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President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden joined together today at the Community College of Allegheny County West Hills Center in western Pennsylvania to announce $600 million in funding to create new opportunities for US workers to access training for 21st century skills that meet the needs of today's businesses.  

The announcement included $100 million in funding in support of the "American Apprenticeship" grants initiative to reward partnerships that help more workers participate in apprenticeships. This competition will help more Americans access this proven path to employment and the middle class.  This effort will focus on partnerships between employers, labor organizations, training providers, community colleges, local and state governments, the workforce system, non-profits and faith-based organizations that: Launch apprenticeship models in new, high-growth fields; Align apprenticeships to pathways for further learning and career advancement; and Scale and replicate apprenticeship models that have proven successful.

For more on the announcement, be sure to read the White House Fact Sheet:  

Also follow coverage of the announcement via the US News & World Report.
Obama, Biden to announce $600 million in grants to spur job training, apprenticeship programs

And for complete details and resources related to the American Apprenticeship Grants initiative, please visit:

Cross Posted from the April 10 White House Blog: Written by Sean O'BrienDirector of Speechwriting for the Vice President.

Earlier this week, Vice President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden spoke to 1,500 educational leaders at the American Association of Community Colleges 94th Annual Convention.

During the speech, the Vice President recognized that community colleges provide “a trusted pathway to good jobs in the middle class,” and spoke about the importance of matching job openings with skilled workers. The Vice President highlighted the Administration’s work in making higher education more affordable through further investment in Pell Grants and capping federal student loan repayments at 10% of income.

Dr. Biden, a lifelong educator and community college teacher, noted that she has visited innovative workforce partnerships at community colleges around the country – and that they are critical to America’s future.

Stating that the “very best job training is on-the-job training,” Vice President Biden announced the launch of the Registered Apprenticeship College Consortium.

Apprenticeships are some of the strongest and most successful forms of job training with 87 percent of apprentices remaining employed after completing their apprenticeship programs. The Consortium will make it easier for apprentices to receive college credits for their rigorous training that can then be applied to a degree.

Noting that 6 out of 10 jobs in the next 10 years are going to require a degree or a certificate beyond high school, Vice President Biden talked about the need to build partnerships between community colleges and local businesses.

“There are going to be hundreds of thousands of job openings in industries ranging from advanced manufacturing, to health care, to information technology, to energy,” stated the Vice President.

“The middle class has its best shot of growing through all of you,” he said in closing. “You really are the heart of expanding opportunity for millions of Americans.”

For more on recent Apprenticeship news and announcements, be sure to check out Employment and Training Administration (ETA) Deputy Assistant Secretary Eric Seleznow's Department of Labor blog on "Giving Apprentices More Tools to Succeed."