The Passaic County Community College is set to receive almost $9 million in federal grant money for specialized job training from the Department of Labor, announced Bill Pascrell, junior, congressman representing New Jersey’s 9th district.
“This federal grant will help strengthen our workforce in key areas like manufacturing and heath care by providing workers the specialized training they need,” said Pascrell in a written statement. “We must ensure that workers who were displaced due to free trade agreements and outsourcing get the training they need for the 21st Century jobs they deserve.”
A total of $15 million was awarded to four community colleges in the State as part of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grant Program, a grant that was put together in 2009 to help community colleges better train students for high-wage jobs, with bulk of the money coming into Paterson. “This funding will transform the delivery of our educational programs at PCCC,” said Steven Rose, president of the college. “Our goal is to prepare individuals in Passaic County and northern New Jersey for high-skill, high-wage employment in growing sectors of the region’s economy such as health care, information technology, and energy and the environment.”
The grant aims help workers displaced as a result of free trade and out-sourcing. It will particularly help workers “displaced as a result of increased imports or shifts in production out of the United State,” according to Pascrell’s office. It is estimated that thousands of individuals will be trained and prepared for jobs in “Advanced Manufacturing and Transportation, Logistics, Distribution and Utilities.” A statement from Pascrell’s office reads, “The project is expected to serve more than 3,400 participants.”
“PCCC will serve as the lead institution of the Northeast Resiliency Consortium, which is comprised of seven community colleges spanning New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts,” according to the congressman’s office.
Pascrell, in a letter sent to the department last year requesting the grant, stated the money would do much to “re-integrate them [displaced workers] into the workforce and provide them with the credentials and certifications needed for employment and self-sufficiency.”
“I couldn’t be more proud to have Passaic County Community College serve as the leader in training a highly skilled, educated and competitive workforce,” said Pascrell.