PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The national secretaries of education and labor were in Philadelphia today to promote new federal  grants aimed at giving unemployed workers the skills to fill high-tech job openings.

At Community College of Philadelphia, US labor secretary Hilda Solis and education secretary Arne Duncan told a gathering of community college presidents from across the East Coast that they were appearing together to model the kind of partnerships they think will be necessary to match up workers and jobs.

Even with high unemployment, there are many jobs available but often they’re in fields that laid-off workers are not trained for, such as health care.

Solis says the new grants are aimed at allowing community colleges to work with employers to offer high-level skills for employment: “Making sure that we’re training to appropriate levels so people can actually get the job. And not just a temporary job or a minimum-wage job, but one that actually will help to extend into a career.”

Solis and Duncan say the grants will total $2 million, which Duncan says shows the Obama administration’s commitment to making higher education affordable.

Reported by Pat Loeb, KYW Newsradio 1060.

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