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Senator Murray Applauds Investment in WA Community College Skills Training Programs

Sep 19 2012

Edmonds, Bellevue and Shoreline Community Colleges will receive grants for job training and workforce development

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) applauded the U.S. Department of Labor’s announcement that Edmonds Community College will be awarded a $3,000,000 grant, Bellevue College will receive a $11,755,297 grant, and Shoreline Community college will receive a $2,000,000 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 companies across Washington state,” said Senator Patty Murray. “This investment is going to give Edmonds, Bellevue, and Shoreline Community Colleges the resources they need 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 Edmonds Community College’s PACE-IT program, which aims to accelerate online, competency-based learning through stackable certificate programs that enable learners to acquire the skills and knowledge needed to obtain industry-recognized credentials and achieve labor market gains.  PACE-IT seeks to strengthen pathways to high-wage, high-demand IT jobs across high-growth industries. 

Bellevue College’s funding will go towards their Health e-Workforce Consortium. The consortium will provide training in the high-demand, high-wage field of Health Information Technology for veterans and their eligible spouses, TAA-eligible individuals, and others, while addressing gaps in educational infrastructure and stimulating employment. The other community colleges partnering with Bellevue College in this program include Bellingham Technical College, Clark College, Clover Park Technical College, Pierce College, Renton Technical College, Spokane Community College, Whatcom Community College, and Northern Virginia Community College.  

Shoreline Community College’s funding will go towards their Credentials to Careers Consortium, which aims to increase the number of manufacturing graduates in the region by better aligning the curriculum with jobs, adding career navigation services and expanding online resources. 

The TAACCCT 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.