U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez to Highlight Importance of Job-Driven Training in Toledo, Ohio

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U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez will travel Tuesday to Toledo, Ohio, to spotlight successful training programs that will help students compete for jobs in a challenging 21st century economy.

At 10:30 a.m., Secretaries Duncan and Perez will visit Toledo Technology Academy, a member of the Toledo Public Schools initiative that was recently awarded $3.8 million through the Youth CareerConnect grant program, a collaborative effort between the Education and Labor departments.

The grant is helping increase employer partnerships with the school system while allowing effective programs like the academy’s to expand and serve more students. Secretaries Duncan and Perez will tour classes and participate in a roundtable discussion with school officials, students and local union and workforce leaders. A press availability will follow.

They will then proceed to the Toledo Electrical Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee for a tour of its 45,000 square-foot training facility. Apprentices at this state-of-the-art complex are trained for commercial and residential electrical careers as well as telecommunications jobs. The program is affiliated with Owens Community College where apprenticeship graduates can apply their training toward college credit there or at any other Ohio community college. Owens just completed the process to join the Registered Apprenticeship-College Consortium (RACC), which will expand opportunities for graduates to further enhance their skills and career prospects by quickly completing an associate or bachelor’s degree. A press availability will follow that event, too.

Earlier this month, Vice President Joe Biden announced the results of his comprehensive review of federal job training programs in a report entitled Ready to Work: Job-Driven Training and American Opportunity. The study highlights successful job-driven training strategies.

And last week, President Obama signed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act – the first major reform to the federal workforce system in more than 15 years.  The law will unify and streamline services, improve accountability and transparency, and elevate work-based learning and sector strategies like those used at Toledo Technology Academy, as well as expanding apprenticeship opportunities like the Toledo Electrical Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee.