Community College Leaders Buoyed By President's Proposal on Worker Training

Jan 22, 2004, 00:00 ET from Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges

    HARRISBURG, Pa., Jan. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Community college leaders are
 excited at the prospects for training more workers for high demand
 occupations.  The Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges believes that
 community colleges across the Commonwealth will be supportive of President
 Bush's new initiative to expand workforce training at community colleges
     Reacting to the President's proposal in his State of the Union Address on
 Monday evening, which was elaborated upon yesterday at Owens Community College
 in Toledo, Ohio, Dr. Stephen Curtis, President of the Pennsylvania Commission
 for Community Colleges noted, "We in Pennsylvania's community colleges are
 glad to see that the President has recognized the ability of community
 colleges to serve employers and we are anxious to hear the details of this
 proposal.  The community colleges are committed to serving companies across
 the Commonwealth and helping them become more competitive by updating and
 improving the skills of their employees to meet specific company needs through
 such activities as customized training programs for employers and by
 partnering with WednetPA."  In fiscal year 2001/2002, the 14 community
 colleges in Pennsylvania served over 75,000 employees in customized training
 programs contracted by Pennsylvania companies.
     If enacted, the proposal will provide $250 million to help programs which
 match workers with employers.  That could mean an additional $250,000 or more
 to each of Pennsylvania's 14 community colleges, although the exact
 distribution of the funds is not yet known.  Depending upon the means by which
 the money is distributed, the funds could be used to supplement programs
 geared to high-demand careers, such as nursing and other health-related
 professions, homeland security, computer security and other computer and
 information services.
     Other community college presidents have also voiced their support.  Vice
 President of the Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges Dr. Karen
 Stout stated, "The Pennsylvania community colleges enjoy a strong record of
 support for local and regional job training and re-training needs in
 partnership with employers.  We are excited about the President's proposal and
 his recognition of the valuable role that community colleges play in
 sustaining the quality of life of the communities we serve.  We look forward
 to creating more innovative ways, in partnership with business leaders, to
 ensure that we are offering relevant, flexible and state-of-the-industry job
 training programs that will meet local workforce needs and prepare those
 involved in training for continuous learning that will ensure their
 adaptability as job skills continue to change."
     The Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges is a non-profit
 organization whose primary purpose is to represent the interests of the 14
 community colleges of Pennsylvania.  For more information on the Commission
 and its programs, please visit its website at or
 call 717.232.7584
     For local community college comments, contact:
     Jack Chielli, Director of Marketing & Media Relations
     Community College of Allegheny County
     Anne Wallace, Director, Marketing & Public Relations
     Community College of Beaver County
     724.775.8561, x217
     Marta Kaufmann, Executive Director of Marketing & Public Relations
     Bucks County Community College
     Susan J. Changnon, Director of Public Relations
     Butler County Community College
     724.287.8711, x 222
     Patty Kiniry, Director of Marketing/Public Relations
     Cambria County Area Community College
     Anders R. Back, Director, Marketing & Public Relations
     Delaware County Community College
     Patrick M. Early, Executive Director of Public Relations
     Harrisburg Area Community College
     Maria Esposito Roberts, Assoc. Dean for Institutional Advancement
     Lehigh Carbon Community College
     Lisa Nelson, Director of College Relations
     Luzerne County Community College
     Susan Adams, Director of Marketing & Communications
     Montgomery County Community College
     Heidi B. Butler, Director of Public Information & Community Relations
     Northampton Community College
     Lynette M. Brown-Sow, Vice President, Marketing & Government Relations
     Community College of Philadelphia
     Melissa Kushner, Public Relations & Marketing Specialist
     Reading Area Community College
     610.372.4721, x5047
     Anna Marie Palatella-Stahl, Director of Public Relations/Publications
     Westmoreland County Community College

SOURCE Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges