training, the White House also announced the final round of a $500-million federal community college program will focus on job-driven training.
In 2012, MCC along with SUNY’s other community colleges received a $14.6 million grant to design and deliver a strategic approach to job training for high-need industries such as nanotechnology and advanced manufacturing. It certainly appears that MCC is putting that funding to good use. President Anne Kress remarks, “Monroe Community College has launched more than 90 courses and programs within the past year in collaboration with our industry partners, including an accelerated precision tooling certificate program where students earn the full credential in half the time. This program model allows us to nearly double the number of graduates and connect them to high-tech careers.”
Alex Krigstein is the Coordinator of Federal Relations for the State University of New York.