By Julianne Mosher
President Barack Obama’s latest State of the Union address blueprints a new budget plan affecting community college students across the United States. The “Community College to Career Fund” will give students the skills needed to be successful in the workforce while also creating jobs.
The plan will be an $8 million investment within the Fiscal Year 2013 Budget to help train over two million workers with skills they need in order to gain good jobs. It is said to have two purposes; ensuring that community colleges have tools to create workers with essential skills while also making sure employers have a proficient workforce.
“Now is the time to build a firmer, stronger foundation for growth that will not only withstand future economic storms, but one that helps us thrive and compete in a global economy. It’s time to reform our community colleges so that they provide Americans of all ages a chance to learn the skills and knowledge necessary to compete for the jobs of the future,” said President Obama.
According to the white house, the growing number of jobs that will require an associative degree will double and 8 in 10 jobs will require higher education and training within the next decade. Two goals to be fulfilled by 2020 are for America to have the highest number of college graduates and for community colleges to produce another 5 million graduates.
Two-year schools across the nation will benefit from this including Suffolk County Community College. For the 26,000 students who attend the three campuses, the new budget Obama introduced will supposedly lower tuition costs for students, bring jobs back to America for workers, and overall give training techniques to make better employees within these industries.
The plan will be strongly impacting Long Island with the training this budget is proposing. It will “ensure that companies looking for employees will be able to find qualified applicants through their partnerships with our community college and others nationwide,” said Mary Lou Araneo, Vice President for Institutional Advancement, on a college brief available on the SUNY Suffolk website.
The College to Career Plan is estimated to bring back jobs to those who are currently under unemployment. According to the Department of Labor, in December 2011 New York state had an employment rate of 8.0 percent with 768,200 people without jobs.