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California colleges receive millions in funding for job training

September 19, 2012 |  3:15 pm

Students walk in between buildings on the East Los Angeles College campus during the first day of classes.

The U.S. Department of Labor announced Wednesday more than $500 million in grants to nearly 300 community colleges and universities -– including 17 schools in California -– for job training.

The grants are a part of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training initiative, an Obama administration program designed to promote skills development and employment opportunities among students. The $500 million is the second installment of the four-year, $2-billion initiative, according to a Department of Labor statement.

“These federal grants are part of the Obama administration’s ongoing commitment to strengthening American businesses by strengthening the American workforce,”  Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis said in a statement.

Solis, who began her career in public office as a member of the Rio Hondo Community College Board of Trustees, said the investments will enhance the access students have to the skills and resources needed to compete in the job market.

Locally, East Los Angeles College received nearly $3 million. Cerritos College, Los Angeles Trade Technical College and Los Angeles Valley College will receive funding through their respective consortium memberships with other colleges around the country.

In Northern California, a consortium of 10 community colleges, along with UC Berkeley and Cal State East Bay, received $15 million. The community colleges include Berkeley City College, Contra Costa College, Diablo Valley College, Los Medanos College, Ohlone College, College of Alameda, Chabot College, Laney College, Merritt College and Solano College.


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Photo: Students walk in between buildings on the East Los Angeles College campus during the first day of classes. Credit: Katie Falkenberg / For The Times