By AACC 21st Century Center Staff

Community college presidents talk about the effect TAACCCT grants had—and continue to have—on their colleges.

More than 700 community colleges have received Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grants from the U.S. Department of Labor. TAACCCT helps community colleges and other eligible higher education institutions better deliver education and career training programs, preparing more people for employment in high-wage, high-skill occupations.

A new podcast from Jobs for the Future has community college presidents talking about the leadership mindset and strategic approach they’ve taken to scaling and sustaining the impact of TAACCCT at their institutions.

South Central College (SCC) leads the Minnesota Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (MnAMP), a consortium of 12 Minnesota State colleges and two Centers of Excellence. In 2015, MnAMP earned a $15 million dollar TAACCCT grant for the “Lean Work Earn” program, aimed at closing the skills gap by implementing models for industry-recognized credentials, career pathways and apprenticeships throughout the state.

It all came about through “shared vision,” SCC President Annette Parker said in the first podcast episode. Parker engaged not only other college presidents and chancellors in Minnesota, but also employers.

“I think that when you create momentum with a group of the willing people that have a shared vision, that understand that we’re doing something big and we’re doing something exciting, that you have got a group of stakeholders that are truly committed to the work and together we can get through whatever we need to do to be successful,” she said.

In terms of ensuring that work being done by SCC and MnAMP continues past the grant, Parker said that “the real key to that is ownership and commitment to that work. Helping the faculty and the staff understand how important it is for us to lead in those efforts.”

Part of the success also depended on making sure that all 12 colleges involved in the consortium are providing training that can be marketable to employers across the state.

“It helps make sure that our state stays strong, that the employers that live and work in the state of Minnesota can count on us to make sure that we’re continuing to feed that pipeline of future workers,” Parker said.

You can listen to Parker’s interview—and other interviews with community college presidents—here.

Did your college get a TAACCCT grant? Talk about your successes and challenges at LinkedIn.

AACC 21st Century Center Staff

is a contributor to the 21st-Century Center.