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QCC-Led DOL Grant Initiative Adopted as National Model

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez Announce Fourth Phase of Funding for DOL Grant

Contact: Cherie Ronayne
Office of Institutional Communications
cronayne [at]

Release Date: 

Worcester, MA, Oct. 8, 2014 – Today, United States Secretary of Labor, Thomas Perez and United States Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan gathered with other state and local elected officials, community college presidents, deans, students, employer partners, and workforce development partners to celebrate the success of the QCC-led $20 Million Department of Labor MACCWDTA grant distributed in 2011. The announcement was made in Springfield.

The DOL grant, called the Transformation Agenda, was awarded to effect long-term change in the delivery system that will enable more people to attain a college education and sustainable jobs; to  build shared systems between the community colleges, adult basic education (ABE) and workforce development system partners and industry leaders to transform delivery of industry aligned education and training partners. 

The success of the QCC-led initiative has earned wide-spread recognition and has since been hailed as the national model for all DOL grants to follow. Dr. Dale Allen, QCC Vice President for Community Engagement, Project Director, Transformation Agenda and Special Assistant to the Commissioner of MA Department of Higher Education has overseen the grant since its initial funding with great success.

Among the significant improvements of the QCC-led strategy in the four priority areas targeted by the Transformation Agenda at the beginning of the grant cycle:

  1. Accelerate Educational Progress for low skilled and other workers: 151 degree and certificate programs were newly developed, or redesigned to be accelerated.
  2. Improve Retention and Achievement Rates to reduce time to completion: Retention and completion rates far exceed the average – 85% of students completed certificates in one year, 87% of students completed an Associate degree or certificate in one year, 90% of students completed non-credit certificates in one year, stackable credentials were developed for 40 programs, and more.
  3. Build programs that meet industry needs, including developing shared state-wide and curriculum and career pathways: 70% of students attained jobs in 6 targeted industries.
  4. Strengthen online and technology enabled learning: 85% completion rate of online credit hours.

Based on these accomplishments, the DOL has announced an additional $500 Million to continue the initiative to be spread among 71 awardees. The MA Community Colleges receive $20 Million.

Dr. Allen was invited to a White House ceremony on September 29 to honor and highlight the great work accomplished as a result of the QCC-led grant. “Community Colleges are the engines that drive economic growth and development,” said Dr. Allen. “This DOL grant has insured that a successful model of training and workforce assistance is delivered to the people that are in the best positions to succeed, and move the Commonwealth into economic recovery.”    

Quinsigamond Community College is the most affordable higher education in Worcester County. As a regional leader in education and workforce development, QCC serves the diverse educational needs of Central Massachusetts by providing affordable, accessible, and high quality programming leading to transfer, career, and lifelong learning.