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Hagan Announces $18M to Help Displaced Workers Get Back on the Job

Community colleges to train workers for key bioscience jobs

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

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Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Kay Hagan today announced two grants worth a total of $18 million to train North Carolina workers who have been displaced due to foreign trade. Forsyth Technical Community College and a consortium of 11 other community colleges across the country will receive $14,998,474 and Wake Technical Community College, separately, will receive $2,952,416 to provide training for displaced workers to help meet the state's growing demand for biosciences workers. Hagan helped secure funding for North Carolina's community colleges from this crucial training program.

"Today's announcement is great news for out-of-work North Carolinians who will gain the skills needed to get back on the job," Hagan said. "Job creation continues to be my top priority, and I'm pleased that our first-rate community colleges will train workers to meet the demands of a key industry in our state that is involved in developing life-saving technologies."

"This award attests to North Carolina's national biotech leadership and Forsyth Tech's leadership within the community college system," said Dr. Gary Green, President of Forsyth Technical Community College. "This will define the next generation of biotech and lifescience industry and provide vital support for community colleges across the country in meeting skills requirements for the entire biotech economic sector."

Since 2001, North Carolina's bioscience industry employment has grown by nearly 24 percent, and as of 2010, the industry employed more than 62,000 workers, according to the Biotechnology Industry Organization. The grants from the Department of Labor are part of the second round of awards from the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) program. TAACCCT is funded through the bipartisan Trade Adjustment Assistance program, which Hagan voted to reauthorize in September 2011 to ensure that displaced workers who lose their jobs due to foreign trade receive the support and training necessary to transition into new jobs.

Last September, Hagan announced that a consortium of nine North Carolina community colleges had received nearly $19 million in first-round TAACCCT funding.

Hagan has been traveling across the state, including to community colleges, as part of her North Carolina Back to Work Jobs Tour; she will make her 18th stop on October 5th when she hosts a jobs fair in Rutherford County.

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