Dear Commons Community,
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Thursday highlighted the importance of community colleges in promoting vocational and technical training as a way to lower unemployment and fuel economic growth.
Addressing the Community College National Legislative Summit in Washington, D.C., DeVos said she supports President Donald Trump’s plan to make alternative approaches to postsecondary education a priority. DeVos said community colleges cost less, are flexible and equip job seekers with the skills that the economy needs.
“Community colleges are a uniquely American national asset,” DeVos said. “You are nimble, you are inclusive, you are entrepreneurial.”
“You are absolutely essential engines for … economic development locally and regionally,” DeVos added. “You help identify and close the skills gap between employers and job seekers so that U.S. businesses and industries can thrive and expand.”
Given that DeVos has made few public statements about higher education in the past, these comments can be taken as positive as she assumes the responsibilities of Education Secretary. This also assumes that President Trump does not eliminate the US Department of Education.