With a track record of supporting community colleges — coupled with a spouse who is a long-time champion of public two-year colleges — President-elect Joe Biden is likely to give community colleges a prominent role in not only his higher education plans but also economic and workforce development strategies.
“For American educators, this a great day for y’all. You’re going to have one of your own in the White House,” Biden said, referring to Dr. Jill Biden during his Saturday night speech hours after media reported he reached 270 electoral votes to win the White House.
Although the president-elect will tackle myriad issues, near the top of the list is getting the economy revved again and making sure Americans have the skills needed for current and emerging jobs. Workforce development is an area in which community colleges are well-versed.
“Joe and I both know the transformational power of community colleges to help our economy recover,” Jill Biden, a community college professor, said in September at a virtual Democratic rally.
At that rally, she noted that community colleges previously played a key role in the Obama administration’s economic recovery plan during the 2008 recession. Community college advocates hope a similar effort to that $1.9 billion workforce development program — called the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) program — might be on the horizon.