Metropolitan Community College was excited to host U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez as he toured the MCC-Business & Technology campus and then took part in a roundtable discussion that featured MCC business partners and successful graduates of the programs.
Mark James, MCC chancellor, and Terry Dunn, chairman of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, welcomed the Secretary, other participants, audience and media.
(Click here to see how media and social media covered the Perez visit.)
Discussing his goal of “up-skilling America,” Perez told reporters: “The ‘secret sauce’ of community college is the key to success, and MCC has been a remarkable example of partnership in action, of a higher ed institution that has taken federal grants (and) built partnerships. Everything that’s done here is demand-driven, working with industry to make sure that in-demand jobs are addressed with the skills and knowledge that enable people to punch their ticket to the middle class.”
He added: “I often refer to the Department of Labor as ‘Match.com.’ We help connect job seekers who want to punch their ticket to the middle class with businesses that want to grow their business. And the secret sauce of success is our partnership with community colleges.”
Leading up to Labor Day, Secretary Perez is traveling the country to talk with America’s workers, businesses, and state and local leaders about how everyone can work together to build shared prosperity for a stronger America.
MCC was the second stop on his tour. Perez chose MCC to shine a light on how Department of Labor grants are helping transform how educators, employers and community groups work together to train workers for the region’s in-demand jobs. He specifically looked at the results of the three “MoWINs” grants, which use federal funding to train the unemployed, underemployed and veterans for high-skill jobs in health care, manufacturing and the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields.
Perez was sworn in July 23, 2013, and is the nation’s 26th secretary of labor.
The U.S. Secretary of Labor’s visit marks the third White House Cabinet secretary to visit MCC since 2012. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius visited the Health Science Institute in February 2012 and Education Secretary Arne Duncan visited MCC-Penn Valley in September 2012.
More about the MoWINs grants at Metropolitan Community College
- The three grants – MoHealthWINs (announced in 2011), MoManufacturingsWINs (2012) and MoSTEMWINs (2014) – were awarded to a consortium of Missouri two-year colleges including Metropolitan Community College.
- The grants are administered by the U.S. Department of Labor in partnership with the Department of Education. The federal grant program is called TAACCCT (Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training). The intent behind the grants: to ensure that community colleges are well-positioned to serve workers displaced due to jobs shifting overseas.
- Through TAACCCT, $2 billion over four years goes to community colleges and other higher-ed institutions to deliver education and career training that can be completed in two years or less.
- MCC received about $3 million in MoHealthWINs funding to train people for four career paths: environmental services, health care information technology, computer support specialist and certified nursing assistant. MCC’s share of the MoManufacturingWINs grant was $1.8 million. Here, participants could choose from four career paths: welding, ABB Robotics industrial maintenance, computer-integrated machining and manufacturing (CIMM), and warehouse logistics. And MCC received $2.7 million to train workers through the MoSTEMWINs program (and we served as the lead fiscal institution statewide). MCC is offering participants a medical assistant program (which started this summer) and supplemental instruction for CSIS (computer science and information systems) students.
Want to know even more about the MoWINs grants? Read a fact sheet here.