Third Round of TAACCCT Grants Announced

September 19, 2013

Yesterday, at Front Range Community College, Secretary of Labor Tom Perez announced a third round of grants awards for the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) program. This third round includes 57 grants, totaling $474.5 million, supporting 190 projects in at least 183 schools in every state plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. In previous years, $500 million has been made available for the TAACCCT program. This year’s grant has been reduced as a result of sequestration. 

TAACCCT, signed into law in 2010, provides $2 billion over four years to community colleges and other eligible institutions of higher education to expand and improve their ability to deliver education and career training programs that can be completed in two years or less and are suited for workers who are eligible for training under the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) for Workers program. 

These multi-year grants are meant to provide workers the skills and credentials they need to compete for good-paying, middle-skilled jobs that employers are struggling to fill. It does this by providing the funding to expand programs in growing industries like advanced manufacturing, transportation and health care. 

The program is demand-driven. It requires there be a partnership between the community colleges and local and regional industries to ensure curricula is aligned with industry's needs. Workers are getting the skills required for good-paying jobs and businesses are getting the skilled workforce they need.

Secretary Perez noted, “[t]his kind of demand-driven system is a win-win. It strengthens the workforce, giving our people marketable skills that lead to good, middle-class jobs. And it strengthens the overall economy, providing businesses the talented workers they need to compete, prosper and grow. The TAACCCT program is a perfect example of workforce investment done the right way — varied stakeholders coming together around pragmatic strategies designed to serve the mutual interests of all parties.”

Front Range Community College leads a consortium called Colorado Helps Advanced Manufacturing Program (CHAMP) that received a $25 million grant in round three. The consortium includes eight other community colleges that bring together 28 employer partners in an effort to develop a pipeline of skilled advanced manufacturing workers. CHAMP also uses work-based learning strategies like on-the-job training and registered apprenticeship programs.

These grants are important to grow sector partnerships to scale and align our workforce development system with the strategies that work. However, funding for the TAACCCT grants is set to expire in 2014. 

Following his 2012 State of the Union address, President Obama proposed an $8 billion Community College to Career fund as a successor of the TAACCCT grants. Senator Franken (D-MN) has introduced legislation to authorize the fund in the Senate, and Education and the Workforce Ranking Member George Miller (D-CA) has introduced companion legislation in the House. NSC will provide updates on this legislation as information becomes available.