Community and Technical College Partnerships to Support Workforce Capacity Building in Broader Middle East and North Africa 

June 14, 2010 
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Higher Education for Development (HED), in cooperation with the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the U.S. Department of Education, is pleased to announce four winners of the Broader Middle East and North Africa (BMENA) – U.S. Community College Small Grants Initiative competition. The awards range between $100,000 - $150,000 each for the 18-month partnerships between U.S. community colleges and community and technical colleges in the BMENA region.

The Initiative was born out of a June 2009 symposium on the challenges to the quality and relevance of education for workforce development throughout the BMENA region that was sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and the U.S. Department of Education. The two-day conference focused on community and technical colleges as an important model for facilitating the school-to-work transition. The partnerships chosen for the awards promote capacity building in education by supporting one of five objectives outlined in the original request for applications and were selected by a peer review panel.

The four winning partnerships are:

  • Red Rocks Community College/Al-Huson University College/Al-Balqa Applied University (Jordan): Expanding Jordan’s Green Collar Workforce: An International Partnership to Establish an Associate Degree Program in Solar Energy Technology
  • Highline Community College/Mataria Technical College (Egypt): Leveraging Community College Workforce Development Expertise: Creating Educational Pathways to High Skills Employment at Mataria Technical College
  • Gateway Technical College/Ecole Superieure de Technologie Oujda (Morocco): Automotive Diagnostics Training Partnership
  • Eastern Iowa Community College District/Muscatine Community College/Al Quds College (Jordan): Economic Empowerment through Entrepreneurship

"We are very excited about our partnership with the State Department and USAID to support the advancement of community and technical colleges in the BMENA region,” said Brenda Dann-Messier, Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education at the U.S. Department of Education. “The projects funded under this program offer rich examples of the many points of intersection between our educational systems. They are also a testament to our common interest in delivering education and training programs that lead to jobs that offer family-sustaining wages and opportunities for career advancement and lifelong learning."

Dr. Tully Cornick, HED’s executive director said, “We are very pleased to support the Administration’s vision of creating strong educational opportunities for improvement and prosperity abroad by facilitating higher education partnerships in the BMENA region. The U.S. community college system is a great model of successful technical and vocational training, making it a valuable resource for partnerships focused on promoting and strengthening workforce development and entrepreneurship.”

HED mobilizes the expertise and resources of the higher education community to address global development challenges. HED manages a competitive awards process to access expertise with the higher education community in coordination with the American Council on Education (ACE), the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), the Association of American Universities (AAU), the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU), and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU). For more information about HED, visit

Through a Leader-with-Associates Cooperative Agreement, signed in September 2005 USAID’s Bureau for Economic Growth, Agriculture and Trade, Office of Education (EGAT/ED) provides support to Higher Education for Development. These partnerships are funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Office of the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) through the Leader Agreement and are supported by the U.S. Department of Education.

The American people, through USAID, have provided economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide for nearly 50 years. For more information on USAID, visit