Sept. 26, 2011: MA Community Colleges To Receive $20 Million for Jobs Training

BOSTON – Senator John Kerry, along with Representatives Edward Markey, Jim McGovern, Stephen F. Lynch, Niki Tsongas, John Olver and John Tierney, today announced that 15 community colleges throughout Massachusetts will receive $20 million in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training program, to support a partnership between community colleges and employers to develop a state-wide jobs training program.
The funding, awarded to Quinsigamond Community College on behalf of the Massachusetts Community Colleges’ Consortium, would partner the 15 member colleges of the consortium with state and national leaders in the fields of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, Information Technology, Health Care, Clean Energy, Advanced Manufacturing, and Financial Services and Entrepreneurship. Through these partnerships, the Consortium would develop comprehensive, accelerated training programs geared towards training adult learners, eligible under the TAA program, to transition into a new field.
“This is a huge investment in Massachusetts’ workers and our community colleges. We’ve been pushing for this outcome all along and Secretary Solis called with the heads-up today that we’ve gotten across the finish line,” said Sen. Kerry. “This will be a big boost to our state’s competiveness and will help workers connect with the jobs they need. I’m grateful to Secretaries Solis and Duncan for supporting Massachusetts and empowering our folks to enter the workforce and hit the ground running.”
"I congratulate the Massachusetts Community Colleges consortium, led by Quinsigamond Community College, on receiving this vital grant. This funding will prepare our workers for jobs in the high growth industries that Massachusetts excels at - life sciences, bio-technology and information technology,” said Rep. Markey. ”The grant will help provide a seamless pathway to get our displaced workers retrained and back into the workforce faster, putting the Bay State economy in a better position to compete and our workers back on the job.”
“High-quality job training is absolutely essential if we’re going to successfully compete in the 21st Century economy,” said Rep. McGovern. “We must continue to do everything possible to help affected workers transition to new fields. I’m particularly proud of Quinsigamond Community College for their role as the lead applicant for this funding.”

"In these challenging economic times, programs such as this will get people back to work, giving them the training and skills needed for new careers," said Rep. Lynch.
“As a former Dean at a Community College, I know firsthand the critical role that Community Colleges play in helping students of all ages continue their education and chart new career paths,” said Rep. Tsongas.  “This grant will enable Middlesex Community College in Lowell and Northern Essex Community College in Haverhill to provide those who have lost jobs in this difficult economy with new job skills in growing career fields and this is exactly the type of step we should be taking at this time.”
“Massachusetts has some of the finest community colleges in the nation, and these institutions represent one of the greatest tools we have for revitalizing and growing our workforce,” said Rep. Olver. “This program will encourage and guide the next generation of workers into growing industries as our economy works toward recovery.”
“Community colleges often play an essential role in the training of our nation’s workforce,” said Rep. Tierney. “This funding will enable community colleges and employers to develop a state-wide job training program that will help Massachusetts residents obtain employment and strengthen our economy.”
In April, Senator Kerry sent a letter to U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan to help secure funding for the project.
This past year, Massachusetts Community Colleges have provided more than 23,000 individuals with training or retraining through workforce development courses and programs.
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