Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis and Under Secretary of Education Martha Kanter just announced that a consortium led by Collin College has been selected for a $19,998,974 grant, part of nearly $500 million in federal grants targeted for training and workforce development to help unemployed workers who are changing careers.
More than 200 community colleges around the country applied and 32 were selected by the U.S. Department of Labor in coordination with the U.S. Department of Education.
“This is the largest grant in college history, and it is very important to the economy,” said Brenda Goodell, who chairs the Collin College board of trustees. “We live in a time when people are likely to experience a layoff at some point in their life. However, it is possible to land on your feet in a new, better career. This grant will help displaced workers retrain on the technology of the future.”
Collin College leads a consortium of six community colleges in the National Information, Security and Geospacial Technology Consortium (NISGTC). Partner colleges include Bellevue College (Seattle), Bunker Hill Community College (Boston), Del Mar College (Corpus Christi), Moraine Valley Community College (Chicago), Rio Salado College (Arizona) and Salt Lake City Community College as well as Collin College.
Cary A. Israel, Collin College president, said a key to receiving the grant was partnering with innovative community colleges from around the nation for the consortium. “Our consortium stretches from coast to coast,” Israel said. “Collin College is the only lead college in the state of Texas announced yesterday for this landmark federal grant program. We are very grateful to everyone who took part in the proposal for this grant, particularly our partner colleges in the consortium. In this economy, it is vital to develop training programs that respond to the ever-changing world of technology.”
The NISGTC will focus training toward occupations that map to four IT disciplines: networking and data communication; applications development and analytics; geospatial technologies; and cybersecurity. Each consortium member was chosen for expertise in these areas.
Careers targeted in this grant include computer software engineers, application developers, computer security specialists, database administrators, network systems and data communications analysts, geodetic surveyors and surveying and mapping technicians.
Collin College serves about 53,000 credit and continuing education students annually and offers more than 100 degree and certificate programs. The only public college in the county, Collin College is a partner to business, government and industry, providing customized training and work force development.