Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Community Colleges get a boost. To state the obvious, enhanced skills are the pathway to the jobs of the present and future.

"The White House on Wednesday will announce $500 million in grants aimed at increasing coordination between community colleges and industry groups and another $100 million to expand access to apprenticeships to boost job training, administration officials said. 
The grants will be unveiled during a visit by President Barack Obama and Vice PresidentJoe Biden at the Community College of Allegheny County in Oakdale, Pa. 
The initiatives are similar to approaches used by some states, which have tried to leverage relationships between community colleges and local businesses to steer workers toward available jobs. But the proposals also show the limits of White House power. While most of the grants will be more targeted, the initiative essentially is a continuation of existing grants already disbursed to community colleges"--Wall Street Journal
Allocating resources (read that money--which is not an economic resource) to help the long term unemployed gain or regain relevant work skills is a necessity right now.  It is a festering issue that will impose costs on society one way or another.  We pay now or pay later in myriad of other social costs, explicit or implicit.

This is a great initiative, in theory AND practice (see HERE and HERE), and COULD BE money well spent.  However, as is the case quite often, it is not targeted towards the greatest need but towards the best grant writers.  And the best grant writers are often employed by the better served areas that need money, but less than communities severely stricken by the recession.

I am not a pessimist but a realist.  Please, Federal Government, target the skills gap not the political favoritism gap.  Thank you.


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