Washburn University/Washburn Tech Awarded $20 Million Grant
Washburn University/Washburn Tech awarded $20 million grant
TOPEKA (Sept. 28, 2011)-- Washburn University and its affiliate, Washburn Institute of Technology, were recently awarded a $20 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to support the collaborative effort of seven community and technical colleges in Kansas to provide workers with academic and industry-recognized credentials and training to meet the need for a skilled workforce.
The grant will also expand and improve the provision of training opportunities to a large geographical pool of eligible applicants. The training programs will be student-, worker- and employer-centered, rather than centered with an institution.
Washburn Institute of Technology will serve as the consortium leader for the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grant.
Other members in the TRAC-7 consortium include Cloud County Community College, Concordia; Dodge City Community College: Flint Hills Technical College, Emporia; Garden City Community College; Highland Community College; and Salina Area Technical College.
“Washburn University is excited to work with partners in providing academic and industry-recognized credentials that better meets the need for a skilled workforce,” said Jerry Farley, president, Washburn University. “Each consortium partner offers a signature program that expands and improves the provision of training opportunities to a large geographical pool of eligible workers.”
For the project, the advanced systems technology/ industrial maintenance program at Washburn Institute of Technology will expand to meet local and regional needs through an enhanced training center and redesigned curriculum that includes stackable credentials. Through technology-enabled learning, training will serve students from partner institutions and embed technical skills into basic education classes. Mobile training labs will be outfitted to support learning and provide hands-on experience to participants across the state.
The grant announcement represents an initial round of community college and career training funds, which are being awarded to 32 grantees across the nation. The U.S. Department of Labor is implementing and administering the program in coordination with the U.S. Department of Education.
Workforce development has strong roots in Kansas. The Kansas Board of Regents works closely with the Kansas Department of Commerce through the Regents Kansas Postsecondary Technical Education Authority to ensure the education and training efforts of the state support individuals, businesses and communities in achieving economic prosperity. Such programs underpin the nation’s ability to be competitive in preparing for a global workforce market.
This project represents a significant numbers of partners across the state, but several employer partners have specifically committed to supporting it by providing supplies and materials, internships, field training, hiring opportunities and/or serving as consultants on the program advisory boards: Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, Atchison Hospital, Westar Energy Inc, Wolf Creek Nuclear Operating Corporation, Ventira Bio Science, Sunflower Electrical Power Corporation, City of Arkansas City and Tyson Fresh Meats.
Jill Biden; U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis; and Under Secretary of Education Martha Kanter announced the grant award through the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) program.
The grants are part of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training initiative, for which the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act included a total of $2 billion over a four-year period. This grant merges the efforts of the U. S. Department of Labor and the U. S. Department of Education toward the common goal of putting Americans to work.
Highlights: Technical Retraining to Achieve Credentials
Overview of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grant application submitted to the Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration by TRAC-7 consortium members. Seven public institutions of higher education in Kansas comprise an innovative consortium to develop new and better methods of providing workers with academic and industry-recognized credentials to meet the need for a skilled workforce. Each consortium member offers a signature program that would not otherwise be readily available to students across the state. Expands and improves the provision of training opportunities to a large geographical pool of eligible applicants Training programs are student-, worker- and employer-centered, rather than centered with the institution. Core courses are taken at the home campus of the student, while training-specific programs are delivered through multiple formats, including on-line, on-site and experiential. Offers a range of stackable credentials to meet the needs of new workers and workers needing retraining. Creates a state-wide network of learning alternatives that otherwise would not be available to eligible students. Works within the current IHE system structure to sustainably expand and improve the ability and capacity to deliver education and career training programs. Delivers career training programs that can be completed in two years or less. Prepare workers for employment in high-wage, high-skill high-demand occupations. Offers courses and programs that are more affordable, more accessible, more consumer oriented to both student and employer and more results-drive.