Rep. Susie Lee Introduces Bill to Restart Successful 2008 Recession Workforce Development Program During Pandemic
Las Vegas, Nev. - U.S. Rep. Susie Lee (Nev.-03) introduced the Community College Workforce Training Act, which would reauthorize the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant program. Rep. Lee’s bill would authorize $2 billion through fiscal year 2024 to restart the TAACCCT grant program as a way to support higher education and workforce development during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“While passing emergency financial relief is vital to help Nevadans right now during the worst unemployment crisis in our state’s history, we also need to start preparing our workforce for the post-pandemic job market,” said Rep. Lee. “Economists project that over one-third of jobs lost in this recession won’t come back. The TAACCCT grant program worked following the 2008 recession to prepare the next wave of workers to succeed in a recovering economy, which is exactly what I aim to replicate with this bill during the tough economic times we face today.”
“As Nevada faces a severe economic downturn due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is essential that we bring back programs like the TAACCCT grant program that will increase the ability of NSHE’s community colleges to address workforce needs in our state,” said Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) Chancellor Thom Reilly. “The TAACCCT program helped our state’s community colleges during the Great Recession by funding industry aligned curriculum, including health care, manufacturing, and information technology. I want to thank Rep. Lee for her leadership on this important issue.”
“TAACCCT has a been game changer for community colleges working to develop and advance programs that directly impact the local workforce,” said College of Southern Nevada (CSN) President Dr. Federico Zaragoza. “Nevada is experiencing an unprecedented level of unemployment, and the state’s community colleges are ready to be the ‘first responders’ in this emergency. As CSN gears up to retrain the region’s displaced workers in critical manufacturing, health care, and information technology sectors, the support of programs like TAACCCT will be critical to ensuring our success. Thank you Congresswoman Lee for your support and foresight.”
TAACCCT grants were initially created following the 2008 economic recession by the U.S. Department of Labor to support community college and industry partnerships in creating education and training programs. During the 2008 recession, the program effectively ensured that colleges, and especially community colleges, throughout the country had the funds necessary to train students for in-demand, industry-aligned jobs to set people up for high-wage, high-skill employment.
After the 2008 Great Recession, educational institutions receiving money through TAACCCT grants developed training programs in partnership with industry leaders and state entities to serve nearly 500,000 individuals who earned over 350,000 credentials across a wide spectrum of sectors. To date, 256 projects were funded, engaging over 2,500 employers across every state. Community colleges in Nevada used over $24 million of this funding to train thousands of individuals to be effective contributors to the changing economy.