President Obama touted community colleges as “community career centers” in his State of the Union speech. He proposed training 2 million people for skilled jobs through business-college partnerships, not a new idea.
Obama cited the experience of Jackie Bray, a single mom in North Carolina who was laid off from her job as a mechanic. “Then Siemens opened a gas turbine factory in Charlotte and formed a partnership with Central Piedmont Community College,” Obama said. “The company helped the college design courses in laser and robotics training. It paid Jackie’s tuition, then hired her to help operate their plant. I want every American looking for work to have the same opportunity as Jackie did.”
The president also pledged to make a college education affordable, pitching his student aid promises to middle-class families.