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Monday, July 7, 2008

Granholm Program Makes Right Choice

When it comes to training adults for real-world jobs, community colleges are probably the most nimble in meeting employer demands or expectations.

Michigan will redirect $37 million in federal job training funds to offer two years of free tuition. Granholm hopes lawmakers will add another $40 million in state dollars.

Qualifying participants could also attend a four-year university or any of a number of approved training programs. The key is the student must earn a certificate or degree in a high-demand occupation or learn the skills needed to start his or her own business.

Granholm's goal is to train 10,000 Michigan residents for high-demand careers and degree programs in such fields as technology, health care, advanced manufacturing, nursing degree, renewable energy and dental hygiene degree. Full details are on this web site, www.michigan.gov/nwlb.

This program, even at the early funding stages, is a good idea. We suggest only that it be reviewed periodically to make sure that colleges and learning centers don't just see it as a “gift” of new revenue and students focus on career areas that have real job opportunites. Too may home-grown liberal arts graduates of four-year institution are unemployed.