VP Biden praises community colleges

Vice President Joe Biden shakes hands with Judy Guenther, a longtime board member for Centralia College and outspoken advocate of job training programs, on Oct. 9 at Renton Technical College.
Vice President Joe Biden shakes hands with Judy Guenther, a longtime board member and advocate of job training programs for Centralia College.

At a visit to Renton Technical College on Oct. 9, Vice President Joe Biden praised the role of community college job-training programs in improving the lives of middle class families.

The visit followed an announcement last week that Centralia College’s Center of Excellence for Clean Energy successfully spearheaded a $10 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to expand training partnerships between community colleges and employers across the state.

Speaking to a small group at Renton Tech, Biden acknowledged “the middle class is hurting,” but said opportunity is key to recovery. Americans will work, he said. “They just want a shot.”

Biden added that two-year colleges, aided by federal grants, can help restore an “I can do this” mentality to the nation.

Representing Centralia College at the event was college President Dr. Robert Frost and longtime Centralia College Board Member Judy Guenther.

Biden praised community college job training programs for giving workers a pathway to the middle class, and said six of 10 jobs in coming years will require a degree or certificate beyond high school.

He also called apprenticeship programs, like those offered at Centralia College, “the single most direct track to employment.”

For more information on the job training programs available at Centralia College, visit Centralia College Workforce Education.

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