Navigating the 4th Round of SCCTG
Congress established the Strengthening Community College Training Grants (SCCTG) in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 appropriations bill to enhance the capacity of community colleges in addressing workforce development needs within in-demand industries and career pathways.
SCCTG follows in the footsteps of previous programs, such as the Community-Based Job Training Grants and the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grants, which helped colleges expand their workforce development capacity on a much larger scale. This competitive program enables individual colleges to apply for an individual grant or join forces with other institutions for a consortia award.
Since its initial funding of $40 million, SCCTG remains a top federal funding priority for community colleges, offering vital resources for community college-led job training programs. Over the course of three funding rounds—SCC1, SCC2, and SCC3—$135 million has been jointly awarded to 39 colleges and consortiums across 27 states. These awards have played a pivotal role in elevating the skills of students in areas such as allied health occupations, information technology, advanced manufacturing, healthcare, cybersecurity, construction, clean energy, and more. The award amounts range from $1.6 million to $6.4million, with an average award of $3.47 million.
Recently, the Department of Labor shared an opportunity forecast for the fourth round of the Strengthening Community Colleges Training Grant (SCC4). The purpose of the forecast is to acquaint potential applicants with the grant opportunity, enabling them to initiate planning and collaborations with prospective partners. To qualify, lead applicants must be a public community college, as defined in Section 101(a) of the Higher Education Act. They may apply as a single institution or aspart of a consortium of two or more colleges in a common labor market area.
Though significantly smaller in scale compared to its predecessors—TAACCCT received$2 billion over four years and reached all 50 states through formula grants—we are optimistic about SCCTG's potential for growth and expansion. This bipartisan-supported program has already made impressive strides, reaching the halfway mark in just three award cycles. The FY 2023 appropriations bill allocated $65 million for SCC4, marking the largest allocation to date. Nevertheless, the fiscal landscape of FY 2024 may not be as promising, with potential spending cuts looming. We anticipate the program will either maintain its current funding level or experience a slight reduction during this appropriation cycle. We remain committed to advocating for the program, urging Congress to sustain investment in this critical initiative that facilitates much-needed workforce pipelines nationwide.
The official SCC4 funding opportunity announcement will be issued sometime in August, with proposals due 90 days thereafter. If you would like to see a map of the colleges that have received SCCTG funding, click here. For an overview of the allocated awards in the first three funding cycles, click here. ACCT encourages all interested members to review additional information about SCCTG here and to initiate planning for the grant application process ahead of the August announcement.
Rosario Durán is the Senior Government Relations Associate at ACCT