ST. LOUIS–(KMOX)–U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis announced a $15 million training grant for ten Missouri schools, while defending the pace of the recovery under President Barack Obama.
Solis unveiled the grant package at St. Louis Community College’s Florissant Valley campus. St. Louis area community colleges will receive $4 million of the funding to train students for high-skilled jobs in manufacturing.
“These are areas that require a credential, licensing , certificates. And that’s what manufacturer’s want,” Solis said. “We’re not talking about the very highly trained four-year (degree). We’re talking about the two-year community college (degree) where you can get trained while you’re working.”
Solis says the goal is to coordinate with employers to learn what type of workers they want and then train people for those jobs.
“My concern right now is the fact that we have twelve million people that are unemployed,” Solis said, “And the majority of them who lost their jobs are still seeking employment, and the only way that they’re going to be able to make that transition is by being competitive and having that educational certificate.”
Solis was asked by a reporter if she has any regrets for the slowness of the recovery and the stubbornly high unemployment rate.
“Not at all, I have no regrets,” Solis said, “In the last 31 months we’ve seen 5.2 million private sector jobs created. Five-hundred thousand alone that we know of in the manufacturing arena, 250,000 in the automobile industry.”
Solis appeared with Missouri Congressman Lacy Clay, who says the goal of the program is to recapture lost jobs in manufacturing and grow the economy “from the middle class out.”