WARREN - President Barack Obama returned to Macomb County Community College in Warren to announce administration efforts to bolster community colleges.
Obama teamed up with Jill Biden, the wife of the vice president and a community college teacher, to visit Macomb County Community College in Warren, Michigan, on Wednesday.
His plan includes $175 million in apprenticeship grants and an Independent College Promise Advisory Board led by Jill Biden, that will spearhead the free community college program. Part of the plan involves a new website: http://headsupamerica.us/
Obama's plan for two free years of community college for deserving students will be expensive, he said, but will be paid for by "closing up corporate tax loopholes that aren't needed anyway."
He also spoke about America's recovery after the recession and spoke about how much like the country, Michigan and Detroit are coming back.
Obama focused on the need to keep education, job training and apprenticeship opportunities vibrant due to the fast moving pace of the economy.
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"Every American willing to work hard for a free education," Obama said. "It’s not enough to have the same skills for 30 years. What works now won’t work 30 years from now."
Biden is the wife of the vice president and a community college teacher, to visit Macomb County Community College in Warren, Michigan, on Wednesday. The board also will try to recruit more states and communities to do likewise.
FOX 2 streamed the event which can be watched below. FOX 2 app users tap here to watch.
Obama explained how costs of college have spiraled out of control and how his administration has tried to change that.
"Rather than redouble our efforts to educate young people, we cut taxes at the very top," he said. "Tuition went up because state legislatures gave less support. Prosperity did not trickle down.
"Together we have spent the last seven years fighting back."
It was a return visit to the community college for Obama, who went there in 2009 to announce a series of administration efforts to bolster community colleges. He followed that up earlier this year with a $60 billion proposal in his State of the Union address to make two years of community college free.
Conceding a lack of interest in that plan from the Republican-controlled Congress, domestic policy adviser Cecilia Munoz said the advisory board will try to build momentum for the idea "so that Congress will do what the people are asking for." In the past six months, Oregon and Minnesota have started statewide programs, and there are local efforts in Philadelphia; Dayton, Ohio, and Palatine, Illinois, she said.
Obama also was announcing $175 million in Labor Department grants to help create 34,000 apprenticeships around the country.
The trip will give people an opportunity to take a closer look at Biden as her husband is considering a run for president. Jill Biden is said to share her husband's concerns about the family's emotional readiness for another campaign, although her spokesman has said she continues to support her husband in his career. In an email to supporters, Obama called Biden, who teaches English, his "favorite community college instructor."