Category: Breaking News - Original Written by Roz Edward
The 14th Annual Global Automotive Summit got underway at Detroit’s MGM Grand hotel with a powerful panel of speakers addressing a number of hotbed issues relating to economic parity in the nation’s automotive industry. Executives of all major automobile manufacturers were present with the exception of Hyundai, which declined Rainbow PUSH’s invitation to attend.
The event’s founder, Rev. Jesse Jackson opened the historic event with a moment of silence for Evelyn Lowery, wife of famed civil rights leader Rev. Joseph Lowery who is being buried today in Atlanta, after succumbing to a stroke late last.
Jackson followed with a startling statement. “The single largest employer of blacks in Chicago, are other blacks. Over 150,000 blacks in that city work for other blacks so small businesses matter.” He added that conversely, “Detroiters have had their right of democracy stripped from them. … but, so long as the playing field is even, the rules are public, the goals are clear and the referee is fair, we stand a reasonable chance.”
The automotive industry lost 600 minority suppliers as a result of the Great Recession. Jackson urged summit participants to secure their fair share of a multi-million dollar IPO currently being offered by the Chrysler Corporation.
The summit’s moderator, Ed Gordon of BET introduced an impressive panel of speakers including: Ted Childs Strategic Diversity Adviser, Ted Childs, LLC; George C. Fraser, chairman and CEO, FraserNet, Inc.; Dr. Julianne Malveaux, economist and president emeritus Bennett College; John W. Rogers, founder and CIO, Ariel Investments, and Cheryl Pearson-McNeil, senior VP government relations, Nielsen.
Glenda Gil, executive director, Rainbow PUSH Automotive Project, told summit participants, “As our global landscape becomes more diverse we have to take off are cultural blinders. … One thing I know for sure is that we deserve a place at the table of an industry we helped build. This is not charity, philanthropy or hand-outs … this is what we have earned!
Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 October 2013 12:24
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by CNN News
Washington (CNN) -- Republicans forced an unnecessary budget crisis in their single-minded effort to dismantle health care reforms, President Barack Obama said Tuesday as frustration spread across Washington and the country on the first day of a government shutdown.
In some of his strongest criticism to date, Obama said the shutdown is intended to hinder government efforts to provide health insurance to 15% of the U.S. population that doesn't have coverage, adding it was "strange that one party would make keeping people uninsured the centerpiece of their agenda."
The stalemate that caused the shutdown continued Tuesday with a Senate majority voting for a fourth time to reject a spending plan by the Republican-led House that sought to undermine Obamacare.
This time, the House proposal included a call for a committee to seek a compromise on the two chambers' legislative plans. But the Democratic-led Senate turned it down, with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid saying it amounted to extortion by Republicans to force concessions on Obama's signature health care reforms.
Reid said the Senate wants to negotiate a budget with the House, "but not with the government closed."
"We're not going to relitigate the health care issue," Reid said, calling for the House to approve a "clean" spending plan to fund the government for a few months before separate negotiations on possible changes to the 2010 Affordable Care Act. "It's time for Republicans to stop obsessing over old battles."
New House GOP strategy
However, sources in the House Republican leadership told CNN on Tuesday they plan a series of votes to fund specific government departments and programs, starting with spending for veterans, the District of Columbia and the Park Service.
Parks, museums: Sorry, we\'re closed Parks, museums: Sorry, we're closed
Obama won't give in to 'reckless' demands Shutdown: Day 1 The view from the White House Rand Paul on shutdown
Some conservatives led by GOP Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas have called for such a strategy, which would force opponents to vote against authorizing spending for popular programs like veterans affairs.
Under the scenario described by Cruz, the piecemeal spending plan would be a way to defund Obamacare on a step-by-step basis.
Reid called this effort "just another whacky idea from tea party Republicans," while White House spokeswoman Amy Brundage vowed the president would veto any such bills.
"These piecemeal efforts are not serious and they are no way to run a government," Brundage said. "The president and the Senate have been clear that they won't accept this kind of game playing."
The impasse over government funding raised the specter of a similar stalemate later this month when the federal debt ceiling must be raised so the nation can pay its bills.
House Speaker John Boehner signaled another major fight by Republicans around the October 17 deadline to increase how much the government can borrow, writiing in USA Today that "there is no way Congress can or should pass such a bill without spending cuts and reforms to deal with the debt and deficit."
Obama said the constant political crises over government funding -- not the health care law upheld last year by the Supreme Court -- have hurt the U.S. economy, calling Republicans "reckless" for persisting in their "ideological crusade."
And speaking specifically of partisan politics affecting the nation's responsibility to cover its debts, the president noted brinksmanship in 2011 led to the first-ever downgrade of the U.S. credit rating.
"I will not negotiate over Congress' responsibility to pay bills it's already racked up," Obama said Tuesday. "I'm not going to allow anybody to drag the good name of the United States of America through the mud just to refight a settled election or extract ideological demands. Nobody gets to hurt our economy and millions of hard-working families over a law you don't like."
First shutdown in nearly 18 years
The latest shutdown -- taking effect with the start of the fiscal year Tuesday -- is not the first for the U.S. government. The last time it happened, 18 years ago during the Clinton administration, the stalemate lasted 21 days.
Now, the Republican-controlled House and the Democratic-controlled Senate have both refused to budge from their visions for the budget and, beyond that, health care reform.
The GOP counteroffer rejected by the Senate on Tuesday would have delayed Obamacare for a year and ended federally provided health care for the president, members of Congress and their staff while funding the government for 11 weeks. The House GOP plan also called for a conference committee -- which usually result from competing legislation from the two chambers on major issues, rather than a short-term continuing resolution intended to keep the government running for a few weeks.
Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, a leading liberal voice, told CNN that he is open to negotiations with the House on at least one specific provision of Obamacare -- a tax on medical devices that some in both parties oppose.
However, Durbin echoed the position of Reid that such negotiations must be separated from the spending impasse that has shut down the government.
"The conversation should continue, but let's not do it with our government shutdown," he said, adding that Congress would have to replace the $30 billion in lost revenue over 10 years that would occur if it eliminated the medical device tax.
On the Republican side, Rep. Darrell Issa of California said he could vote to fund the government for a few days or weeks to provide time for a conference committee to work out a compromise.
"I personally would vote for 10 days, even 30 days if that was necessary so that we could resolve these differences," Issa told CNN.
'A dangerous message'
At the heart of the issue is the insistence by House Republicans that any spending plan for the new fiscal year include anti-Obamacare amendments. Senate Democrats are just as insistent that it doesn't.
Obamacare isn't directly tied to funding the government. But it's so unpopular among the Republican tea party conservatives that they want it undercut, if not outright repealed. For instance, this week Republican Rep. Todd Rokita of Indiana called it "the most insidious law known to man."
Both Democrats and Republicans say that a clean spending measure -- with no Obamacare amendments, as urged by the president and his allies -- would pass the House with support from the Democratic minority and moderate Republicans.
Veteran GOP Sen. John McCain of Arizona noted that any attempt to repeal Obamacare was going to fail because of Obama's veto, which would require a two-thirds majority in the Senate to overcome. And GOP Rep. Peter King of New York said the problem is tea party conservatives driving the Republican agenda in the House.
"We have people in the conference, I believe, who'd be just as happy to have the government shut down," King said. "They live in these narrow echo chambers. They listen to themselves and their tea party friends. That keeps them going, forgetting that the rest of the country thinks we're crazy."
However, Boehner has succumbed to pressure from the tea party right to avoid a vote that would pass something without causing some harm to the health care reforms.
Speaking in the early minutes of the shutdown, the Ohio Republican insisted the House voted "to keep the government open" and assure "fairness for all Americans under Obamacare" -- then walked away from the podium.
White House spokesman Jay Carney told CNN such intransigence is the root of the shutdown, noting that conservative Republicans such as Rokita are the only ones pushing a political agenda for meeting the congressional responsibility of passing a budget.
Amid the finger-wagging and fulminating, major components of the new health insurance law went into effect on schedule on Tuesday.
"The Affordable Care Act is moving forward. You can't shut it down," said a post on Barack Obama's verified Twitter feed.
A blow to the economy
The shutdown of the government -- the country's largest employer -- isn't happening all at once.
Federal employees who are considered essential will continue working. Those deemed non-essential -- up to 800,000 -- could be furloughed, unsure when they'll be able to work or get paid again.
The shutdown could cost the still-struggling U.S. economy about $1 billion a week in pay lost by furloughed federal workers. And that's only the tip of the iceberg.
While many agencies have reserve funds and contingency plans that would give them some short-term leeway, the economic effect would snowball as the shutdown continued.
The total economic impact is likely to be at least 10 times greater than the simple calculation of lost wages of federal workers, said Brian Kessler, economist with Moody's Analytics. His firm estimates that a three- to four-week shutdown would cost the economy about $55 billion.
Initial market reaction around the world indicated little serious concern for now. In New York, all the major indexes were higher on Tuesday after closing lower the day before. World markets also rose, while the dollar slipped against other major currencies.
Troops, congressional paychecks safe
Although much of the federal workforce will go without pay, checks will keep coming to the 533 current members of Congress. The president too will get paid. His salary -- $400,000 -- is considered mandatory spending.
Some members of Congress and government officials have said they will donate their salary to charity during a shutdown.
Members of the military will also get paid -- thanks to Congress, which unanimously managed to come together to pass a bill that Obama signed.
But it's uncertain how the shutdown will affect veterans, including the 3.3 million who are disabled. If the shutdown stretches into late October, the Veterans Affairs Department could have to halt disability and pension checks for elderly and ill veterans.
"That's what they need to pay rent, to pay food," said Tom Tarantino of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. "It's not their total income, but it is a significant part of it."
10 ways the shutdown would affect you
A game of chicken between Dems, GOP
According to a CNN/ORC poll, 68% of Americans think shutting down the government for even a few days is a bad idea, while 27% think it's a good idea.
And it appears most Americans would blame congressional Republicans for a shutdown: Sixty-nine percent said they agreed with the statement that the party's elected officials were acting like "spoiled children."
Democrats, however, weren't far behind: Fifty-eight percent of respondents said they, too, were acting like spoiled kids.
Another poll showed public support for Congress at record low levels -- at 10%.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 October 2013 18:15
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by AJ Williams, Chronicle Web Editor
The state and city have signed an agreement on the lease of Belle Isle, according to published reports.
According to the tweet from WXYZ EM Kevyn Orr approved the lease making Belle Isle the 102nd state park.
BREAKING: Detroit EM Kevyn Orr approves lease allowing state to take over Belle Isle operations. http://t.co/CBgbdJFJlF— WXYZ Detroit (@wxyzdetroit) October 1, 2013
In January the council rejected a state offer that proposed to save millions in annual operating costs for the city.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 October 2013 14:26
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by Michigan Chronicle Staff
This is the beginning of a series of articles written to educate our readers about the Affordable Care Act, the Healthcare Insurance Marketplace and expanded healthcare options for uninsured Michiganders.
The Chronicle’s “Got You Covered” Awareness Campaign Aims to Educate the Community About the New Health Insurance Marketplace
Today, uninsured Michiganders and their families will be able to obtain affordable health care coverage by accessing the new Health Insurance Marketplace at www.healthcare.gov. A central part of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, the Health Insurance Marketplace was designed for the uninsured and individuals who purchase their own coverage.
To assist in spreading the word throughout the community about the Marketplace, the Michigan Chronicle is launching a campaign to maximize awareness and educate many who have not previously purchased health insurance about the process and the importance of preventative care.
“For many, purchasing health coverage online will be complicated and confusing,” said Hiram E. Jackson, publisher of the Michigan Chronicle. “As the long-time voice of the community, the Michigan Chronicle is a trusted brand that is uniquely positioned to reach hard-to-reach populations that will benefit from the Marketplace.”
Named the “Got You Covered” campaign, the Michigan Chronicle is mobilizing a small army of community organization partners and trained volunteers to educate the community about the Affordable Care Act, accessing the Health Insurance Marketplace, expanded health care options and information that must be considered while purchasing health insurance.
“Many people have never purchased health insurance before and are likely not familiar with the terminology and details they need to know in making their decisions,” Jackson continued. “Our campaign will work to ensure that everyone can successfully navigate the landscape to ensure better options and better health for our community.”
Promoting Medicaid Expansion is also expected to be an integral part of the campaign. Medicaid expansion will provide health care coverage for 470,000 Michiganders who earn less than $15,000 annually. Now back from the summer recess, the state legislature is expected to vote on healthcare expansion this week.
Open enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace is October 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014. After this period, those who do not have health coverage may be accessed a fee and still continue to pay out-of-pocket for all of their care.
Spearheaded by Cathy Nedd, chief operating officer of the Michigan Chronicle, the campaign will operate via the Michigan Chronicle’s Marketing Services Division.
“I am excited to be a part of helping the community access the necessary coverage to receive healthcare,” Nedd said. “Urgent care is expensive if paid out-of-pocket. For too long, too many people have used emergency rooms to take care of their healthcare needs. And, they have not been able to get the preventative care that they need, only using the emergency rooms when their situations have become critical.”
Elements of the “Got You Covered” campaign include community meetings, a special Michigan Chronicle open enrollment tabloid insert, educational videos, digital and social media campaigns and a church component. The Michigan Chronicle is also recruiting and training volunteers to represent the campaign at churches, clubs, bars, grocery stores, block club meetings and other community gatherings.
Another key element of the campaign is connecting the uninsured with “navigators”, individuals who are unbiased and trained to assist people in “navigating” the new online Health Insurance Marketplace.
For more information about the “Got You Covered” campaign, or to become a community partner, or volunteer, contact the Michigan Chronicle at (313) 963-5522.
About the Health Insurance Marketplace
The Health Insurance Marketplace is a new way to buy affordable health insurance. Thanks to the Marketplace, for the very first time, consumers will be able to go to one place to search for health coverage options and get accurate, easy to understand information on different plans. They will be able to make apples-to-apples comparisons of private insurance plans and get comprehensive information about benefits and quality, side-by-side facts about price, before they have to make a choice.
Health plans offered on the Marketplace must cover a comprehensive set of benefits, including physician visits, preventive care, hospital stays, and prescriptions. Plans must also treat everyone fairly – discrimination against pre-existing conditions is not allowed. Coverage will begin on January 1, 2014
No matter where they live, consumers will only need to complete a single online application to choose from the health plans that are available in their area. They will also be able to learn if they qualify for programs like Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), or find out if they qualify for lower costs on monthly premiums or out-of pocket costs.
New rules and expanded programs mean that more people than ever before, including working families, will get financial help for health insurance.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 October 2013 09:06
Category: News Briefs Written by CNN News
(CNN) -- Bond is set at $1 million for a Louisiana man accused of shooting and killing a church pastor as he preached in Lake Charles, Louisiana, on Friday night.
Calcasieu Parish sheriff's deputies arrested 53-year-old Woodrow Karey, a church deacon, and charged him with second-degree murder after he called 911 and told the dispatcher what he had done, sheriff's spokeswoman Kim Myers said.
Witnesses told police that Karey walked into the Tabernacle of Praise Worship Center around 8:20 p.m. and shot Pastor Ronald Harris twice -- the first time as Karey entered the church and then again at close range after Harris had fallen to the floor, Myers said.
"It was just kind of chaotic. It was like everybody was everywhere," Talisha Harris, the pastor's daughter, told CNN affiliate KPLC.
Daughter of slain pastor speaks out
Karey fled the scene on foot but later called the sheriff's office and surrendered without incident, Myers said.
During his arrest, Karey directed the deputies to two guns he had discarded in a wooded area. One of the firearms was a shotgun and the other was a pistol, police said. Police have not said which weapon was used to kill the pastor.
Karey has no known criminal history, and the motive for the killing is unknown, police said.
Calcasieu Parish Chief Deputy Stitch Guillory told CNN on Sunday morning there were 50 to 60 witnesses at the church.
Harris, who was inside the church when shots were fired, recalled the type of man her father was.
"He was a strong person, and whatever came his way, he still stood on the word of God. He stood. He never wavered," she told KPLC, struggling to hold back tears.
"My dad was a great father. He was an awesome grandfather. He was an awesome preacher-teacher. He had a big heart. He loved everybody, wanted to always help," she said.
Last Updated on Monday, 30 September 2013 02:34
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by CNN News
Close to half of the 2.1 million federal employees could be furloughed in a shutdown.
Barring a sudden turn in stalemated budget talks, federal workers will begin to get verbal furlough notices in the next 24 to 36 hours, according to a top union official briefed by the White House budget office on Thursday.
The Obama administration is taking steps to prepare for a government shutdown next week. Congress must pass a short-term funding bill by Tuesday for the government to remain open.
Workers are expected to get notified of their possible furloughs this week, according to J. David Cox Sr., national president of the American Federation of Government Employees, one of the largest unions for federal workers.
But as many as half of the 2.1 million federal employees could be ordered to continue working during a shutdown, Cox said.
None of the workers, furloughed or not, will be paid during the shutdown, he said.
How smart are you about a shutdown?
Those who will likely be told to report to work have critical jobs necessary to protect life and property, like active military, food inspectors and federal hospital workers. That group also includes elected lawmakers and most political appointees.
They are expected to be given back pay after Congress passes a budget bill.
According to Cox, officials from the Office of Personnel Management and the Office of Management and Budget declined to say whether furloughed workers would be paid, as they had in during past shutdowns in the 1990s.
"They were noncommittal over the issue," Cox said. Neither agency responded immediately to a request for comment on Thursday.
Cox also said he was told the administration will likely pay federal contractors. However, he didn't provide details.
Budget talks remain at a standstill. Republicans are pushing for spending cuts and a repeal of the 2010 health care law, while the president insists the law is not negotiable.
The last time the federal government went dark was during the Clinton administration -- five days in November 1995 and another 21 days ending in January 1996.
Cox said the furloughs would be devastating to workers, many of whom had to serve up to six days of furlough over the summer due to the automatic spending cuts known as sequester. He said he told officials to remind President Obama that he has promised to try to not put more strain on federal workers.
"We don't want them to make us the sacrificial lamb in this process," Cox said
Last Updated on Friday, 27 September 2013 03:52
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by AJ Williams, Chronicle Web Editor
Some may call it the calvary...
The federal government through the Obama administration has reportedly found 100 million dollars in grant money to assist the city hire police officers, firefighters and remove neighborhood blight.
On Friday, white house officials will meet to discuss federal assistance and other opportunities during a closed-door meeting being held at Wayne State University. In addition to the white house officials, Gov. Rick Snyder, Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr and Mayor Dave Bing will be in attendance.
Last Updated on Friday, 27 September 2013 03:41
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by CNN News
Here’s the first look at insurance rates on 36 exchanges run by the federal government. States with few competing insurers tend to have higher rates. Premiums listed below are monthly rates for the benchmark plan and don't include federal subsidies.
Last Updated on Friday, 27 September 2013 03:10
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by Debbie Stabenow, U.S. Senator
For young people, a job is more than just a paycheck, as important as that is; it’s about hope and an opportunity to learn valuable skills and gain experience that will help them throughout their lives. Unfortunately, this opportunity is out of reach for far too many young adults.
As we address the incredible challenges and obstacles young workers face in finding good-paying jobs, it’s critical that we make sure the voices of Detroit’s youth are heard, and that we respond. That’s why earlier this summer I hosted a roundtable discussion with members of the community about the state of youth employment at Detroit Fellowship Chapel. I was joined by my Senate colleague, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who was traveling the country seeking input to address the problem of youth unemployment.
While there is no single solution to this critical problem, Senator Sanders and I are leading a legislative effort to create career-building job opportunities for young people.
Our initiative, which was included as part of the immigration reform bill, recently passed the Senate. It will create and fund a national Youth Jobs Fund to provide young people with summer and year-round job opportunities. It will foster a partnership between the Department of Labor, states, and local communities in areas of high unemployment across the country to provide jobs to young people in emerging, in-demand occupations.
Michigan is number one in new, clean energy patents and Detroit is now home to the only satellite patent office in the country, the Elijah McCoy Patent and Trademark Office. However, one of the most common things I hear from businesses who are creating new innovative jobs is the challenge they have finding graduates with the right skills to match the needs of emerging high-tech industries. That means businesses are left with vacant job openings while youth remain unemployed.
The Youth Jobs Fund will help young people earn credentials or training certification so they will have a chance to learn the right skills to match the needs of those emerging high-tech industries.
The Youth Jobs Fund is similar to a successful youth employment initiative in the Recovery Act that I actively supported in 2009, which helped 7,000 young people find summer or year-round employment in Detroit. It spurred a public-private partnership that placed young people in innovative jobs in healthcare and clean energy. The Youth Jobs Fund will build on that success so more young Detroit workers have job opportunities in cutting-edge fields.
This is more important now than ever. With all of the serious challenges facing the city of Detroit, it is critical that the federal government do everything possible to help create opportunities and hope for the future for young people and our families. We must do everything we can to make sure our young workers are part of our economic comeback.
Establishing a national Youth Jobs Fund is critical to making that happen. Now it’s up to the U.S. House of Representatives to act as soon as possible so this important initiative can become law and our children can get the opportunities they need to be successful.
The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, along with Dennis W. Archer, former Detroit mayor, announced at a news conference that the Dennis W. Archer Scholarship Fund at the Community Foundation has distributed $1 million in scholarships.
When Archer completed his service as mayor and elected not to seek re-election, he used his remaining campaign funds, and funds donated by many generous businesses and individuals for charitable purposes, to support causes in Detroit. He subsequently established permanent endowments at the Community Foundation to support community development and youth activities and scholarships. To date, more than $1 million has gone nearly 200 minority students in Detroit and Cassopolis, Michigan, Archer’s hometown, to help them attend Wayne State University and his alma mater, Western Michigan University.
“Opportunity and education are the cornerstones for young people, especially for those born into circumstances where neither are plentiful, to rise above hardship and challenges,” said Archer. “Through the Dennis W. Archer Fund at the Community Foundation and our Archer Scholars program at Western Michigan University and Wayne State University, we help talented young people from Detroit and Cassopolis expand their potential for personal achievement and community enrichment. Today, we pause to celebrate the $1 million mark in scholarship awards. More importantly, we say thank you to all the contributors and congratulations to nearly 200 young people who are now building better lives for themselves, their families and their communities.”
In addition, Archer encouraged other civic leaders to join him in using their financial resources to perpetuate their own special legacies of service to Detroit through charitable giving.
“At the Community Foundation, we work with donors to make their charitable visions come true,” said Mariam Noland, president of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan. “We have been honored to work with Dennis Archer to help improve the quality of life in our region and to help so many promising young people attend college and begin their careers.”
More than 1,000 funds have been established by civic-minded individuals, families and organizations at the Community Foundation since its inception in 1984. Permanent endowment funds like Archer’s provide a source of financial support to benefit charitable organizations in perpetuity.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 September 2013 09:50
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by D. Roberts
The John S. and J Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez has announced $474.5 million in grants to community colleges and universities around the country for the development and expansion of innovative training programs in partnership with local employers. The grants are part of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grant program, a multiyear, nearly $2 billion initiative to expand targeted training programs for unemployed workers, especially those impacted by foreign trade.
Michigan will receive a total of $26,398,466 million in grant funding to support skills training capacity building at community colleges and other public institutions across the state.
Macomb Community College received $9,615,803 and will lead a $24,999,863 consortium. The Michigan Coalition for Advanced Manufacturing will focus on the four job sectors of: CNC machining, welding/fabrication, multi-skilled technician and production operations. M-CAM will feature an advanced manufacturing competency model that promotes job readiness skills, basic skill development, pathways to certificates/degrees, employer involvement, online/hybrid courses, education plans, prior learning assessments and career services.
The other Michigan colleges participating in this consortium and their grant amounts include: Bay College ($1,473,249), Grand Rapids Community College ($4,128,382), Kellogg Community College ($2,655,476), Lake Michigan College ($1,217,576), Lansing Community College ($2,114,000), Mott Community College ($2,688,000), Schoolcraft College ($1,107,377).
Baker College in Flint received $1,398,603 as part of an $11,177,412 consortia led by Century College in Minnesota which will expand and improve the delivery of orthotics and prosthetics career education.
The 57 grants announced will support 190 projects in at least 183 schools in every state plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The grants will expand programs in growing industries, such as advanced manufacturing, transportation and health care, and encourage geographic and industry sector collaboration through the development of both statewide and multistate college consortia.
The U.S. Department of Labor is implementing and administering the program in coordination with the U.S. Department of Education. All course materials developed using these public funds will be available through the Open Educational Resources initiative so that others can access and build on successful training models. The U.S. Department of Commerce is also encouraging employers to collaborate with local colleges eligible for funding through this program.
This latest round of funding is fostering deeper partnerships between community colleges, employers and other community partners. This year’s grantees have more employer partners than in the past, and many of those employer partners will offer work-based learning opportunities. At least 10 of the individual grants will be focused on these work-based training opportunities and many consortia grants will incorporate similar strategies into their programs. Strong partnerships and work-based training will help ensure that curricula and training are aligned with the practical skills and competencies industries seek from workers.
Speaking in Colorado at Front Range Community College — the lead college in a $25 million grant to a consortium of nine schools across the state focused on developing a pipeline of skilled advanced manufacturing workers — Secretary Perez said, “These investments in demand-driven skills training bring together education, labor, business, and community leaders to meet the real-world needs of the changing global marketplace. These partnerships strengthen not only the American workforce, but the American economy as well.”
The initiative complements President Obama’s broader goals of ensuring that every American has at least one year of postsecondary education, and that the U.S. has the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020. The program is designed to have a lasting impact on higher education, emphasizing the use of evidence-based program design, collection of student outcome data and evaluation to add to the growing body of knowledge about which strategies best develop skills that lead to good jobs.
This year’s grants also build on the administration’s goal of providing individuals with the information they need to choose education and training programs. The eleven single-state consortia grantees will be required to use graduate employment and earnings data to improve their programming and to create employment results scorecards that will help prospective students make informed choices about training programs.
“Community colleges play a vital role in training Americans to meet the needs of employers today,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “As our economy continues to rebuild, businesses are looking for employees with the skills their company needs to stay competitive, and America’s students and adult workers want to be equipped to fill those roles. These grants help to meet those demands, providing critical investments in education and supporting key partnerships.”
The grants include 20 awards to community college and university consortia totaling $377,452,319 and 23 awards to individual institutions totaling $61,943,218. Fourteen states and territories, which were not funded through the competitive award process, will develop a qualifying project and receive an approximately $2.5 million grant.
“For America’s workforce to be competitive in the 21st century, our workers must possess the skills employers need for their businesses to succeed. That is why employers should partner with educational institutions and government to help develop curriculum and credentialing programs at the local level,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker. “This round of grants has an increased emphasis on creating the types of training programs that will prepare community college students for the jobs in which they are needed, which is good for employees, employers and the strength of our economy.”
Grantees will use these funds to transform the way they schedule, sequence and deliver education and training programs that can be completed in two years or less.
A variety of activities will be made possible, including: hiring or training instructors to expand capacity to offer in-demand courses or certifications, leveraging online learning to accelerate skills attainment, developing new curricula and training models to add additional classes and certifications, purchasing new equipment to ensure students train on what employers actually use, designing new programs based on the input and needs of local employers, and expanding career pathways in which stackable credentials are linked to industry skills and lead participants to higher-skill jobs.
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.
Learn more about the grant program at http://www.doleta.gov/taaccct.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 September 2013 09:46
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