(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) applauded the U.S. Department of Labor’s announcement that Spokane Community College will be awarded a $20,000,000 grant under the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) program, which aims to support partnerships between community colleges and employers to develop programs that provide pathways to good jobs.
“This is fantastic news for workers and aerospace companies in Spokane and across Washington state,” said Senator Patty Murray. “Washington state has the best aerospace workers in the world, and this investment is going to give Spokane Community College the resources it needs to help make sure we stay at the front of the pack. We have companies in Washington state that want to hire, and we have workers that want to work—and we need to keep fighting to close the skills gap that too often keeps jobs from being filled.”
Specifically, the funding will go towards Spokane Community College’s Air Washington program, which aims to implement comprehensive and innovative education, training, and services necessary to meet Washington State’s growing workforce demands identified by employer partners in the aerospace industry sectors of advanced manufacturing/machining, aircraft assembly, aircraft maintenance, composites, and electronics. The other community colleges partnering with Spokane Community College in this program include Big Bend Community College, Skagit Valley College, Clover Park Technical College, South Seattle Community College, Edmonds Community College/Washington Aerospace Training and Research Center, Wenatchee Valley College, Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee, Everett Community College, Center of Excellence for Aerospace and Advanced Materials Manufacturing, North Seattle Community College, Olympic College, Peninsula College, Inland Northwest Aerospace Technology, and Renton Technical College Center.
The program is also designed to have a lasting impact on higher education, emphasizing the use of evidence in program design, collection of student outcome data, and evaluation to build knowledge about which strategies are most effective in placing graduates in jobs. These investments, combined with the President’s proposals in the American Jobs Act, will help individuals to receive the skills they need to work in high-demand sectors and provide additional pathways back to work for the unemployed.