Rep. Pascrell Announces $15 Million in Department of Labor Funds to NJ Community Colleges
By Mel Fabrikant Wednesday, September 18, 2013, 07:04 PM EDT
Passaic County Community College to receive nearly $9 million to provide specialized job training in four Northeastern states
WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. today announced that the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) awarded $15.6 million in federal grants to four New Jersey community colleges as part of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) Grant Program, which provides community colleges and other eligible institutions of higher education with funds to expand career training programs.
Passaic County Community College (PCCC) received the largest award in New Jersey, totaling $8,998,233, to serve as lead in a 7-college, multi-state training program. Rep. Pascrell wrote to DOL Secretary Solis in 2012 urging support for New Jersey's applications.
"As our nation's economy continues to rebound, it's impetrative we train our workforce to keep up with the demands of an increasingly global economy," said Rep. Pascrell, a former educator who now serves on the House Ways and Means Committee and House Budget Committee. "This federal grant will help strengthen our workforce in key areas like manufacturing and heath care by providing workers the specialized training they need. We must ensure that workers who were displaced due to free trade agreements and outsourcing get the training they need for the 21st Century jobs they deserve. I couldn't be more proud to have Passaic County Community College serve as the leader in training a highly skilled, educated and competitive workforce."
“We are deeply appreciative of Congressman Pascrell for his ongoing support of Passaic County Community College and for making this federal grant possible," stated PCC President Steven M. Rose. "This funding will transform the delivery of our educational programs at PCCC and across the seven community colleges involved in this regional initiative. Our goal is to prepare individuals in Passaic County and northern New Jersey for high-skill, high-wage employment in growing sectors of the region’s economy such as health care, information technology, and energy and the environment. These federal resources will advance our work in accomplishing that goal.”
PCCC will serve as the lead institution of the Northeast Resiliency Consortium, which is comprised of seven community colleges spanning New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts. The goal of the Consortium is to prepare workers for high-skill, high-wage employment in areas that have been impacted by recent crisis including Hurricane Sandy, the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings and the Boston Marathon Bombings.
Specifically, the program will prepare Trade Adjusted Assistance workers (TAA) that were displaced as a result of increased imports or shifts in production out of the United States, veterans and other individuals for employment in two of New Jersey's leading industry sectors: Advanced Manufacturing and Transportation, Logistics, Distribution and Utilities (TLDU). The project is expected to serve more than 3,400 participants.
Essex County Community College will also receive $3.75 million as part of an Information Technology training program that will focus on increasing the number of women in this field. Rutgers University will receive $301,678 and Union Community College in Cranford will receive over $1.5 million as partners in a 12-college, multi-state grant led by Broward College in Florida.
TAACCCT provides community colleges and other eligible institutions of higher education with funds to expand and improve their ability to deliver education and career training programs that can be completed in two years or less, are suited for workers who are eligible for training under the TAA for Workers program, and prepare program participants for employment in high-wage, high-skill occupations.
In 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act amended the Trade Act of 1974 to authorize the TAACCCT Grant Program. On March 30, 2010, President Barack Obama signed the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, which included $2 billion over four years to fund the TAACCCT program.
DOL is implementing the TAACCCT program in partnership with the Department of Education. In total, $474.5 million in grants were awarded across the country.