Daily Archives: September 27, 2011

U.S.- Nigeria Bilateral Relations! What does it mean?

On April 6, 2010, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Nigerian Secretary to the Government of the Federation Yayale Ahmed signed the U.S.-Nigeria Bi-national Commission in Washington, D.C.  That Agreement created four thematic working groups intended to meet periodically to enhance bilateral cooperation on four key areas:

(1) Good Governance, Transparency, and Integrity

(2) Energy and Investment

(3) Niger Delta and Regional Security, and

(4) Agriculture and Food Security

According to U.S. department of State, an estimated one million Nigerians and Nigerian Americans live, study, and work in the United States, still the democratic and economic progress in Nigeria is challenged by poor governance, entrenched corruption, internal conflict, ineffective service delivery, and pervasive poverty. While there has been notable progress in macroeconomic policy reform over the past few years, these reforms have yet to bring measurable improvements to the lives of the people.

U.S. – Nigeria Bilateral Relations! What does it mean? The  U.S department of State selected ten newly elected Federal House of Representatives to take part in a three-week International Visitor leader Exchange Program entitled “Democracy and Good Governance” from September 6-23, 2011. The member of the Nigerian National Assembly explored the U.S. political process, learned about Good governance,Transparency, integrity and accountability in government and business.

To promote bilateral relations, the U.S is addressing these challenges by engaging civil society and government partners to battle corruption; increase professionalism of the military and law enforcement agencies; strengthen health and education systems to deliver quality services; growing the non-oil economy; and improving the environment for regional and international trade.

Community Colleges Receive $500-Million for Job-Training Programs

By Collin Eaton

Washington

Community colleges across the country will receive about $500-million in federal grants beginning on Monday, the first of four payments in a $2-billion plan announced last year that is intended to improve career-development programs and train an ailing work force.

More than 200 community colleges applied for the grants, which range from about $2.7-million to $25-million, but only 49 have been chosen to receive the money so far, officials from the U.S. Departments of Labor and of Education said in announcing the awards. Community colleges in 15 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico did not receive grants, but will work with the federal departments to develop programs that are eligible—each will receive about $2.7-million. The winning colleges will be able to buy equipment, hire staff members, and develop job-training curricula.

“Today, we’re making a strategic investment in our work force,” Hilda L. Solis, the secretary of labor, said during a conference call with reporters. “Right now, there are high-growth industries in this country that can’t find skilled labor to fill open positions. We need to train our workers to fill them. Community colleges understand the needs of local employers.”

Each community college to receive a grant will team up with at least one business, an employer with job openings, in developing the curriculum.

Honolulu Community College received the largest grant, $24.6-million, for its “Just in TIME (Teaching Innovation in Math and English)” developmental-training program. The program aims to reduce the high percentage of students enrolled in remedial mathematics and English courses, according to the Labor Departments.

Tidewater Community College, an institution in Virginia representing all 23 of the state’s community colleges, received $24.1-million to go forward with seven strategies, including using new technology tools, providing improved retention services, and redesigning its developmental-education program.

Community colleges in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Washington State each received $20-million for career-development programs, including a Spokane Community College program that has worked with aerospace companies and aircraft makers to create goals for the curriculum. The Community College of Pennsylvania is focusing on laid-off workers who are having trouble regaining past wage levels; the community college is leading a 14-member consortium to standardize and customize courses for the volatile marketplace.

In Massachusetts, Quinsigamond Community College will lead a group of colleges that aims to engage business and political leaders to change the training system for jobs that require more than a high-school diploma but less than a four-year degree, including adding entrepreneurship training.

In Minnesota, Northland Community and Technical College will receive $4.8-million to create a new associate-degree program aimed at increasing statewide demand for workers to manage images coming from unmanned aircraft systems.

In the recession-battered Rust Belt, a region known for its manufacturing and construction, Cincinnati State Technical and Community College (where a faculty strike began last Friday) will get $19.6-million to work with community colleges in Illinois, Texas, and other states to educate low-skilled laid-off employees to work in the health-care industry.

Nevada, the state with the highest unemployment rate, was among the states that did not have a qualifying program. Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming also did not receive any grants but are expected to get funds in the coming months.