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Gateway Community & Technical College Awarded $2.7 Million Federal Grant

$474.5 million in federal grants were awarded to community colleges and universities across the country this week, Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez announced. The grants are designed to be used in assisting these colleges in developing and expanding innovative training programs and partnerships with local employers and are part of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Comunity Cllege and Career Training program, a multi-year, nearly $2 billion initiative to expand targeted training programs for unemployed workers, especially those impacted by foreign trade.

$2,742,797 will be gifted to Gateway Community & Technical College which is launching the Innovating Multi-Industry Partnership and Career Training Program known as IMPACT. 

Gateway expects that expansion of the program will result in an increased number of students who become industry-certified, complete their academic program, and become employed. Each of the targeted programs will be enhanced by eLearning, work experiences, new technology equipment, and the development of a career pathway, according to a news release.

New credentials will be developed and program expansion will occur through an increase of stackable and latticed credentials.

In all, fifty-seven grants were awarded to support 190 programs at 183 schools in every state and the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The grants will expand programs in growing industries,  such as advanced manufacturing, transportation and health care, and encourage geographic and industry sector collaboration through the development of both statewide and multistate college consortia.

According to a news release, the latest round of funding is fostering deeper partnerships between community colleges, employers and other community partners. This year's grantees have more employer partners than in the past, and many of those employer partners will offer work-based learning opportunities. 

"These investments in demand-driven skills training bring together education, labor, business and community leaders to meet the real-world needs of the changing global marketplace," Secretary Perez said in a release. "These partnerships strengthen not only the American workforce, but the American economy as well."

The initiative complements President Obama's broader goals of ensuring that every American has at least one year of postsecondary education, and that the U.S. has the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020. The program is designed to have a lasting impact on higher education, emphasizing the use of evidence-based program design, collection of student outcome data and evaluation to add to the growing body of knowledge about which strategies best develop skills that lead to good jobs. 

"Community colleges play a vital role in training Americans to meet the needs of employers today," said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. "As our economy continues to rebuild, businesses are looking for employees with the skills their company needs to stay competitive, and America's students and adult workers want to be equipped to fill those roles. These grants help to meet those demands, providing critical investments in education and supporting key partnerships."

West Kentucky Community & Technical College was awarded $2.7 million while Cincinnati State received $2.75 million.

Photo: Ed Hughes, President & CEO of Gateway/via Gateway College