Department of Labor Announces $500 Million Community College and Career Training Program
The U.S. Department of Labor has announced a major solicitation for grant applications under the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grant Program. The Labor Department will award approximately $500 million this year through the program and a total of $2 billion over the next four years. Grants will support the development and improvement of postsecondary programs of two years or less that use evidence-based or innovative strategies to prepare students for successful careers in growing and emerging industries. The program will be administered by the Labor Department in coordination with the U.S. Department of Education.
"Everyone, especially the trade-impacted workers who are the focus of this program, deserves access to the level of education necessary to obtain employment that can support a family," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "These grants will help colleges create programs that make it possible for workers to come back to school and acquire skills and industry-recognized credentials needed to compete for good jobs in growing industries."
The grant program will expand opportunities for workers by accelerating progress and reducing time to completion; improving retention and achievement rates; building instructional programs that meet industry needs; and strengthening online and technology-enabled learning.
Applicants must be community colleges or other two-year degree granting institutions of higher education as defined in the Higher Education Act of 1965. The grants will enable eligible institutions to expand their capacity to create new education or training programs — or improve existing ones — to meet the needs of local or regional businesses.
Colleges interesting in partnering with NIMS to assure that program participants earn nationally recognized industry credentials should contact NIMS Executive Director Stephen Mandes at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (703) 352-4971.
GI Bill Modified to Restore OJT, Apprenticeship Training Programs
The GI Bill, in its current form - the Post 9-11 Veterans Educational Assistance Program, has been modified to include on-the-job training, apprenticeship training and industry certifications.
When the GI Bill was changed in 2009, the OJT and Apprenticeship training provisions were omitted with all assistance aimed at full time higher education, although OJT was been part of the GI Bill since its inception.
With this modification, the Bill will provide for the payment of VEAP assistance for the pursuit of programs other than degree programs, including for programs pursued on a half-time basis or less, apprenticeships or other on-job training, and for multiple career licensing or certification tests.
The GI Bill, originally the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act, went into effect in 1944. In 1982, the Bill was updated (the Montgomery GI Bill). The OJT provisions were in both, then excluded in the more recent updates, but now will be back in place.
Precision Machining Technologies Program Renews Accreditation at Berks Career & Technology Center
Maintaining their reputation for excellence in machinist training, the Precision Machining Technologies Program at the Berks Career & Technology Center in Leesport, PA has earned its third NIMS Accreditation! Since first applying for accreditation renewal in November 2009, the staff and faculty at Berks have once again exceeded NIMS standards and expectations.
The On-Site Evaluation took place on December 14, 2010 and was led by veteran Team Leader Dave Stauffer. Following the one-day audit, Dave gathered all the proof he needed to recommend re-accreditation. In his final report, he said the following:
“Berks continues to be the leader for the NIMS program. The advisory committee continues to play a strong role in the activities of the machining program. The industry survey (sent to area businesses) is the most comprehensive one that I have seen. The placement rate for seniors is still 100%.”
Congratulations to everyone involved in this process, especially Director of Curriculum & Assessment Linda J. Marley, and Instructors Eric Hopewell and Peter Hoffman! Special thanks to Dave Stauffer for serving as program evaluator!
NIMS Accredits Two Campuses of Gadsden State Community College in Alabama
NIMS is pleased to announce the official accreditation of not one but two campuses of Gadsden State Community College in Alabama! The Machine Tool Technology at the main campus in Gadsden was awarded their second consecutive accreditation, since first becoming accredited in 2004. From there, we head about thirty miles southeast to Anniston where the Machine Tool Technology program at the Ayers campus received its first NIMS Accreditation in the program’s history. Both programs were accredited as of December 15, 2010.
The On-Site Evaluations took place in early December 2010 and were led by veteran On-Site Evaluation Team Leader Wes Ellis of the Alabama Technology Network, conveniently located in Gadsden as well. Both evaluations added up to three days worth of inspections, interviews, and observations for Wes and his evaluation team. Following both evaluations, the team had the following comments and observations:
In regards to the MTT Program at the Gadsden State Main Campus: “Very good connection between students and industry.” “Good, safe place to work and study.” “Instructor has a steady line of industry communication all year long.” “Good instructional connection with students. Very good at communication.”
In regards to the MTT Program at the Gadsden State Ayers Campus: “Good connect with industry needs, has support of industry.” “Good support and dedication to excellence” from the administration. “Good program, NIMS will serve them well over many years.”
Congratulations to everyone involved in this process, especially Instructors Steve Caldwell at the Ayers Campus and Instructor David Smith at the Gadsden Campus, for making this accreditation a smooth process! As always, thanks to Wes Ellis for another thorough round of evaluations in Alabama.
Tennessee Technology Center in Dickson Receives First-Time NIMS Accreditation
NIMS is pleased to announce the official accreditation of the Machine Tool Technology Program at the Tennessee Technology Center (TTC) in Dickson, TN! Since first applying for accreditation in October 2008, the staff and faculty at TTC - Dickson have done what it takes to align their training program with industry standards, giving their students the tools they need to establish successful careers in U.S. Manufacturing.
To complete the accreditation process, an On-Site Evaluation took place on December 1st and 2nd of this year. The Evaluation Team was made up of:
• Team Leader Sam Hart of Hart Consulting in Loudon, TN
• Industry Representative Gene Ross of Ross Machine in Erin, TN
• Education Representative Ken Potts, Machine Tool Instructor at TTC – Shelbyville, which is currently in the process of earning NIMS Accreditation, as well.
Following the two-day audit, the Evaluation Team voted unanimously to accredit the program, saying “They are clearly focused on the goals and purpose, and have adapted NIMS requirements into the curriculum and outcome at the school. The overall class has a great goal to train and produce quality students for both students and employers. The program is exceptional.”
Congratulations to everyone involved in this process, especially Machine Tool Technology Instructor Bob Collins for all his efforts to earn this award.