President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden visited the Community College of Allegheny County's West Hills Center campus in Oakdale Wednesday to announce system-wide reforms of federal job training programs.
According to 90.5 WESA reporter Liz Reid, Obama has pledged $500 million in existing funds to reward community colleges that work with businesses to train students for jobs available now. Another $100 million will go to apprenticeship programs that help students to “learn while they earn.” A third initiative will allow veterans to use GI Bill benefits for apprenticeships.
"Train Americans with the skills employers need, not something that looks good on paper but doesn’t get you a job,” Obama said. “Find out what are the jobs that need to be filled, and make sure folks are being trained and matched to those jobs.”
This approach is already being modeled in CCAC's mechatronics program, which trains students to work in high-tech manufacturing jobs. Obama called it the "job-driven" approach and says businesses, unions and nonprofits have pledged to develop apprenticeship programs as well.