Saturday November 28th, 2015 12:54AM

Obama wants $12 billion for 2-year colleges

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama is proposing a multibillion-dollar investment in the nation's community colleges, such as Gaineville State - a $12 billion effort to help the two-year institutions reach, teach and train more people for "the jobs of the future."

Obama was outlining his four-part program in a speech Tuesday afternoon at Macomb Community College in Warren, Mich.

Under the initiative, schools could qualify for "challenge grants" so they'll have money to give new programs a try, or expand training and counseling.

Dropout rates would be addressed by designing programs to help students who want to earn an associate's degree or transfer to a four-year institution do so.

Money would be spent to renovate outdated facilities or build new ones, and to develop online courses and make them freely available to students and others who want to use them.

The total federal cost is $12 billion over a decade. Of that, $9 billion would go toward challenge grants and addressing dropout rates. Half a billion, or $500 million, would go toward online education. The remaining $2.5 billion would be used to spark $10 billion in renovation and construction nationwide, said James Kvaal, an Obama economic policy adviser.

Some of the money could be available by the 2010 budget year that begins Oct. 1.

Obama speaks of expanded education and job training as a way to help workers compete for jobs such as those expected in the clean energy industry, when the economy turns around and begins to create jobs again instead of shedding them.

"In an economy where jobs requiring at least an associate's degree are projected to grow twice as fast as jobs requiring no college experience, it's never been more essential to continue education and training after high school," Obama said Sunday in a Washington Post op-ed piece.

"It's time to reform our community colleges so that they provide Americans of all ages a chance to learn the skills and knowledge necessary to compete for the jobs of the future," he said.

Community colleges have been feeling pinched lately. Enrollments have been increasing for several reasons, including rising college costs at public and private institutions, and because of the economy, as people who've lost jobs enroll to learn new skills.

About 6 million students attend community college. Obama wants to increase community college enrollment to 11 million by 2020, Kvaal said.

In his speech to a joint session of Congress earlier this year, the president urged every American to commit to at least one year or more of higher education or career training.

Obama's stop in Michigan will be his first visit to the state since he defeated Republican Sen. John McCain there in the presidential election.

The trip wasn't all about policy, however.

Before returning to the White House, Obama, an athlete who is more into basketball and, lately, golf, was dropping into Busch Stadium in St. Louis to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at Major League Baseball's annual All-Star game.

It will be his first pitch as president. Obama skipped traditional opening day invites.

© Copyright 2015
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
CDC: Fewer states seeing widespread swine flu
Health officials say swine flu was widespread in only four states last week, indicating the fall wave of illness is still declining.
4:13PM ( 5 years ago )
Pilgrim's Pride pays $4.5M to end immigrant probe
The U.S. Attorney's Office says it will not prosecute Pilgrim's Pride Corp. for immigration violations and has dropped an investigation into workers at the chicken producer's plants.
12:59PM ( 5 years ago )
At decade's end, revelers wonder what future holds
Out with the old and in with the what? With the nation at war on two foreign fronts, the economy uncertain, terrorism a threat and environmental catastrophe on the list of possible destinies, a sense of starting fresh remains elusive for many, who wonder what sort of new legacy they can build beginning on Jan. 1, 2010.
12:42PM ( 5 years ago )
U.S. News
2009... year in review
A state budget crisis, continued local government cutbacks, the end of the drought and a judge's ruling sharply curtailing the state's access to water in Lake Lanier were among the top stories in the state and Northeast Georgia duirng 2009.
11:55PM ( 5 years ago )
House Fire in Gainesville
Firefighters responded to the scene of a mobile home fire in the 6000 block of Hummingbird Court in Timber Ridge Estates Subdivision this evening.
7:07PM ( 5 years ago )
INK brings in New Year, kids celebrate
Around 300 youngsters celebrated New Year’s Eve early Thursday at Gainesville’s Interactive Neighborhood for Kids, (INK), in the Featherbone Communiversity Center on Chestnut Street.

3:51PM ( 5 years ago )
Local/State News
PLAYOFFS: Three goes into four, as area trio earn semifinal berths
Once the dust settled on Friday night, northeast Georgia found three teams still standing in the state football playoffs -- and it was so nearly four...
9:14AM ( 8 hours from now )
Standoff at Planned Parenthood ends with suspect's arrest; 3 killed, 9 wounded
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — A gunman who opened fire inside a Planned Parenthood clinic was arrested Friday after engaging in gun battles with authorities during an hourslong standoff that killed t...
12:33AM ( 21 minutes ago )
Black Friday: The Super Bowl of shopping starts in stores, but it looks very different
NEW YORK (AP) — The annual ritual of Black Friday, as we know it, is over.Gone are the throngs of frenzied shoppers camping out for days ahead of the big sales bonanza on the day after Thanksgiving. A...
10:13PM ( 2 hours ago )
Deadline to sponsor Wreaths Across America at Alta Vista is Monday
Each holiday season, veteran grave sites at Alta Vista cemetery in Gainesville are adorned with wreaths as part of Wreaths Across America.
3:42PM ( 9 hours ago )
PHOTO GALLERY: Holiday shoppers hit Gainesville stores early
Black Friday may still have status as the kickoff to the holiday shopping season, but Thanksgiving Thursday is gaining ground as more stores opt to open early.
By AccessWDUN staff
10:01AM ( 14 hours ago )