President Obama Announces Two New Initiatives to Support Greater Access to Career-Focused Education and Training

Silver Spring, MD – January 9, 2015 – President Obama announced two major programs today that aim to provide more access to postsecondary education and training.

The first proposal is America’s College Promise, which would create a new partnership with states to allow all students to receive two years of college tuition-free, modeled after the Tennessee Promise.  Under the President’s proposal, the federal government would cover up to 75 percent of the costs, with participating states agreeing to cover the rest for high-quality two-year degrees, or up to two years of college credit to be transferred to four-year programs.

The President also unveiled the American Technical Training Fund for new and existing community and technical college programs that have strong employer partnerships, offer work-based learning opportunities, provide accelerated training and are in high-demand fields. This Fund, expected to be nearly $200 million, would support the start-up of 100 centers to be scaled up in succeeding years, as well as grants for programs with evidence of effectiveness. This Fund would build on the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) Grants, through which over 1,000 community colleges have already received funding, and help make those programs more job-focused.

The National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) strongly supports the President’s proposals to create the America’s College Promise and the American Technical Training Fund and looks forward to working together to leverage these investments in support of increased access to high-quality Career Technical Education (CTE) programs of study.  

“Both initiatives hold great potential to close the skills gap and make postsecondary education more accessible to working learners” said Kimberly Green, Executive Director of NASDCTEc. “Increasing access to high-quality community college programs is critical to ensuring our country’s continued competitiveness in the global economy and providing a pathway to success for millions of Americans. And, the American Technical Training Fund creates a unique opportunity to promote, catalyze and scale high-quality CTE programs of study that engage in strong partnerships with employers and prepare learners at all levels for the careers of their choice.”

MEDIA CONTACT: Katie Fitzgerald,  

The National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) was established in 1920 to represent the state and territory heads of secondary, postsecondary and adult Career Technical Education (CTE) across the nation. NASDCTEc, through leadership, advocacy and partnerships, aims to support an innovative CTE system that prepares individuals to succeed in education and their careers, and poises the United States to flourish in a global, dynamic economy.