As part of his effort to build a stronger foundation that will allow us to lead in the global economy, the President announced a historic initiative to strengthen our nation’s community colleges, and called for five million additional graduates by 2020.
Speaking at Macomb Community College in Michigan, the President stressed the importance of education to America’s prosperity:
But we also have to ensure that we’re educating and preparing our people for the new jobs of the 21st century. We’ve got to prepare our people with the skills they need to compete in this global economy. (Applause.) Time and again, when we placed our bet for the future on education, we have prospered as a result — by tapping the incredible innovative and generative potential of a skilled American workforce. That’s what happened when President Lincoln signed into law legislation creating the land grant colleges, which not only transformed higher education, but also our entire economy. That’s what took place when President Roosevelt signed the GI Bill which helped educate a generation, and ushered in an era of unprecedented prosperity. That was the foundation for the American middle class.