Joe Biden, Rich Fitzpatrick, Mike Doyle, Bob Casey, Bill Peduto

Vice President Joe Biden, left, takes a photo of, from right, Allegheny County, Pa., Executive Rich Fitzpatrick, Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Pa., Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., and Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto in front of Air Force One as President Barack Obama arrives at the 171st Air Refueling Wing at the Pennsylvania Air National Guard base in Coraopolis, Pa., Wednesday, April 16, 2014. Obama and Biden came to the Pittsburgh area to speak at a nearby community college about job training grants. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

As Mayor and County Executive, we have the privilege and opportunity to visit and talk with businesses all across the city and county. Each time, we ask what it is that the businesses need to enable them to grow and develop here in Allegheny County. The answer is inevitably the same—businesses need employees who have the right skill set. That is why workforce development and connecting residents to training has been a focus of our administrations and continues to be one of our top priorities.

President Obama and Vice President Biden’s visit on April 16 reinforced the fact that in order to acquire a job where one can work hard and move ahead, an individual first needs to have the proper skill set. With the President’s announcement of the Put Americans Back to Work Job Training Competition, CCAC now has the opportunity to compete for its part of nearly $500 million to develop additional training programs that are job-driven.

We are fortunate to have the Community College of Allegheny County as a partner in the education of our residents. The college’s West Hills Center in North Fayette, in particular, offers a comprehensive selection of leadership and workforce development classes for a broad variety of workplaces. CCAC also provides our local businesses with the option to work with the school to create job training programs that will meet the needs of specific companies. They tailor classes and workshops to educate our youth and adults for the particular field they are entering.

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