Brown Announces Nearly $6.7 Million for Sinclair Community College To Expand Career Training Program for Jobless Workers

Brown Has Fought to Protect Trade Adjustment Assistance; Brown-Sponsored Bill Would Train Workers for Careers in High-Growth Industries

WASHINGTON, D.C. – New federal resources will allow Sinclair Community College to expand its jobs training programs for unemployed workers. U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced that U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) funding will provide Sinclair with $6.7 million for unemployed workers to earn certificates and degrees in Information Technology (IT). The resources will help serve workers who lost their jobs due to unfair foreign trade—and qualify for Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA)—and veterans.

“Ohioans who work hard and play by the rules should not be left to struggle when they lose their job through no fault of their own,” Brown said. “This new funding will help Sinclair develop curriculum and hands-on training programs that prepare veterans and jobless workers for careers in the rapidly-growing IT field.”

Sinclair Community College led a consortium application for Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) funding with Austin Community College in Austin, TX and Broward College in Fort Lauderdale. The total grant awarded is $11,996,548 with Sinclair receiveing more than half of that. The TAACCCT program is aimed at helping adults acquire the skills, degrees, and credentials needed for high-wage, high-skill employment while also meeting the needs of employers for skilled workers. The Department is implementing the TAACCCT program in partnership with the Department of Education.

Last month, Brown visited Sinclair to outline his plan to bolster emerging, regional industries—like UAS—by ensuring that Ohioans have the necessary skills and training to attract and fill high-tech jobs. Brown discussed his Strengthening Employment Clusters to Organize Regional Success (SECTORS) Act, which would help ensure that Ohioans have the skills to qualify for new, good-paying positions and that businesses can hire from a local, skilled workforce.

The SECTORS Act tailors workforce development to the needs of regional industry, allowing more workers to receive placements and attracting more businesses to a given region. The bill would organize stakeholders connected to a regional industry—businesses, unions, education and training providers, and local workforce and education system administrators—to develop plans for growing that industry. A range of groups are supporting the SECTORS Act, including the National Association of Manufacturers, which asked Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee leadership to include Brown’s legislation in larger job training legislation. The SECTORS Act was also included in the Building a Stronger America Act, a bipartisan bill introduced this month that is aimed at strengthening American manufacturing, exports, and competitiveness.

Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) is a federal program that provides aid to workers who lose their jobs or whose work hours and wages are reduced as a result of increased imports. The program extends benefits including training for employment in another job or career, income support, job search allowances, and relocation allowances. Qualified workers may quickly return to employment through a combination of these services.

Brown has been a leader in Senate efforts to protect the Trade Adjustment Assistance program. Last May, Brown led forty-one U.S. Senators in urging President Barack Obama not to submit any free trade agreements to Congress—including pending agreements for Colombia, Panama, and South Korea—until Congress agrees to extend a long-term extension of TAA, including 2009 bipartisan reforms that allowed additional trade-affected workers to qualify for assistance. Thanks to Brown’s efforts, an extension of TAA was passed in September 2011 and extends the program until 2013.