Federal Grant will Assist a Naugatuck Valley Community College Job Training Program
The federal government and state of Connecticut choose the Naugatuck Valley Community College, also referred to as the NVCC, along with 270 other schools to be primary recipients of a massive grant program. The support from this grant amounts to no less than $15 million to be spread out among the schools. Lawmakers passed this bill in order to assist Connecticut schools in building a better manufacturing job training programming for their students. With help from the new grant, the Naugatuck Valley Community College job training program should benefit both students and employers alike. The grant program focuses on several industries by attempting to better prepare students with necessary job skills for the future. The $1,706,025 grant that NVCC will receive specifically targets vocational and technical high school students in conjunction to the manufacturing industry. NVCC President Daisy Cocco De Filippis stated that the school will team up with Abbott Tech to provide an Advanced Manufacturing Technology certificate at the school’s Danbury location. Other plans for spending the money at NVCC include creating a ‘third semester’ course at Waterbury-based Kaynor Tech. This course allows for both daytime and evening worker training directly on campus.
This $15 million grant is included as part of the TAACCCT, or Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training competitive program for grants. The Department of Labor and the Department of Education serve as the two main, key players behind this grant. Much like the grants passed in other states, the Federal Education Grant for Connecticut aims to financially encourage community colleges and other higher learning institutions. The grant program’s mission seeks to help schools better prepare their students for the ensuing job market by teaching them skills which are in demand on the market. The set of targeted industries the program hopes to improve include IT, health care, and advanced manufacturing.
An official press release from the White House by Vice President Joe Biden first announced the federal grant program. In the statement, Biden explained that the program expands upon the same strategies used in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. The VP himself remains a staunch supporter of this initiative. He argues that he is in favor of the findings included in his July 2014 job-driven training report. The paper in question highlights the importance of training students specifically for jobs. In turn, the article shows that these students will proceed to earn a “middle class wage.”
If schools such as NVCC put the grant money to good use, the effects of the grant should be swift and significant on employees and employers in the area. Not only will students and educators benefit from grant-funded programs, but the job market should notice some significant results as well. This grant should positively affect all parties involved (from employers to job seekers). In the particular case of NVCC, partners within the local manufacturing industry enthusiastically received news of the grant. According to a statement made by the school’s Director of the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Statement, local employers in the greater Danbury area will seek to hire graduates of the school’s manufacturing programs. It is likely that such opportunities will increase with the additions of an evening program and a program for incumbent workers.
NVCC most definitely does not serve as just an exception to the rule in the current workforce landscape. By investing in the Naugatuck Valley Community College Job Training Program, as well as in similar Manufacturing Job Training Programs around the country, the federal government will effectively ensure a better way of life for many of its citizens. With better skills, community college students stand likely to increase their odds at finding a decent, well paying job that allows them to grow. Of course, we should not disregard the perspective of a decent middle income earner in this country.