President Barack Obama is pushing to make higher education accessible to every American. The plan is to invest millions in the middle class with two years of free tuition at community colleges and new job training grants.
On Wednesday in Warren, Obama took the stage at Macomb Community College accompanied by Dr. Jill Biden - the wife of Vice President Joe Biden.
Jill Biden is a longtime teacher and education advocate.
"If we want all Americans to succeed in the 21st century we need to make sure that all students of all ages have the best educations possible," she said.
"Hello Michigan, it's good to be back in Macomb," Obama said. "This is one of the best, most innovative community colleges in the country."
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The presidential visit provided a chance to tour the college's Michigan Technical Education Center and announce an apprenticeship program of $175 million in American apprentice shop grants to provide training opportunities to 34,000 new apprentices across the country.
"We're not going to just retrain a workforce," Obama said. "We are going to renew our nation's promise. We're going to rebuild our middle class. We're going to remind the world why America is the greatest country on earth."
Locally Macomb College, Focus: Hope in Detroit, and southeast Michigan Community Alliance in Taylor awarded $11 million in American apprenticeship grants. The president also launched Heads Up America to raise awareness of the importance of community colleges, while announcing the creation of the College Promise Advisory Board.
The board is part of an effort to make two years of community college free to deserving students.
"Politicians say you're the future," he said. "You have got to walk the walk if you're going to talk the talk."
The event garnering a lot of interest and support from students who couldn't wait to get a glimpse of the president.
"I couldn't sleep last night," said student Lisa Bohm.
"Our first black president," said student Gynah Rouse. "My mother or my grandmother did not live to see this. My son and I got the opportunity to enjoy this."
There is no indication that the goal of two free years of community college will come to fruition. Wednesday was part of an initiative to garner more excitement toward it.
Obama said that he is not getting much support from Congress to make it happen, but said that one method to find money would come from closing corporate tax loopholes "that shouldn't exist anyway."
For more information:http://headsupamerica.us/
Watch the entire speech below.