Community college leaders from across the nation are gathered in Washington, D.C., for the 2022 Community College National Legislative Summit. Hosted by the Association of Community College Trustees in collaboration with the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), the summit is considered the premier community college advocacy event in D.C.
More than 700 individuals from 40 states and at least 300 institutions are at this year’s event including a delegation from Austin Community College District (ACC).
Among the ACC representatives in attendance are Trustees Dr. Nan McRaven, Dr. Nora de Hoyos Comstock, Gigi Edwards Bryant, and Sean Hassan; Chancellor, Dr. Richard Rhodes; Executive Vice Chancellor of Operations & Public Affairs, Dr. Molly Beth Malcolm; other college administrative leaders; and students.
The group heard from First Lady Dr. Jill Biden on Monday. In her remarks, Dr. Biden thanked Dr. Rhodes for his service as Chancellor of ACC and Chair of the AACC Board of Directors and spoke about the transformative power of community colleges.
“We’ve seen how entire towns can be transformed when community colleges and private companies work together to train students for jobs that are desperately needed—with skills like manufacturing or modernizing our electrical grid,” she said.
ACC is among the nation’s community colleges that continue to grow its collaborations with business and industry leaders in the region.
In fall 2021, ACC launched a partnership with Tesla to provide a training pipeline for careers in manufacturing. Earlier that same year, ACC became home to the Army Futures Command (AFC) Software Factory — the first of its kind in the nation. The new center is expanding learning opportunities in Computer Science/Information Technology and will offer specialized training for new technologies such as data science and artificial intelligence with a curriculum developed in partnership between ACC and Futures Command leadership, with support from invited global software development companies.
“You are our greatest resource and our best investment,” said Biden to the crowd. “So, thank you for being here. This is how we move forward, step by step. We take the hard-won victories and we keep pushing for the change we need. With work and persistence, we will win the progress our students deserve.”
Following Dr. Biden’s remarks, Dr. Rhodes served as moderator for a conversation with CBS News’ Chief Washington Correspondent Major Garrett about the state of politics today, the inner workings of Congress, and the role of the media.
On Tuesday, the groups are expected to visit the House, Senate, and Executive Branch Offices.
To learn more about the Summit or to follow the activities, visit nls.acct.org.