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AA’s Community & Technical College receives $2.5M piece of $500M pie from the U.S. Dept. of Labor for job training and workforce development


The U.S. Department of Labor announced this week the distribution of nearly $500M ingrants to community colleges around the country for targeted job training and workforce development to help economically dislocated workers. The University of Alaska Anchorage’s Community & Technical College (CTC) is among 32 grantees, receiving a $2.5M piece of the $500M pie.

The U.SDepartment of Labor Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training program supports partnerships between community colleges and employers to develop programs that provide pathways to good jobs. The grants will help schools expand their capacity to provide more people with the skills to take on high-quality jobs and begin new careers in fields that range from advanced manufacturing and transportation to health care and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields.

The money has been awarded to UAA to support building instructional programs that meet specific industry needs, strengthening technology-enabled learning and allowing students and workers to access free learning materials online.

A consortium led by CTC received the $2.5M for its “Beyond Anchorage: Expanding Developmental and Workforce Education” project, involving UAA’s four community campuses: Matanuska-Susitna College, Kenai Peninsula College, Kodiak College and Prince William Sound Community College.

Through this grant, UAA will help architectural engineering technician students to improve outcomes through self-paced e-learning modules, learning communities, e-portfolios, online technical course development/deployment and community-based Computer-Aided Design and Drafting labs.

According to the DOL, more than 3,500 Trade Adjustment Assistant (TAA) workers in Southcentral Alaska—largely in the oil and gas construction industries—were laid off and are older workers (48 percent are 50 years and older).

Cathy LeCompte, associate dean of CTC and the project’s principal investigator, says that these strategies and innovations are intended to regionalize curriculum formerly located in Anchorage, as well as remove barriers often encountered by the non-traditional student returning to school.

The program encourages grantees to work with at least one employer partner—a sponsor that has jobs available and needs workers trained to fill them. In Alaska, UAA has developed partnerships with USKH, architect Harvey H. Hightower, DOWL HKM and UMIAQ.

"Congratulations to the entire regional team for this consortium effort to fund the UAA proposal ‘Beyond Anchorage: ExpandingDevelopmental and Workforce Education,’" said Karen Schmitt, dean of the Community & Technical College. "This regional effort brings CTC and the four community campuses [Southcentral Alaska, including Kenai, Wasilla, Kodiak and Valdez] together to address regional and state workforce needs with innovative programming."

For more about the grant, visit http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/eta/eta20111409.htm. For more information about the“Beyond Anchorage” project, contact Cathy LeCompte at (907) 786-4084 or calecompte@uaa.alaskaedu.

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