Following President Obama’s speech highlighting the importance of job training, Penny Lee, Managing Director of the Coalition for Educational Success, released the following statement:
"Career colleges across the nation stand ready to support the President’s efforts to strengthen and improve our nation’s manufacturing economy through workforce training. The career college sector is hard at work creating educational opportunities and putting students on the pathway to a job.
"The President has launched Skills for America’s Future to build a nation-wide network to maximize job training programs and placement. If Skills for America’s Future only includes community college partners, then students and the economy will suffer. We urge the President to include all sectors of higher education in this initiative, so as to not unnecessarily shortchange the nation’s future workforce.
“We believe strongly in the President’s goals of strengthening our economy through workforce training and achieving the highest percentage of college graduates in the world by 2020. That is why career colleges are preparing students for high tech, green energy and other manufacturing jobs.
“Career colleges educate and place students in 17 of the 20 fastest growing fields in the nation. This year alone, career colleges will place more than 100,000 graduates directly into jobs at thousands of employers all across America. Our graduates are filling this nation’s ‘skills gap’, so often referred to by the President, by answering the call from employers who would prefer to hire people who are trained and ready to go to work.
“An estimated 1.8 million jobs are expected to be created in these fields through 2018. Our graduates represent 42 percent of all medical degrees awarded at two-year-and-less institutions.
“America needs more schools like Ecotech Institute, which represents the first college entirely focused on preparing America’s workforce for careers in renewable energy and sustainable design. These types of programs give graduates the practical, hands-on skills necessary to provide employers with job ready employees who can make an immediate impact.
“Career colleges work hard to train and place graduates at thousands of companies across the country. While there is no single right answer on how to train workers for tomorrow’s jobs, career colleges offer access and choice to millions of students who otherwise would not have a pathway to a higher education or a career.
“It is in the best interests of students to hold all schools to the same high standards and treat all schools the same regardless of the tax status of the school.”
The Coalition for Educational Success
The Coalition for Educational Success includes many of the nation’s leading career colleges, serving more than 350,000 students at 478 campuses in 41 states. Career colleges provide training for students in 17 of the 20 fastest growing fields. The Coalition advocates for policies that support wider access to higher education, particularly for non-traditional students including full-time workers, workforce returners, working parents, minorities and veterans.