September 29, 2014

HIRONO ANNOUNCES NEARLY $10 MILLION FOR COMMUNITY COLLEGE CAREER TRAINING

Consortium of seven Hawaii community colleges awarded U.S. Department of Labor job training partnership grant

HONOLULU – Senator Mazie K. Hirono today announced the U.S. Department of Labor has awarded nearly $10 million in grant funding to seven community colleges in Hawaii as part of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAA C3T) initiative. This is the fourth and final installment of the $2 billion initiative aimed at creating and supporting new job training partnerships between community colleges, local businesses, and state workforce training systems.

“By the time this year’s freshman are ready to graduate high school in 2018, estimates show that two-thirds of the jobs in Hawaii will require education or training beyond a high school diploma,” said Senator Hirono. “Hawaii’s community colleges provide an important option to prepare Hawaii students for higher-skilled jobs in fields like information technology, cybersecurity, and health care. The U.S. Department of Labor’s investment in the U.H. Community College Consortium’s efforts is moving Hawaii towards a more secure and sustainable economic future.”

“The $10 million in investments in Hawaii announced today will help prepare local workers with the skills needed for in-demand careers and advance the role of community colleges as engines of economic growth,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. “Over the last four years, the U.S. Department of Labor has invested more than $52 million in Hawaii – part of a long-term commitment to ensure that workers have access to training for the specific skills employers need to stay competitive in the global economy.”

In 2010, as a member of the Education and Workforce Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives, then-Congresswoman Hirono fought for the inclusion of this four-year, $2 billion funding for community college job training in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, which President Barack Obama signed into law.  Hawaii community colleges have won significant funding in each of the four rounds of competition.

Grant funding will be provided to lead institution University of Hawaii Maui College and consortium members Hawaii Community College, Honolulu Community College, Kapiolani Community College, Kauai Community College, Leeward Community College and Windward Community College. Grantees will use the initiative funds for developing new curricula, purchasing laboratory equipment, providing student services and expanding career pathways to higher-skilled jobs.