But these are not normal times and this particular graduation exercise illustrates what is possible when the federal government and local folks cooperate.
Funding for this training program came from a U.S. Department of Labor Grant made available by stimulus money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. That act has come in for a fair share of criticism, some of it warranted, in our opinion.
This program, and the others like it across the country accomplish much and illustrate the proper role of government in our lives. The money from that program helped those 13 people complete courses of instruction in home health care, welding, and manufacturing skills. They are now ready to join the workforce with skills that should help them land hard-to-find jobs.
Without the government’s help, the program might not have been available. The Icademy Prep building is without a doubt a valuable asset and its availability helped secure the grant. The classes were for basic skills and aimed at dislocated workers.
“The hardest step was walking through the front door,” said Christine McLain, a career counselor for the Icademy Prep program. Once they walked through that door, however, the students received 12 weeks of intensive training that can now help them find jobs and improve their lives.
Local government’s vision in supporting the Icademy Prep program is also commendable. Without that program, and the building that houses it in place, the grant would have been impossible to obtain, said Don Smith, executive director of the Economic Development Council.
Healthy debate on the proper role of government in our lives is useful. Noting when that role is appropriate, and results in successful outcomes, is also useful.
This is one of those events. Good things happen when federal support is available for a local facility that trains students who are willing to put in the time and effort. Congratulations all around. And best wishes for the students and the Icademy Prep program.