Community colleges and other institutions will soon start bidding on $2 billion over four years as part of the US Department of Labor’s gigantic Community College and Career Training Program.
Details of the program, designed to help colleges create training and education programs geared toward dislocated workers eligible for federal Trade Adjustment Assistance, were outlined today in The Community College Times. The article included part of a Q&A with Jane Oates, the DOL’s Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training.
At a time when all community colleges are resource-strapped and literally bursting at the seams, the last thing these colleges are able to do is to think about programs that they should expand, programs they need to restructure, or programs they need to create. This money will allow them to do all of that based on strong evidence about what works on their campuses.
More info on the grant program, which is similar to the erstwhile Community-Based Job Training Grants, can be found here on the AACC website. The program will run from FY 2011-2014, with $500 million available each year. According to this ETA document, the “focus will be on programs that can be completed in less than two years.”
Oates, in the aforementioned interview, said the career training program is aimed at building capacity. But it appears that’s not the only emphasis.
From the AACC back in September:
Program Emphases: Indications are that the DOL does not view the CCCTP as simply a capacity expansion program. Successful grants will emphasize reform and innovation, rather than merely an expansion of current efforts at the institution(s), however successful they may have been. A variety of factors—the program’s own statutory language, TAA’s emphasis on providing funding for a wide range of educational programs, and the fact that the CCCTP funding is “in lieu of’ funding for the American Graduation Initiative—all mean that a wide range of reforms and educational innovation are likely to be supported. This will likely include emphases on forging career pathway programs, modifying program delivery to meet the needs of dislocated workers (including online programs), and improving developmental education for workers. In addition, the Administration’s strong emphasis on increasing the number of college graduates will likely be reflected in the SGA.
Oates also made clear that the ETA will be looking for strong, data-driven grant applications: “For those campuses that have been making decisions under fire at the eleventh hour, we’d like them to sit back, catch their breath, and really describe to us how data-based decision-making played into their proposal. We want the evidence base on why they chose a particular project.”
EMSI has helped many colleges and other institutions with grants and other strategic planning through our comprehensive data, web-based labor market/program evaluation tools, and consulting services. Contact us for more information.
Also, for helpful tips when applying for grants, click here or see these videos. And for more information on how EMSI can help your college or consortium target the right training programs, email Rob Sentz.