MARTINEZ (KCBS) – Leaders of Bay Area community colleges said it is about time that the White House recognizes the growing importance of the schools.

The Obama administration just concluded a first-of-its-kind community college summit, with a focus on job training.

Contra Costa Community College District Chancellor Helen Benjamin attended the summit and said community colleges are working to help students get good paying jobs.

KCBS Dave Padilla Reporting:

“That leads to economic development for our communities,” said Benjamin. “And so we offer certificates and degrees in technical areas.”

And, as the state pulls the funding rug from under community colleges, the Obama administration is set to release $10 billion in federal money for job training and other projects.

“Any relief from the feds is a welcome sign,” said Abel Guillen, Peralta Community College District Board President. “That means we’ll be able to continue to provide access to our neediest students who need the workforce training.”

The federal government is proposing stronger partnerships between community colleges and major U.S. employers.

Such partnerships have already been established in parts of the Bay Area.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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