New Department of Labor Initiative Focuses on Workforce Development

November 19, 2012

Diverse Issues in Higher Education

The U.S. Department of Labor, in conjunction with the Department of Education, has recently awarded 54 grants to 297 schools across the U.S., District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to increase workplace development programs in community colleges around the country, thanks to a provision in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act signed by President Obama in 2010. The initiative — the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College Career Training (TAACCCT) program — awards grants for training programs to enable schools to meet the needs of local industries in an ongoing effort to develop a stronger national workforce.

In North Carolina, Forsyth Tech has received a TAACCCT grant of just under $15 million. The North Carolina Consortium to which Forsyth Tech belongs consists of 12 colleges that have begun looking across the country for best practices to bring back to North Carolina. Forsyth Tech, which focuses on biotechnology, will pilot a modular learning lab where assessments will be conducted and duplicated nationally. Students will develop core skills in bioscience, working with industry partners, producing industry-recognized skill sets and obtaining “industry-recognized” credentials.

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