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Secretary of Labor visits the Valley

PHOENIX — Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis toured the Southwest Skill Center at Estrella Mountain Community College in the west Valley on Monday.

The purpose of the visit was to announce that EMCC is “leading a five-school consortium that received over thirteen million dollars in grants through the U.S. Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College to Career Training initiative.

“I’m excited and I hope they take advantage of it,” said Solis.

Employers are seeking credentialed workers to meet their demands for a better-trained workforce. According to Solis, this is part of President Barack Obama’s initiative to do that.

“We’re looking to the future for 21st century job preparation. It isn’t good to just get you a credential that doesn’t lead you anywhere. We’re looking to help those individuals that have lost their jobs through no fault of there own, maybe underemployed, maybe looking to get into a new career,” said Solis.

The funding is set to help train “trade-impacted workers and other adults for high-skill, high-wage employment in energy and mining industries.”

A total of 54 grants were awarded to 300 schools. The announcement came in September.

Further, according to Solis, the grants will help foster partnerships between community colleges and local employers to promote skill development and employment opportunities in fields such as advanced manufacturing, transportation and healthcare, among others.

More information about the program and a full list of the grantees is available at: