While economists and pundits debate the relative merits of the proposals contained in Obama’s recent jobs speech, it’s worth noting that there’s some significant money for America’s community colleges in his American Jobs Act proposal.
The proposal calls for $5-billion to bolster the infrastructure at community colleges, including tribal colleges. Many community colleges were built during the rapid expansion of the nation’s higher-education system in the 1960s and 1970s, and some campuses are in… need of renovation and upgrades to make use of new technologies and to become more energy-efficient.
[American Association of Community Colleges Director of Government Relations Jim] Hermes said he saw additional opportunity for the two-year-college sector to get involved with other programs outlined by the president that were aimed at adult students, including the creation of a panel to maximize career readiness of service members and a new “Pathways Back to Work Fund” that would provide hundreds of thousands of low-income youth and adults with opportunities to work and to achieve needed training in growth industries.
Community colleges are, well, somewhat optimistic about the president’s proposal. The last time Obama seriously addressed community colleges he planned to give them $12 billon under the American Graduation Initiative; they ended up getting $ 2 billon.
Well, that was better than nothing.