LOS ALTOS (KCBS) – Silicon Valley community colleges could be a big winner under a proposal announced on Monday by President Obama.

The president’s $8 billion plan would link community college students with local businesses, a plan that was based in part on research done by a working group that included Foothill College President Judy Miner.

KCBS’ Doug Sovern Reports:

“I can’t even begin to describe how excited I am,” Miner said. “Particularly since Foothill has launched the Science Learning Institute.”

President Obama wants to spend federal dollars to help train two million students at junior colleges. The institute could benefit from an infusion of those funds.

Laurel Jones is president of Mission College in Santa Clara, which just started a similar program connecting students with local business mentors.

“It’s vital that we actually provide business as part of our educational pathway because what we’re also trying to do…is keep our trained workers here in Silicon Valley,” said Jones.

Major Silicon Valley corporations are also excited to be taking part. Miner said that if Congress approves the Community College to Career Fund, it could mean replicating curricula and partnerships that are already starting to produce the trained workers the Valley needs.

“This kind of infusion of dollars could scale up in ways that have been unprecedented,” Miner said.

U.S. Secretary of Labor, Hilda Solis, said the health care sector and Silicon Valley are natural fits for the plan.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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