The U.S. Labor Department has awarded $500 million in grants to community colleges and universities for job-training programs as part of an effort to train people for hard-to-fill jobs.
As part of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training initiative, a four-year, $2-billion program, the money will fund training in areas such as advanced manufacturing and health IT. U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis also called upon community colleges to better align training programs with employers’ needs — areas where real jobs are.
The Los Angeles Times quotes her, saying:
We don’t just want them to get a certificate for the sake of getting a certificate. We want them to get a certificate that means something, that will put them in a good career path and land them a good job.
Among the programs funded, according to GovernmentHealthIT:
- Bellevue Community College in suburban Seattle will receive about $11.8 million to provide health IT career training to veterans and their eligible spouses.
- Borough of Manhattan Community College in New York received $3 million to support a health informatics specialist certificate program.
- Palm Beach State College in Florida received $3 million to enhance online health IT training courses.
In a separate set of grants, the Labor Department recently awarded more than $75 million to YouthBuild programs across the country. The programs help out-of-school young people earn a high school or General Educational Development diploma while gaining work skills. While traditionally centered on construction, the program has been expanded to include training in fast-growing occupations including health care and IT.