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On April 25, the Administration announced a $100 million investment in increasing access to job-driven community college training programs through the America’s Promise Grants. Based on the America’s College Promise plan the Administration announced in 2015, the program will use H-1B funds to award competitive grants to sector partnerships between community colleges, employers, and workforce developments boards developing innovative training programs leading to middle-skill jobs.
Partnerships under the America’s Promise grants will be required to pilot and scale tuition-free programs that increase opportunities for all Americans, especially unemployed, underemployed, and low-income workers. The program is intended to catalyze more communities to create and expand employer-led partnerships and job training programs leading to jobs in growing sectors such as technology, manufacturing and health care.
Recipients of the funds will also be required to track and measure participants’ credential attainment and employment outcomes to evidence the programs’ impact on supporting employers’ needs.
This announcement builds on the Administration’s job-driven action plan, through which the White House and Departments of Labor, Education and Commerce put together a checklist for administrative action to guide workforce investment that included increased employer engagement, increased data usage to strengthen training programs, and building regional partnerships between key workforce stakeholders – all elements of the America’s Promise Grants.
Increased investments in community college and industry partnerships are an important part of National Skills Coalition’s 2016 legislative agenda, and Senator Franken (D-MN) and Representative Duckworth (D-IL) have introduced the Community College to Career Fund Act, which would support industry driven career and technical education. Read more on our 2016 agenda here.