A consortium of colleges, led by Century College, White Bear Lake, Minnesota, has been awarded grants of more than $6.5 million through the U.S. Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) program for the development and expansion of O&P career education in partnership with local employers. The latest grants are the third installment of the nearly $2 billion community college initiative. The Century College Consortium has been awarded more than $11 million to date.
The grant money was distributed as follows:
- Baker College, Flint, Michigan, received $1,398,603.
- Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology, Okmulgee, received $1,666,100.
- Spokane Falls Community College, Spokane, Washington, received $1,421,169.
- St. Petersburg College, Florida, received $2,014,445.
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. Additionally, grantees in this round were also required to demonstrate: local labor market need for enhanced training in specific industries; strong engagement with employers in the design and delivery of training activities and work-based learning; a commitment to evidence-based program design and rigorous third-party evaluation; the use of stacked and latticed credentials; a clear plan for the transferability and articulation of course credit, application of advanced online and technology-enabled learning; strategic alignment with the workforce system, philanthropic organizations and other community partners; and the ability to leverage previously funded TAACCCT projects.
The project is expected to expand and improve the delivery of O&P career education by increasing the attainment of industry-recognized credentials needed for the changing health status of communities and expected shortage of workers. To accomplish this goal, consortium members will recruit eligible participants, utilize best practices in retention strategies, develop credit for prior learning standards and military vocations assessment, create innovative technology-based and online learning opportunities, accelerate training pathways, support job placement, and develop stackable credentials and articulation pathways. Input from industry, relevant organizations and accreditation partners will assist the process.